Last week, the San Francisco Giants gave Travis Moniot the opportunity to pursue his major league baseball dreams by selecting him in the 34th round of the MLB Draft.
Faced with a tough decision, the recent Palm Desert grad has announced he will pursue a different dream: a college education and college baseball career at the University of Oregon.
Falling to the third day of the MLB Draft last week, Moniot said the Giants simply couldn’t offer him enough of a signing bonus to pull him away from the opportunities laid out for him in Eugene, Ore.
It’s been a frustrating, sometimes emotional week and a half for Moniot, but he’s happy to have a plan to pursue going forward.
“It’s been months and months not knowing where I’m going to play baseball at the next level,” he said. “I’m really excited it’s Oregon, and I’m really excited to get up there with the coaching staff. Watching the College World Series right now gets me excited to be there next year.”
Moniot was hoping to have a chance to sit down with Giants officials to talk things over, but he spoke with them on the phone Tuesday and came to the conclusion that the two parties couldn’t meet close enough money-wise for the four-year varsity letterman to skip college.
Going into the draft process, Moniot, who committed to Oregon last July during his official visit, said he had his hopes set on being selected Tuesday, the second day of the draft — and coincidentally his 18th birthday. Had he been taken between the third through 10th rounds, Moniot would have been slotted into a minimal signing bonus of around $150,000.
Though he wouldn’t give a number, he said he’d told teams heading into the draft process that it was going to take a lot of money to take him away from enjoying three years of college life while playing in the pristine facilities at Oregon and pursuing a sports business degree.
But during this decision process, Moniot had a chance to see firsthand just what three years of hard work in college can earn you.
Former Shadow Hills baseball player Taylor Ward was selected in the 31st round of the 2012 MLB Draft, opting to honor his commitment to play catcher at Fresno State.
Last Monday, Ward was snatched up by the Angels with the 26th pick of the first round, making him the highest-drafted player ever to come out of the Coachella Valley.
Ward signed his contract with the Angels on Friday for a $1.67 million signing bonus and took in his new team’s game Saturday against the A’s in the stands with Moniot, who have known each other from years of high school and summer baseball around the Valley.
Moniot sat and watched as numerous fans asked Ward for his autograph, knowing very well that hard work and some luck could put him in the same spot in the summer of 2018.
“(Taylor) said (going to college) was the best decision of his life,” Moniot said. “He said make the best of it and put yourself in the position to be in the first round in three years. No one else can control that except you.
“Going into three years of college, I know I can’t expect anything. I have to develop and hopefully be in the same position as Taylor.”