POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Dexter Jordan didn’t waste any time making his professional dream official.
A little over a week after the Houston Astros selected the Pearl River second baseman in the 16thround of the MLB Draft, Jordan was on a plane bound for the team’s spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jordan knew all along he wanted to go pro and signed with the club Friday.
Jordan, who was an All-Region XXIII and All-MACJC selection after finishing among the nation’s leaders with 18 homers, said the whole process has been a whirlwind.
“It’s still unbelievable,” Jordan said Monday after the conclusion of his third practice in Astros gear. “It has kind of started to sink in. I was walking in the dugout yesterday thinking, wow, I’m playing pro ball.”
To prepare for his jump from the collegiate to pro ranks, Jordan said he reached out to a number of current pros, including Astros prospect Ronnie Dawson, Minnesota Twins prospect and former PRCC signee Willie Joe Garry Jr., and former Wildcat slugger Simon “Meaux” Landry, who’s in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
“I wanted to get an idea of what to expect,” Jordan said. “They all said you have to prepare yourself. It’s a different level of ball. Some days you’ll fail and some days you’ll succeed. It’s all about how you make it to the top.
“If you stay level headed and focused, you’ll go far.”
It didn’t take Jordan long to become immersed in the Astros’ culture once arriving at the Gulf Coast League Astros’ facility. Immediately after arriving, Jordan had a physical, underwent a number of strength and conditioning tests and practiced with the GCL affiliate.
Jordan said he took grounders at second base — where he starred at PRCC — and also got in some reps in the corner outfield spots.
“Wherever they want me to play, I’ll play for them,” Jordan said.
The GCL’s schedule isn’t posted online just yet, but Jordan said they’re scheduled to open their short season Monday.
After a lifetime of dreaming of this moment, Jordan’s anxious to make his professional debut.
“I’m really excited to see the pace of the game and get adapted to the new environment,” he said.
Jordan burst onto the NJCAA scene this past year as a freshman. The second baseman’s .649 slugging percentage and 66 RBIs were tops on the Wildcats. He also boasted a .284 batting average and .389 on-base percentage.
Jordan credited PRCC coach Michael Avalon and his assistant coaches Drew LaBounty and Anthony Izzio for more than just his quick transition to college ball.
“Pearl River is a great school,” he said. “If anybody asks, I have to recommend Pearl River because not only do the coaches make you a better ballplayer, but also a better man and student.”