Wildcats in the Pros

Andrew Jefferson

A 1998 Normal West graduate, Andrew was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2002 after an outstanding career at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State University).  He pitched several years in the minor leagues and now has earned 3 World Series rings as a MLB scout with the Giants’ organization.

 Nate Whitney

A 2000 Normal West graduate, Nate signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Padres in 2003 after completing 2 years at Kankakee Community College and a great career at Illinois State University.  He played outfield for several years in the minor leagues and has now earned his doctorate in physical therapy. Nate is currently a trainer for the Chicago Cubs in 2018.

Jordan Comadena

A 2004 Normal West graduate, Jordan signed a free agent contract in 2009 with the Houston Astros farm system after completing his collegiate career at Purdue University.  He spent most of the ’09 summer playing High A ball with the Lancaster, CA Astros.  Jordan spent 2010 playing for the Lexington Legends (Astros) and the 2011 Lancaster Astros. Jordan is currently living in West Lafayette, IN. After a brief stint as an assistant coach at Purdue University, Comadena was signed as the bullpen catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016.

Luke Stewart

A 2006 Normal West graduate, Luke was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2006 and chose to continue his career at the University of Georgia.  After 1 year, he transferred to University of Alabama-Birmingham and became the all-time homerun leader in only 3 seasons in Birmingham. Luke was again drafted–this time by the New York Mets in 2010.  Luke spent 2010 with the Kingsport Mets in the Rookie level Appalachian League and has started 2011 with the Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) of the Class A level New York-Pennsylvania League. Stewart is currently an assistant coach at Northern Illinois University.

Harold Riggins

A 2008 Normal West graduate, Harold was drafted in the 35th round by the Chicago White Sox but chose to continue his baseball career at North Carolina State University.  After playing three years at North Carolina State and earning the ACC Tournament MVP honor  in 2010, Harold was drafted again in 2011, this time in the 7th round by the Colorado Rockies.  He played his 1st professional season for the Casper Ghosts in the Rookie level Pioneer League and played for the Asheville Tourists in 2012 earning a spot in the Class A All Star Game and Home Run Derby. Harold hit 22 home runs for the Advanced A Modesto Nuts in 2013. In 2014, Harold was promoted to Tulsa and was named a member of the AA All Star team. Riggins was then traded to the Cincinnati Reds and finished the season with their A squad in Bakersfield, CA. During the winter of 2014, Harold was picked up by the Florida Marlins in the Rule 5 Draft. During 2015, Riggins spent the entire summer in Jupiter playing for the Marlins Class A team. Harold is now coaching travel baseball in Bloomington-Normal.

   Blake Brown

A 2009 Normal West graduate, Blake was drafted in the 47th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates but chose to continue his baseball career at the University of Missouri.  After his junior season, Blake was drafted again, this time in the 5th round by the Atlanta Braves.  Blake played parts of 3 seasons professionally in Danville, VA, Rome, GA, and Lynchburg, WV while hitting 22 professional home runs, 186 hits, and 40 stolen bases. Blake was released by the Braves in 2015 and spent 4 summers playing Independent baseball for the Gateway Grizzlies hitting 64 career home runs in the Frontier League.

Brock Stewart

A 2010 Normal West graduate, Brock was drafted by the New York Mets in the 40th round but chose to continue his baseball career at Illinois State University.  Brock had a strong freshman season but was injured during his sophomore year in 2012. After a solid junior and senior season, Stewart was drafted again–this time in the 5th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the summer of 2014, and completed his first year of pro ball in Ogden, Utah for the Raptors.  After his 1st season of pro ball, Brock was invited to the Instructional League in Arizona where all of the Dodgers top prospects attended.  Brock spent the summer of 2015 in the Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga, CA while striking out 148 in 135 innings. In 2016, Stewart made a meteoric rise from Class A, Class AA, Class AAA, and the big leagues all in the same season. He was honored at Dodger stadium as the Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the year in 2016. Brock made his debut in Milwaukee against the Brewers on June 29th, 2016. He picked up his first MLB victory on September 7th, 2016 in his 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Stewart has spent most of 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons on the LA Dodgers’ 40 man roster. Below is a video clip where you can listen to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully make the calls in Brock’s 8K performance against a potent Cubs lineup on August 28th. Go Stew!

Adam McGinnis

A 2013 Normal West graduate, Adam was signed as a free agent by the Chicago White Sox following his senior season as a Western Illinois Leatherneck in 2017. McGinnis was a finalist for the prestigious Johnny Bench Award, the top collegiate catcher in the country, during his final year as a Leatherneck. McGinnis spent 2017 playing for the White Sox’ rookie team in the Arizona League. After starting the season in Arizona again in 2018, McGinnis was promoted to play for the Great Fall Voyagers in Montana.

Reid Birlingmair

A 2015 Normal West graduate, Reid was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 28th round. After a stellar career on the mound for the University of Illinois-Chicago, Birlingmair chose to sign with the Athletics on his pursuit of his dream to play in the big leagues. During his first season of professional baseball, he began in the Arizona League and was promoted to the New York-Penn League to play for the Vermont Lake Monsters in the A’s Class A short season affiliate.

McCade Brown

A 2018 Normal West graduate, McCade was selected in the 3rd round (79th overall) of the 2021 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies.  During the 2021 Big Ten baseball season, McCade earned 2nd Team All-Conference honors for the Indiana Hoosier program.  Season highlights included a 16 strikeout performance against Penn State, and a combined no hitter against the Ilini – the first by an IU pitching staff since 1984.  McCade’s professional story is just starting to be written…..check back for updates as his story unfolds.