February 4, 2009 - American Association (AA) - Lincoln Saltdogs
LINCOLN, NE - The Lincoln Saltdogs announced Wednesday that the contract of catcher Shawn McGill has been purchased by the Chicago Cubs organization. McGill will report to the Cubs\' spring training facilities in Mesa, Arizona later this month.
McGill, who will turn 25 at the end of February, took over as Lincoln\'s starting catcher in late May and went on to post an outstanding 2008 season. The Rhode Island native hit .299 with nine home runs and 43 RBI on the year. His nine homers tied him for the active team lead, and he led the team outright in triples (six) and times hit by pitch (16). Shawn ranked second on the squad in RBI and walks as well. McGill also showed versatility in the field, appearing as an outfielder in 18 games. After the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in independent minor-league baseball, as well as the top American Association prospect and the top independent catching prospect.
"First and foremost, Shawn is an outstanding young man," said Saltdogs general manager Tim Utrup. "He was a great teammate in the clubhouse and on the field, and he developed an exceptional relationship with our pitching staff. 2008 was his first chance as a professional to play every day, and he certainly made the most of it. We couldn\'t be prouder of him, and we think the Cubs are getting someone who\'s going to have a long, successful career in baseball."
McGill was named the American Association Batter of the Week for July 14-20, going 10-for-15 (.667) in five games with three home runs and eight RBI. He was named as Lincoln\'s "Max Muscle Max Performer of the Game" nine times during the season, more than any other Saltdog. At the end of the season, the fans voted him as the 2008 Lincoln Saltdogs Rookie of the Year.
Shawn began his professional career with the Philadelphia Phillies organization in 2006, after being drafted out of Boston College. Thanks in part to injury, only appeared in 27 minor-league games over parts of two seasons before the Phillies released him in 2007. Shawn stayed healthy in 2008, appearing in 86 of Lincoln\'s 95 games.
McGill becomes the third member of Lincoln\'s 2008 squad to join a major-league organization, joining shortstop Anthony Contreras and pitcher Jason Jarvis. In all, 21 different Saltdogs players have been acquired by a major-league organization since the inception of the Lincoln franchise in 2001. McGill is also the second Saltdogs catcher in the team\'s eight-year history to be picked up by the Cubs organization, along with Kevin Sullivan.