It all started to sink in for Freehold Township High School alum Liam Simon that his dreams of playing professional baseball were coming true as he was signing his contract with the San Francisco Giants organization on July 27 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“It really started to feel real after I put pen to paper and put on my practice journey,” Simon said in an interview. “I am super blessed to be a professional baseball player.”
Nine days earlier, Simon, a righthanded pitcher, was selected by the Giants with the 166th overall pick (fifth round) of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Simon was with his family at their Freehold home watching a live stream of the draft when he got the call he had been dreaming about since his days at Freehold Township High School.
His love of baseball began when he played T-ball in Freehold Township Little League. His professional aspirations came into view as a standout pitcher for the Patriots at the high school level.
Now, Simon has seen his baseball journey take him to the professional level. He said he is excited to start the next chapter of his career and said his goal is to reach the major leagues.
“It feels great,” Simon said. “It has been a long journey to get here, but I am thankful with how it all worked out. I am very happy to get to this point (in my career) and to be drafted by a great organization.”
Simon graduated from Freehold Township High School in 2019. He went on to pitch at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., for three years.
During his time with the Irish, Simon saw time as a starter and as a reliever. In 2022, he helped Notre Dame reach the NCAA College World Series.
As a junior, Simon was 2-1 with 4.99 ERA and 56 strikeouts. He made 16 appearances during the 2022 season (seven starts).
During the summers of 2020 and 2021, Simon pitched in the Cape Cod League for the Harwich Mariners.
Simon’s role in the Giants’ organization has yet to be determined. He said he has become more comfortable as a starter over the last year, but is ready for any role the Giants want him to attempt.
Simon is hoping to follow in the footsteps of another Freehold Township High School pitcher, Brad Brach, who played in the major leagues from 2011-21 with the San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
Being part of the Freehold community is something Simon said he holds close to his heart. It helped shape him into the person he is today and he is thankful for all the support he has received from the community in his journey to becoming a professional baseball player.
“It’s an honor to represent Freehold. Everybody has been super supportive of me and it’s really nice to have that support,” he said.
Colts Neck High School alum Anthony DeSclafani is a member of the San Francisco Giants. DeSclafani was 0-2 on the mound before announcing in early July he was done for the season and would undergo ankle surgery. He pitched 19 innings in 2022. DeSclafani is hoping to return at full strength in 2023.