Grand Junction graduate Hamilton drafted by Padres
Dane Hamilton was probably one of the last people to find out Thursday he was drafted by the San Diego Padres.
During the final day of the Major League Baseball draft, the former Grand Junction High School and University of New Mexico infielder was at the gym at New Mexico working out and wasn’t around a computer to hear his name called in the 41st round.
“I came back to my car and had about 20 missed calls and 20 text messages,” Hamilton said. “That let me know.”
The left-handed hitting third baseman’s selection also helped New Mexico set a school record with six players being selected in the draft. Hamilton’s teammate Cameron Monger was selected by the Padres in the 27th round.
Hamilton said he had a clue the Padres might select him somewhere during Thursday’s 20 rounds.
“I was excited to be selected,” Hamilton said. “I got a call (Wednesday) and they let me know they were going to do something.”
Hamilton’s selection came as a relief to the 22-year-old, who was unsure earlier in the week if he would be drafted because of a broken thumb that benched him the final month of the season.
Hamilton said the hand is back to 100 percent and he’s happy to be with the Padres.
“Anytime you get an opportunity like this it’s great,” Hamilton said. “I have heard that within the next week, I’ll go to Arizona and start working out there.”
Hamilton was selected as a second baseman despite playing the outfield, third base and first base for the Lobos. Hamilton said that versatility should help him as a professional baseball player.
“I have played every position since I have been at New Mexico,” Hamilton said. “They can put me anywhere, and I’ll be ready to play.”
None of the Mesa State College players eligible for the draft were selected.
Hamilton, who was drafted 1,224th overall, said he likes San Diego’s organization and the players the Padres have developed.
“I’ve always liked what San Diego has done,” Hamilton said. “I’ve never had any hard feelings against them growing up, but I was rooting against them when they played the
Rockies a few years ago (to reach the 2007 National League playoffs).”