Dream fulfilled: CAC's Remy signs with Cubs
Last Wednesday, in the 17th round of the 2017 MLB draft, Remy was at his home in the Denver suburbs when he got the news, with his mom, brother and sister by his side.
"I heard my name called with the Cubs. We were jumping for joy, crying, all that," Remy told PinalCentral by phone Wednesday as he was headed to Denver International Airport to fly to Phoenix.
Remy (pronounced Ream-ee) pitched two seasons at Central Arizona College. In 2017, his sophomore season, the right-hander finished 4-6 with a 3.28 ERA and struck out 90 in 85 innings. Before attending CAC, he pitched at Legend High School in Parker, Colorado.
He knew from a young age baseball was what he wanted to do.
Just a few minutes before Remy heard his name called in the draft, the Philadelphia Phillies called him and said they were going to take him in the 18th round. The Chicago Cubs beat them to the punch.
Although Remy admitted it would have been nice to be drafted by his hometown Colorado Rockies, he was ecstatic to be drafted by the defending World Series champions.
"Thankfully, a good franchise picked me up," he said. "They're the best organization in baseball."
Remy noticed the abundance of pitchers the Cubs took in this year's draft. It was the clear point of emphasis for an organization that's only weakness is a lack of young, impact arms.
He also learned a little about how the organization approaches development with its minor league players. He's been introduced to some of the team's coaches in the past by Steve McFarland, the Cubs area scout in Arizona who scouted him.
"They really are hands-on with their pitchers," said Remy, adding the Cubs place a higher emphasis than most on player development, something he appreciates.
At 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, Remy throws a fastball between 91-94 mph with a hard slider and a curveball. His changeup is still developing. He said his slider is the pitch he often goes to with two strikes, and it "misses bats." He's confident of throwing his curveball for a strike in any count.
But Remy knows there are talented players everywhere. It takes more than just throwing hard to be a professional baseball player.
He credits playing against the best competition at every stage of his life, going back to his earliest days of baseball when he lived in California. Ever since then, he's challenged himself by competing against players who were as good or better than him at every level.
It helps to be confident. Remy brings a bulldog mentality to the mound.
"I'm never going to back down from any hitter in any situation," he said.
Remy said dedication to the sport is also mandatory. When he was younger, there were times when he veered off track and lost focus, but his family helped him regain that focus.
When he arrived at CAC, head coach Anthony Gilich was a mentor who put Remy in the best position to succeed. Remy said Gilich helped him mature and grow as a player and as a man.
"I'd really like to thank coach Gilich," he said. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be in this situation right now."
CAC provided a great environment for Remy, who said he was surrounded by some very talented players. He added there wasn't much to do in Coolidge outside of two things: Goof off or get serious about baseball and his future. He chose the latter.
Remy had a scholarship to play baseball at New Mexico State, but it was an easy decision for him to chose the professional route once he was picked by the Cubs. As a 17th round pick, he could have decided to go to college and re-enter the draft next season with hopes of going higher.
For Remy, it didn't matter what round he was drafted; what was most important was whether the team that selected him offered a fair contract with the right salary.
"I got a respectful amount of money," he said, adding that was all he needed to feel comfortable with signing his three-year contract.
With the Cubs spring training facilities at Sloan Park in Mesa, Remy will settle in at the team hotel near the ballpark and begin his throwing program Monday. He estimated it will be two or three weeks before he sees live action in the Arizona League, a rookie league.
He's also used to the Arizona heat and isn't bothered by it.
"When you're getting paid to play baseball ... I'll go to Antarctica to play," he said.
The minor league season ends in early September, and Remy said his goal before the end of the season is to get some playing time at short-season A ball with the Eugene Emeralds in Oregon.
The 20-year-old Remy, who turns 21 on Aug. 20, said he feels good physically and can't wait to get started, meet his teammates and play some baseball.
"I'm nervous, anxious, excited," he said. "Trying to soak it all in."