Jun 17, 2013 7:39 PM by Andrew Masuda

Nipomo grad Jeff McNeil signs with Mets, first minor league game Thursday

Less than two weeks after being drafted, Nipomo High graduate Jeff McNeil is about to begin his professional baseball career. McNeil, who just finished his junior season at Long Beach State, has signed a contract with New York. The Mets selected the utility player in the 12th round of this year's First Year Player Draft on June 8.

The Mets did not release the dollar amount of McNeil's signing bonus. The league has a maximum of $100,000 for players taken after the tenth round in a draft.

McNeil reported to the Kingsport Mets, the organization's Rookie level team in Kingsport, Tennessee. Kingsport plays in the Appalachian League and opens the season this Thursday, June 20 at home against Johnson City.

McNeil earned All-Big West Conference First Team honors for the Dirtbags his junior season. He led Long Beach State with a .348 batting average, 35 runs scored, 77 hits and 16 doubles. He drove in 23 runs and tallied a .398 on-base percentage.

McNeil is the players with ties to the Central Coast to ink a deal after he was taken in this year's draft.

McNeil's younger brother Ryan is rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. The Nipomo High graduate was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft. Currently, he is in Arizona for rehab. The timetable for his return from surgery is about one year. The 19 year old went 1-0 with an 1.35 ERA in 20 innings last season in the Cubs' Arizona Rookie League.



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