Former Parksville Royals baseball star Adam McKillican. (File photo)

Former Parksville Royals baseball star Adam McKillican. (File photo)

Vancouver Island pitcher inks free agent deal with MLB’s Texas Rangers

Comox-born McKillican to join minor league affiliate in Surprise, Ariz.

Former Parksville Royals pitcher Adam McKillican has signed a free agent deal with MLB’s Texas Rangers organization.

McKillican, a Comox native who suited up for the Royals from bantam through senior in the BC Premier Baseball League, will play for the Rangers minor league affiliate, the Arizona Rangers, in Surprise, Ariz.

After graduating from the Royals program in 2016, the six-foot-five, 225-pound hurler joined the UBC Thunderbirds, where he played through 2020. In the 2021 season, McKillican played for the Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies and helped his team win the NAIA World Series Championship inJune.

McKillican played his minor baseball in the Comox Valley Baseball Association.

“I can’t thank the Parksville Royals and their staff and alumni enough for building such an awesome program for young kids from the mid- and North Island to shoot for as kids.” said McKillican. “Growing up going to Royals camps run by Dave Wallace and Jim Seredick made me set the goal of one day playing for that team. And back then making that Royals team in 2014 and putting on the pinstripes felt like making the big leagues.”

Seredick, Royals pitching coach during Adam’s time with Parksville, remembers Adam well.

“Adam has a lot to like; size, throws in the mid-90s and has proven himself in a number of very competitive programs (UBC, Gwinnett, Cape Cod League and Quebec).” said Seredick.

“The things I most admire about Adam are his work ethic and his mental being. He is focused and has a very even approach to the game. He doesn’t get too high or too low and he plays one game at a time. He knows how tenuous a pitcher’s time is. He is appreciative and he plans to make the most of the opportunity he has been given. Adam was very coachable; he listened and initiated instruction. He was a team leader and a key figure in the Royals’ 2015 Western Canada Midget championship team.”

“Playing in the Western Canadian championship in 2015 is my standout memory as a Royal” recalled McKillican. “I pitched a complete game in the semifinals and then went 4-for-6 in the finals with the walk-off RBI. Pitching is fun but there is something special about a walk-off hit.” In Adam’s final season with the Royals in 2016, he struck out 86 batters over 77 innings of work and put up an ERA of 2.81.

The trip to a Major League organization had a few twists and turns.

“I had filled out draft questionnaires and talked to scouts on the Rangers dating back to 2019,” he said. “Nothing transpired, however, in the 2019 and 2020 drafts due to my Tommy John surgery in 2019 and the reduced five-round COVID draft in 2020.

“I had a good relationship with Gary McGraw the scout who saw me at UBC and maintained that through my time at Georgia Gwinnett College. After my stint in the draft league with the Frederick Keys in June and then three weeks in the Frontier League playing for the Quebec Capitales, I got a call from that same scout and my agent saying they might be looking to sign some arms and I jumped on the opportunity.

READ MORE: Parksville Royals alums snare scholarships

“Thankfully, I was already in the country and didn’t have to wait on the work visa and within two days they were flying me out to their spring training facility in Arizona to clear my medical exams and sign.”

McKillican’s progression from Comox Cardinal and Parksville Royal to college and now professional baseball have given him some perspective on what it takes to succeed.

“My advice to any young aspiring ball players on the Island is to not limit yourself to comparing yourself to the players on the Island. With work and determination you can earn success as one of the most talented players on the Island and maybe get satisfied and lay off the gas. Always search for new people to learn from and better players to compare yourself to!”

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— NEWS Staff, submitted

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Former Parksville Royals baseball star Adam McKillican has signed a deal with the Texas Rangers organization. (File photo)

Former Parksville Royals baseball star Adam McKillican has signed a deal with the Texas Rangers organization. (File photo)