In the third round of the 2021 MLB Draft, the Miami Marlins selected Jordan McCants from Pensacola Catholic (FL). Since that moment, the journey for McCants hasn’t been an easy one, but he is seeing improvements thus far in the 2023 season where he is now at Low-A for the first time in his career.
Currently slashing .247/.297/.310, McCants’ numbers don’t jump off the page, but he’s impacting almost every game in a positive way. The left-handed-hitting infielder has reached base safely in 33 of his 39 appearances this season. He has already established a new career high with 10 steals in 11 attempts.
“Just trying to slow the game down,” said McCants following the Hammerheads game on Saturday. “We’ve been battling and competing every day, so just trying to slow the game down and stick to my approach and just go out there and have fun.”
McCants described the 2022-23 offseason as “a mind opener” for him. “I reviewed the whole season last year. I was thinking what could I have done better and every situation or every aspect of the game, and I just basically drilled it in my mind—try to connect those dots and make it better this year and just keep on progressing and trying to stay as consistent as I can with baseball.”
Jordan turned 21 years old on Sunday. For as long as he can remember, Robinson Canó has been a player that he has looked up to.
“Robinson was my favorite player since I was a toddler,” said McCants. “I’ve been with him since the Yankees. I followed him to the Mariners, the Mets, the Padres, the Braves, everywhere, man.”
“He just slows the game down,” added McCants. “He’s smooth, he just makes the game look effortless and I try to go out there and do the same, make it look easy because it’s not easy at all.”
Like Canó, McCants’ main position for the FCL Marlins last season was second base. However, he’s getting a lot more reps at third for Jupiter (26 of his 39 starts this season).
McCants is from the city of Pensacola, Florida, which is where the Marlins Double-A affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, play. McCants participated in the team’s annual Fish Fest in January. He shared his love of the city and how much it would mean for him to wear that jersey in a game.
“When I got down here in spring training ball, I met a lot of guys that are on that affiliate team,” said McCants. “I just love those guys out there, man. They’re doing their thing. I’m happy for them and I was just telling somebody the other day about the 10-game win streak, and you know, those boys are just doing great...I’m telling everybody in Pensacola to go to the Wahoos games right now.”
There have been 25 MLB players to come out of Pensacola, according to Baseball-Reference, including 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson and 2016 World Series champion Addison Russell. Although McCants is still far away from joining that group, his development has been encouraging to see.