Neil Devlin "Catching Up" with Former Regis Jesuit Grad Max George


Neil Devlin
Senior Writer

Max George was just about astonished when asked about his Regis Jesuit days.

He graduated as an accomplished Raiders second baseman back in 2014.

“Has it really been that long?” George wondered.

It really has …. and forgive George because he has been busy chasing his dream of playing major-league baseball.

He was a sixth-round selection of his hometown Colorado Rockies in June of that year’s amateur draft after being an All-Colorado player three times, committing to Oregon State and being named Colorado’s Gatorade player of the year.

Of course, he said, the fact that the Rockies chose him affected his decision. How could it not?

“I thought it was a good and felt the most comfortable with the Rockies,” he said. “I knew some front-office guys who scouted me. The round and the money kind of helped. It was a win-win situation.”

George, now 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, first was with Grand Junction in the Pioneer League on the Rookie level. Then there was a move to Boise (Northwest League, Class A Short Season), followed by three seasons with Asheville (South Atlantic League, Class A Full Season, including a stint with the minors team). The past season, George was with the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League, Advanced A ball.

His play has been good and improved each season. He has shown some pop with 13 and 14 home runs the past two seasons, respectively, to go along with a combined 89 runs batted in. He has stolen as many as 30 bases. He also was recognized as the best second baseman in his most-recent league.

However, he said, ”all of my numbers are good except for average.”

He has batted a combined .237 in his pro career.

“You know, all of the pitching is obviously good,” George said. “Especially now-a-days, when guys throw 95-100 mph with nasty breaking stuff ... but the hardest thing for me is to have to be ready every single day. You play 140 games in 150 days and you can’t really take any days off. There’s not much of a mental break. I’m preparing myself for every single day.”

And that goes for feeling well or feeling poorly – he has to play.

“Physically, you don’t always feel great,” he said. “And it’s a long day. The biggest thing is after an Oh-for-4 day you have to come back and be ready to go. You have to understand that every day is a new day. And if you fail seven out of every 10 times, you’re a hall-of-famer.”

Really, he added, ”there’s nothing like baseball. You can be be going Oh-for-4 and playing second base or shortstop, and then you make an amazing play to save the game and you’re considered a hero of the game. There are just so many ways to affect a baseball game and not have it in the box score.”

A side benefit, he said, “is 50 percent of the guys are from Latin America or are Dominican or Venezuelan, so I’ve picked up some Spanish along the way. You get to know a different culture a little bit.”

For the next few months, George can be found working out at Elite Speed Sports Performance with former Raiders teammates David Peterson (in the New York Mets organization) and Reagan Todd (Rockies organization) as well as Rockies top starter Kyle Freeland.

And he’s confident he’s on the right path.

“I’ve always been a firm believer that everything kind of works out and happens for a reason,” George said.