After the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last week came and went without his name scrolling across the computer screen, Michael Noteware’s disappointment lasted less than a minute before his cell phone rang.
Noteware, who played at Glendale Community College during the 2010 and 2011 seasons before transferring to Lewis-Clark State, received a phone call from New York Yankees scout Mark Thurman. Suddenly, Noteware went from being disappointed to elated after the Yankees offered him a free-agent contract.
“I got a call from the Yankees about 30 seconds after the draft ended Saturday,” Noteware said Wednesday from Tampa, Fla., where he will sign his contract Thursday and report to the Gulf Coast Yankees of the rookie league. “They called and asked if I wanted a job and I told them absolutely.
“I had received some interest during the draft from the Cardinals, who called me in the 23rd round. I also had interest from the San Francisco Giants and Yankees. The Yankees are my favorite team and it’s a dream come true to be a part of the organization. I have an opportunity to get to the next level, but know I have to continue to work hard.”
Noteware, a right-handed pitcher, was instrumental at Glendale, helping it advance to the state tournament in 2011 under the direction of Vaqueros Coach Chris Cicuto. Noteware earned All-Western State Conference accolades with Glendale before moving to Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho.
Noteware went 7-2 with a 2.16 earned-run average this season.
Noteware appeared in 15 games with Lewis-Clark, striking out 74 and registering two saves in 87 1/3 innings this season.
Now, Noteware will look to make a successful transition to the rookie league with the season beginning toward the end of June.
“There’s been a lot of years and expectations that come from playing the game,” Noteware said. “All of the hard work paid off in the end.
“I am still learning.”
Cicuto, who led the Vaqueros to three Western State Conference South Division championships between 2011-13, said Noteware deserved an opportunity to play at the professional level.
“I’m excited for him because he’s come so far and it’s every kid’s dream to play baseball,” Cicuto said. “He’s going to do just fine.
“Michael was a good student here at Glendale college and he’s one class away from getting his degree and he now gets to play pro baseball.”
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .