Dylan Grogan’s athletic career at Stanfield Secondary School is nothing short of exceptional.
Specifically on the baseball diamond, Grogan leaves the Tigers as a two-time Eastern Oregon League Player of the Year, 2016 Class 3A state Player of the Year, two-time first team all-state selection, and leader of the 2016 state championship team.
Add in the numerous all-state mentions and league awards in football and basketball, and Grogan is perhaps one of the most decorated Stanfield athletes ever. But as Grogan sat down for an interview on the bleachers at Madigan Field recently, the 18-year-old said all of those accolades have not quite registered to him just yet.
“I don’t think it’ll hit me till later down the road, years from now,” Grogan joked, “because right now I’m probably humble about it. But when I’m old I’m sure it’ll hit me like ‘Yeah that’s pretty good.”
Now Grogan adds another accolade to his resume, as the East Oregonian/Hermiston Herald All-Area Baseball Player of the Year for the second straight time. After a dazzling 2016 season that saw Grogan set several school records and earn the honor as the state’s best, he followed it up in 2017 with yet another masterful performance.
“You always want to improve and beat what you did before, but the most important thing is I want to do what I can to win,” Grogan said. “I’m never too worried about my stats, honestly ... I think I had pretty good stats this year but I don’t think I’ve seen them. It was just a fun year.”
As Stanfield’s No. 3 hitter in the lineup, Grogan led the state semifinalist Tigers with a .488 batting average, smacked 17 extra-base hits, tallied 34 RBI and scored 52 runs. He also drew 19 walks and struck out just five times and put up a 1.295 On-base plus slugging percentage (for reference, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge leads Major League Baseball with a 1.141 OPS).
He didn’t pitch as much as he could due to some arm soreness through the middle part of the season, but he still overpowered opponents in 29 1/3 innings and put up a 0.95 ERA with 53 strikeouts and combined with Klay Jenson to pitch in two no-hitters. Over Grogan’s final eight appearances on the mound, he allowed a mere five hits and one earned run in 16 innings with 24 strikeouts.
His senior season didn’t end how he had hoped, though, as Grogan and the defending champion Tigers were stunned at home by St. Mary’s of Medford in the 3A semifinals. But after having time to look back on all that he and the Tigers were able to accomplish throughout the season, Grogan said that loss doesn’t sting as much as one might think.
“Of course it’s disappointing, but if you look at the bigger picture and what we’ve done just to get here, I think we’ve earned a lot of respect for this town,” he said. “It’s hard, really hard to go back-to-back because everyone is going harder at you. St. Mary’s got bounced in the semifinals last year and I know their seniors really wanted a ring, and I guess they just wanted it a bit more this year.”
Grogan will keep his focus on the baseball diamond as he moves away from Stanfield in the fall. He will play baseball at Yakima Valley Community College for one season — taking AP classes while at Stanfield took care of one year of credits already — and then set his sights on playing at the Division I level.
He received Division I interest from multiple schools throughout his senior year, even earning a partial scholarship offer from University of Portland. However, even with the partial scholarship the cost of attendance was still a bit too high for Grogan to jump at.
“I just chose Yakima because they give better opportunities for their players afterwards,” he said. “They send a lot of their kids to Division I schools so I thought it was my best choice to go there and get it done.”
Grogan has dreams of playing in the major leagues and hopes to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Quinton, another multi-talented athlete who went the baseball route in college and was selected in the 30th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Like Dylan, Quinton went to the junior college ranks first after he left Stanfield, first going to Blue Mountain Community College before moving on to Lewis-Clark State. And Dylan said that he has already had many conversations with his brother about the necessary steps to take to reach the professional levels, and he hopes he can use that as a big advantage.
“The main stuff he says is that the skills and physical abilities are there but the mental side will be the biggest struggle,” Grogan said. “It was his biggest problem because he’d have bad games or times where you’re not playing as much and you just have to fight through it and try to be the best you can be and don’t worry about anything else.”
With Yakima Valley CC playing in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) East Region, Grogan will venture back to Eastern Oregon sometime next spring with his team to play Blue Mountain in Pendleton. He mentioned he cannot wait until those two series’ with the Timberwolves because he’ll get to face Tiger teammates and friends Klay Jenson and Tony Flores, who will be playing for BMCC.
“I might peg Tony when he’s batting,” Grogan joked, with a big smile on his face, “And I hope Klay pitches against us. I just can’t wait to play them, it’ll be a fun time.”
Until then, Grogan will spend the remaining time of his summer enjoying some downtime with friends and time to focus solely on baseball. He admits that it will be weird not having to ramp up workouts and weight lifting for football this summer and in the fall, but he is looking forward to being a one-sport athlete now.
“I was always preparing for the next sport in high school and I fell like I’m going to be way better because now I only have to worry about baseball,” Grogan said. “Football this year I didn’t get my arm ready enough and that’s probably what made my arm hurt. But now I feel like I’ll be prepared more and I want to make the next level, I’m determined to do it.”
