CLEMSON — Seth Beer’s phone rang some time around 8:45 p.m. on Monday night while he sat in the player’s lounge of Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The voice on the other end nearly brought him to tears.
It took a few moments for Beer to actually comprehend what his MLB Draft advisor was telling him — his service on his cell phone started to cut out and he panicked a little bit when he had to walk outside to regain it. But then the words came through. Loud and clear.
"'The Houston Astros are going to pick you at No. 28,'" Beer’s advisor told him.
And it all sunk in.
A couple of minutes later, after what felt like “hours and hours and hours” of television commercials, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made it official when he approached the podium and made the announcement. The Houston Astros made Beer the first Clemson player taken in the first round since 2012.
Beer, who shed tears when Clemson’s season came to an end Sunday at the hands of Vanderbilt in an NCAA Regional, cried again Monday night.
He hugged his girlfriend, Taylor, celebrated with his parents and then took a minute to think about what had just happened.
“I had been playing that in my head since I was in the sixth grade of (the commissioner) saying my name,” Beer said. “It finally happening was just an incredible experience. I’m just so blessed to be picked by this great organization.”
Indeed, the Astros and Beer seem to be a perfect fit for each other given how consistently the Astros have developed their farm system talent and how impactful Beer could be in the big leagues if he climbs quickly.
Beer’s defense and speed still raise a few questions, and as such, the team has thrown around the possibility of him working at first base and/or left field. But his bat — Beer hit 22 home runs this year behind a .301 average — can make a powerful impact.
The reigning world champions developed the likes of George Springer, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa en route to a World Series title in 2017, and Beer hopes he is the next young Astros star in the making. He has been a prospect since he was in high school and has maintained a close relationship with the Astros' area scout for years.
“I’ve watched every game and every pitch in every inning of all the World Series games. I’ve done that for as long as I can remember,” Beer said. “For me, it was something that immediately once I heard my name being told that I was going to go there, I was just thinking about those games and going, ‘Wow. What would it be like to play with some of those great players?’”
Known for his unparalleled work ethic, Beer planned to get back into the batting cage Tuesday afternoon and start working with a wooden bat to help his transition into professional baseball. While he still has one year of eligibility remaining at Clemson, Beer said he would sit down with his family and talk through his options, but it seems certain he will not return to the Tigers.
He has never been to Houston, or even to Texas. But he did hear from former Clemson wide receiver — now with the NFL's Houston Texans — DeAndre Hopkins, who was thrilled another Clemson athlete will be in the Lone Star State. Beer is expected to make around $2.5 million if he signs.
“This is my dream,” Beer said.
“Seth’s a guy that is extremely motivated and does things the right way,” Clemson coach Monte Lee added. “We certainly wouldn’t be in the position that we were in if it wasn’t for him because he’s won ballgames for us time and time and time again.”
Now he hopes to do that at the professional level. That’s all he has ever wanted.