Mississippi State signee Ethan Hearn is planning to pass on his college career and sign a pro baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Hearn, a standout catcher at Mobile Christian, was selected by the Cubs in the sixth round of Tuesday’s MLB Draft. He was Pick No. 192 overall.
“I haven’t officially signed yet,” Hearn told AL.com on Wednesday morning. “But as long as everything works out, I plan to go pro.”
Hearn committed to Mississippi State in October of his junior year and signed with the Bulldogs last fall. He said he talked to the Bulldog coaching staff following his selection on Tuesday.
“I told them I was working on a deal with the Cubs and they were really good about it,” he said. “They just said, ‘OK, we’re proud of you. You will always be a Dog. If something happens, we still want you to come here.’ They told me I might could be a top pick as a catcher after three or four years there. They were really first class.”
Many expected Hearn to be drafted a bit higher. He was rated as the No. 67 overall prospect, according to MLB.com. However, he and his advisor and the Cubs agreed on a deal later than expected. The approximate value of that particular pick is $247,000, though it is not known exactly what Hearn and the Cubs agreed upon.
“Once you get into the draft, everyone has got their draft pool they can spend,” Cubs scout Bob Filotei told WNSP-FM 105.5 on Wednesday morning. “We talked to Ethan about what his number was and, once we had him locked in, it really didn’t matter what round we took him in.”
Hearn led Mobile Christian to the state semifinals this season in the school’s first year in Class 4A. He hit .482 with 11 homers, 42 RBIs and 55 runs scored. He had an on base percentage of .640. He was the Class 3A Player of the Year as a junior when the Leopards won the state title.
“It was a good day for us,” Filotei said. “We were targeting Ethan heading into yesterday and had some good talks with him and his advisor. We were able to come to agreement, so we’re happy to add Ethan to the Cubs family and look forward to him having a great career with us.”
If Hearn eventually makes it to the major leagues, he won’t be unfamiliar with Wrigley Field. He’s played there three times already – once in an Under Armour event and twice for USA teams.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “Just the history of the field and all the Hall of Famers and great players who have been there. It was awesome to play on that field where the big leaguers stand.”
Can he hit one out of there?
“Oh yeah,” he said. “No doubt.”
Hearn said he didn’t know exactly what the next few days will hold for him. He is working to finalize the deal and find out where he is going and when he leaves.
“I’m ready to go, ready to start playing again,” he said.
Hearn is the third Mobile high school player to be selected early in the draft in as many years. McGill-Toolen’s Bubba Thompson went No. 26 overall to the Texas Rangers in 2017. St. Luke’s Jeremiah Jackson went No. 57 overall to the Los Angeles Angels a year ago. Both opted to skip college and head straight to pro baseball.