Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


June 20, 2013

Farrell thrilled to start career with Tampa Bay Rays

Farrell thrilled to start career with Tampa Bay Rays

John Farrell simply needed a change

After watching the first 20 rounds of the Major League Baseball draft earlier this month from his family’s Andover home, Farrell decided to switch off the selection show and turn his attention to some real baseball.

That was when, moments later, the phone rang with the call Farrell had imagined since childhood.

“A scout from Tampa Bay (Lou Wieben) called me,” he said. “He said, ‘Congratulations.’ I asked ‘For what?’

“He said, ‘Because we just selected you in the 21st round of the draft.’”

On June 8, Farrell fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing professional baseball when the Tampa Bay Rays selected the former Andover High and William & Mary ace pitcher as their pick in the 21st round of the 2013 draft.

“I know it’s cliché, but it really is a dream come true,” Farrell said. “I have always wanted the chance to play baseball for a living. When I got that call, I was overwhelmed with joy.”

Selected 638th overall, the 22nd pick in the 21st round, Farrell became the highest pick ever to play at Andover High, and the first former Golden Warrior to be selected since Kevin Shepard was taken in the 30th round in 2004.

Andover resident Mike Yastrzemski was drafted in the 14th round by Baltimore, but he played at St. John’s Prep, and current Major Leaguer Ryan Hanigan was not even drafted.

“I was hoping I was going to get my shot,” Farrell said. “I wanted to play baseball for a job, and now I want to make the most of it and work as hard as I can to be successful.”

Farrell signed his first professional contract last Monday, and was then assigned to the Hudson Valley Renegades of the single-A New York-Penn League. This week, he was projected to make his first professional start, going on the mound against the Aberdeen Ironbirds on Wednesday.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    Courtesy photo Jenn Russell races upfield for the U.S. National women's lacrosse team. She hopes to be with the team for the next World Cup in 2017.

    Lacrosse star Russell leads defense for U.S. National team, sets sights on 2017 World Cup Posted 5 days ago 4 Photos

    FILE PHOTO Chris Kuchar will become the fourth Andover High hockey coach in 3 1/2 years.

    Andover High names new hockey coach Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo
  • 140711_ET_CRU_BASEBALL_2

    CARL RUSSO/Staff photo Andrew Kombourasn draws high-fives and head pats from his teammates after scoring Andover Americans' first run in the opening game of the District 14 12-year-old championship. series against North Andover last Friday night.

    Summer classic: Andover Americans, Nationals make run for Districts Posted 5 days ago 11 Photos
  • Calabro swinging hot bat, Legion keeps rolling Posted 5 days ago
  • at round photo

    Andover Legion's Scott Leslie slides safely into home plate in a win over North Andover. Leslie is a big reason why Post 8 has been on fire this summer.

    Gillette, Selima stay red hot for Legion team Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • at little league photo

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Alex Lane delivers a pitch for Andover National Little League during District 14 pool play. Both Andover National and Andover American scored huge wins last week.

    Prakash, McConnell use long ball to lead Andover American Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo

    COURTESY PHOTO Tyler Bird, who played his high school senior year at Kimball Union in New Hampshire, will likely play three or four years for Brown University in Rhode Island before making the leap to pro hockey.

    Bird lands the NHL draft Posted 12 days ago 2 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO Lawrence Academy second baseman Brian Burns of Andover received Honorable Mention from the Independent School League this spring.

    Community Scoreboard Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo

    COURTESY PHOTO The Blue Jays pose with their coaches and team manager at the end of their undefeated season in the Andover Little League 9-year-old Division.

    Unbeaten Blue Jays win 9-year-old Division crown Posted 12 days ago 2 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO The Andover Little League Majors Division champion Brewers team included, front row, from left, Jacob Pepi, Evan Giggey, Matthew Shea, Aidan Ritter and Quinn Curtin; second row, from left, Aneudy Moreno, Sean Sullivan, Ryan Grecco, Jason Denoncourt, Ben Weeden and Michael Leone; and third row, from left, coaches Larry Shea, Jesse Ritter and Patrick Grecco.

    Brewers battle to 2014 Majors championship Posted 12 days ago 2 Photos

Pictures of the Week