Trey McLoughlin wants another shot at MLB draft

Ranked in the state's top-10 for Class of 2018 prospects by Perfect Game USA, Trey McLoughlin chose Fairfield after an outstanding scholastic career at Shelton High.

Ranked in the state's top-10 for Class of 2018 prospects by Perfect Game USA, Trey McLoughlin chose Fairfield after an outstanding scholastic career at Shelton High.

Andy Mead/YCJ / Fairfield University Athletics

FAIRFIELD —Trey McLoughlin, Fairfield University’s right-handed pitcher out of Shelton, enjoyed Christmas with his family in 2019 but the gift he most wanted to find was still six months away.

The Major League Baseball draft was scheduled to begin June 10, and McLoughlin was predicted to go between rounds 10 to 15 of the annual 40-round selection process that determined the fate of the nation’s best amateurs by 30 MLB teams.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound McLoughlin, the Stag’s No. 1 starter, was coming off an All-Star team making summer of playing ball with the Mystic Schooners in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL).

McLoughlin compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.75 ERA during the regular season for Mystic and was selected to start the All-Star Game for the Southern Division. He would finish in the top-five in the league in both ERA (2.75) and strikeouts (48).

Then COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into the process, Fairfield’s 2020 season was cut short, and MLB chose to draft only 5 rounds of players.

“It was upsetting in the moment,” McLoughlin said. “What I was working for my whole life (being drafted) was taken away from me. I’m using it as motivation, it’s not going to stop me now.”

Ranked in the state’s top-10 for Class of 2018 prospects by Perfect Game USA, McLoughlin chose Fairfield after an outstanding scholastic career at Shelton High.

Fairfield pitching coach Jordan Tabakman said that McLoughlin’s work-ethic will overcome any setback.

“On the field, in the weight room, in the classroom Trey is second to none,” Tabakman said. “His work ethic is impressive. Trey is the first one to arrive and last one to leave every single day. He thinks long term, but he has short-term goals he is always trying to achieve.”

Getting back to playing baseball heads McLoughlin’s list of short-term goals.

“We were all very upset that our season got short in the spring, probably played 13 games, and we are eager to get back out on the field,” said McLoughlin, who is working to build up his arm strength with a throwing program that begins with tosses from 30 feet and extends to 120 feet.

Tabakman said: “With Trey, there is no question because of his stamina, his pitch-ability, that he is our No. 1 guy. Last year he started off strong against Greensboro (N.C.) had a tremendous performance. In his third start, he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning against a quality opponent in Stetson. He is a true starter for us. He can go deep into games and face a lineup 3 to 4 times effectively.”

McLoughlin doesn’t believe his role is etched in stone.

“We are deep this year, every single one of our guys could fight me for my spot. It is always competitive; nothing is a given. You have to keep working,” he said.

McLouglin’s ability to master the mental part of pitching is key to his success.

“Trey is a student of the game,” Tabakman said. “From last year to this year, we worked on the mental part of his game from a situational standpoint. We wanted to find out what works best for Trey in certain counts and what could take him to the next level as a pitcher.”

McLoughlin was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Tournament team in 2019 after he had the best performance in Fairfield postseason history with a 3-hit, 14-strikeout performance against top-seeded Canisius in a MAAC elimination game. Twice named MAAC Pitcher of The Week, McLoughlin went the distance against Monmouth while allowing one run on two hits (one on the infield) with nine strikeouts. He led all Fairfield pitchers and ranked seventh in the MAAC with 82 strikeouts.

Tabakman said: “Trey is a leader on the team. Guys look up to him. All the possible distractions from the pandemic to the draft, he’s got a good head on his shoulder, clear vision. He is doing a good job controlling what he can control to get ready for this coming season.”

Fairfield will be looking to compete for a championship, according to Tabakman.

“We return several seniors that were graduating and decided to come back for their extra year,” he said. “We have key starters and guys in the back end of our bullpen. We have guys that gained experience in the summer as freshman and sophomores. We think we can compete with our product on the field, offense defense and pitching.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354