Catching up with baseball signee Thad Ector
When Thad Ector was younger, his mom had him write down a handful of schools he was interested in attending.
Topping the list? South Carolina. So when the Gamecocks came calling to the switch-hitting outfielder he jumped almost immediately on it and committed.
That was two years ago and now Ector is just a few months away from getting down to Columbia and starting his South Carolina career.
“I just can’t wait to go there. I just want to play at Founders Park and win. We have such a loyal fan base. I want to go there and win. Winning is what I’ve always done,” Ector said. “Winning is important to me and that’s one of the reasons I chose to come to South Carolina: the winning tradition, the winning culture and the fan base.”
If he does get to campus, it’ll mean the Gamecocks survived the MLB Draft and avoided Ector being selected and signing with a professional organization.
Ector is considered the No. 68 player in the 2021 class while Baseball America has him as the No. 270 draft prospect.
“Right now I feel like the best decision for me would be to come to college. I’m young and there’s still so much I need to work on in my game. I know that, my parents know that, my advisor knows that. There is a lot I want to get done. I really want to go to college,” Ector said. “I feel like if college is the best decision for me, I’m going to enjoy the three or four years playing.”
Ector was part of a Starrs Mill (Ga.) team that won its first state title this season, and Ector drove in a run and scored another in championship-clinching win.
Being a switch hitter helps him offensively, but Ector saw a steady stream of production defensively this season as well.
“That was one of my goals going into the offseason: try to be an elite defender to help my team win and help my pitchers,” Ector said. “That’s a pitcher’s favorite thing: defenders they can trust to go get a baseball when they need a crucial out.”
If Ector does evade the draft and arrive on campus, he’s hoping to bring a spark to the Gamecocks’ outfield and play whatever part the coaching staff asks of him in year one on campus.
“What I hope I bring is a winning mentality. I just want to come in and help the team win. I don’t want to come there and try to be Babe Ruth or Mike Trout. I want to do my part and help the team win,” Ector said. “Hopefully with me doing my part I’m doing well, hitting well and making a lot of defensive plays. They didn’t sign me to be Mike Trout. They signed me to be a piece of the puzzle and help the team win.”
He still has a few months before his time and first fall at South Carolina starts, and with that time he’ll continue playing summer baseball trying to arrive as ready as possible for the 2022 season.
“I’m big on right now developing my mind,” Ector said. “I need to leave the field and feel like I did something productive. Making a crucial catch in the outfield is productive and helping a team win. If I got a sac fly, that’s productive. If I move a runner over and my teammate gets him in, that’s productive as well. That’s one thing my dad and mom have talked to me about to find ways to be productive. I have to find the good in everything.”