The path to professional baseball for a lot of players is usually one with many obstacles to overcome. For former Sutter Union High School baseball player Brad Bonnenfant it was just that and more.
On Thursday, the three-time section champ with the Huskies was signed by the Kansas City Royals as an undrafted free-agent.
“It was kind of surreal at first. It didn’t really sink in until everyone started texting and calling me and then it hit me, oh I’m gonna be able to play some professional ball now,” said Bonnenfant.
The 2014 graduate of Sutter High made his way for Sacramento State out of high school, but ended up red-shirting. After an injury that hindered his efforts to find a spot with the Hornets, the relief pitcher found a spot at Sierra College for two years where he was named all-conference in the Big 8; pitching 26.1 innings with 38 strikeouts.
“I think if I could go back and give myself some advice my senior year of high school, it would be to just go straight to a junior college rather than getting caught up in a division one offer,” said Bonnenfant.
Once he made a name for himself at Sierra College he got picked up by the University of Nevada Reno where he made 10 appearances out of the pen his junior year holding an impressive ERA of 2.79.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Brad, he’s had plenty of challenges where he could have easily quit on becoming a professional ball player, but he didn’t. He stuck with it and I think it’s sort of in his DNA to be relentless in anything he does,” said Sutter baseball head coach Stewart Peterson.
During his time at Sutter, Bonnenfant was named first team all-state during his senior season, while hitting .413 with 13 home runs.
“My advice to all the Sutter players right now is to just keep with it. It’s a long road ahead, but if you work hard enough and do well in school the opportunities will present themselves,” said Bonnefant. “Another thing that I noticed I had to do was to sort of throw myself out there. I had to send my highlight tapes to over 50 coaches until I heard back from one, don’t be shy,” added the newly acquired Kansas City Royal.
Looking ahead at his future, Bonnenfant can’t wait to get to work knowing that not everyone gets the opportunity he has been given.
“I’m super excited to get to work. I’m very grateful that my last college baseball game won’t be my last ball game ever.”