A third player bids farewell to Texas. Junior shortstop C.J. Hinojosa was drafted in the 11th round, 336th overall by the defending champions, the San Francisco Giants.
Hinojosa decided to forgo his senior year at Texas to pursue his professional baseball career. In his last season at Texas, Hinojosa recorded the second most home runs for the team with 7 and tied for third in doubles with 9.
On Tuesday in Arizona, Hinojosa, a 5-foot-9-inch shortstop, signed his contract with the Giants. Although Hinojosa is excited to be with San Francisco’s organization, he said them drafting him was “out of the blue.”
Hinojosa said the Toronto Blue Jays called at the end of the second day wanting to sign him in the 12th round.
“I got a call about every hour — every other hour, leading up to the draft from Toronto to see if I was going to sign in the 12th,” Hinojosa said. “And that was the last call right before the draft started, and like 5–10 minutes later, I got a call from my advisor and he was like, ‘Hey, the San Francisco Giants just drafted you.’”
Hinojosa said playing professional baseball has always been a dream of his and the fast pace at which his world is changing has not overwhelmed him — instead, it has made him more excited to start his career.
“Since I was a kid I wanted to play professional baseball, and so I actually got to sign a contract and get that process over with and it was awesome,” Hinojosa said. “It was a moment I’ll never forget, I’ll tell you that.”
Hinojosa said the Texas coaches have done the most to prepare him for his future with the Giants.
“Coach Garrido has always said that he doesn’t want me come out and try to be the best player on the team — but wanted me to come out and try to be the best player I can be to do the best out there,” Hinojosa said. “He always said at the University of Texas we’re going to carry out and treat you guys like professionals, and that’s helped me a lot.”
Hinojosa said leaving Austin is bittersweet and the accomplishments he and his team made while playing together have everything to do with his success.
“Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am. The past three years playing there was an awesome experience,” Hinojosa said. “From being the worst team in the Big 12 to finishing third in the nation my second year, to my third year and winning the Big 12 tournament — it was a blast.”
Signing on with the Giants is one step closer to reaching the Majors, but Hinojosa said he knows he still has a long journey to get there, and he is taking Texas’ values with him.