2017 ALL-EO BASEBALL
Player of the Year — Dylan Grogan, sr., Stanfield
● Dylan Grogan, sr., Stanfield — .488 avg., 34 RBI, 1.295 OPS -- 0.95 ERA, 53 K, EOL Co-Player of the Year.
● Austin Rice, sr., Irrigon — 1.53 ERA, 95 strikeouts -- .406 average, 11 doubles, 30 runs, 20 stolen bases, EOL Co-Player of the Year.
● Levi Thieme, sr., Pilot Rock — 2.38 ERA, 97 strikeouts, 1 no-hitter -- .464 avg., 21 RBI, 1st team all-state.
● Thyler Monkus, sr., Stanfield — .379 avg., .584 on-base percentage; 57 R, 31 SB, 1st team all-EOL.
● Ryan Bailey, sr., Stanfield — .451 avg., 30 RBI, 44 R, 10 doubles, 1st team all-EOL.
● Wyatt Morris, sr., Pendleton — .375 avg., 2 HR, 25 R, .505 OBP, 1st team all-CRC.
● Brody Woods, jr., Stanfield — .479 avg., 38 RBI, 12 2B, 5 3B; 1.44 ERA, 41 IP, 63 strikeouts, 1st team all-EOL.
● Tony Flores, sr., Stanfield — .434 avg., 46 R, 50 RBI, 15 2B -- 2.65 ERA, 1st team all-EOL.
● Nick Bower, jr., Pendleton — .316 avg., 1 HR, 25 RBI, .410 OBP, 1st team all-CRC.
● Wyatt Noland, soph., Hermiston — .370 avg., 14 R, 14 RBI, 4 doubles, 5 triples, 2nd team all-CRC.
● Chris Weinke, jr., Pilot Rock — .324 avg., 27 R, 4 HR, 2A/1A All-State honorable mention.
● Zack Henrichs, soph., Irrigon — .424 avg., 25 R, 26 RBI, 8 2B, 1st team all-EOL.
● Braydon Postma, sr., Pilot Rock — .486 avg., 21 R, 17 RBI, 2A/1A All-State 2nd team.
● Lukas Tolan, jr., Hermiston — 2.74 ERA, 41K -- .383 avg., 18 runs, 2nd team all-CRC.
● Daniel Naughton, jr., Pendleton — 4.67 ERA, 43 K -- .337 avg., 27 RBI, 2nd team all-CRC.
● Klay Jenson, sr., Stanfield — 2.12 ERA, 43 K, 1 no-hitter -- .312 avg., 31 RBI, 2nd team all-EOL.
● Slade Gritz, sr., Hermiston — .305 avg., 15 RBI, 1 HR, .379 OBP, 2nd team all-CRC.
● Kaden Caldwell, sr., Hermiston — .391 avg., 14 RBI, 10 R, honorable mention all-CRC.
● Brett Speed, jr., Weston-McEwen — .349 avg., 24 R, 23 RBI, 1 HR.
● Adrian Roa, jr., Irrigon — .377 avg., 31 runs, 24 RBI, 21 SB, 2nd team all-EOL.
● Shaw Jerome, jr., Pendleton — .322 avg., 20 RBI, 9 SB, 1st team all-CRC.
● Adrian Renner, jr., Stanfield — .342 avg., 33 runs, 19 SB, 1st team all-EOL.
● Joel Mendez, jr., Hermiston — .380 avg., 18 runs, 12 RBI, 1st team all-CRC.
● Hunter Barnes, sr., Stanfield — .395 avg., 33 RBI, 1 HR, 2nd team all-EOL.
● Caden Schwirse, jr., Hermiston — 4.84 ERA, 17 K, all-CRC Honorable Mention.
● Hunter Sater, sr., Weston-McEwen — 1.23 ERA, 30 K; .328 avg., 23 RBI.
● Bryson Pierce, jr., Pilot Rock — .416 avg., 2 HR, 17 RBI.
● Tanner Mills, jr., Irrigon — .373 avg., 19 RBI, honorable mention all-EOL.
● Nate Gumbert, jr., Irrigon — .377 avg., 17 RBI, 18 R, honorable mention all-EOL.
● Jesus Vela, jr., Mac-Hi — 2nd team all-Greater Oregon League.
● Seth Cranston, soph., Umatilla — 2nd team all-Eastern Oregon League.
● Justin Keeney, jr., Stanfield — .382 avg., 16 R, 12 RBI, honorable mention all-EOL.
● Tracker Denny, sr., Pilot Rock — .352 avg., 1 HR, 17 RBI.
● Austin Zaugg, sr., Pendleton — .315 avg., 10 R, 5 doubles, 2nd team all-CRC.
● Brendan Dearing, sr., Weston-McEwen — .408 avg., 29 R, 27 SB.
● Jordan Ramirez, soph., Hermiston — .369 avg., .434 OBP, 9 R, 6 RBI, 2nd team all-CRC.