BLOUNT COUNTY - Former Heritage High School Mountaineer pitcher Trevor Clifton may spend a lot of his time in his hometown in 2017.
Clifton, 21, was the Chicago Cubs minor league pitcher of the year in 2016 at High-A Myrtle Beach, and will more than likely pitch for the AA Tennessee Smokies.
"I'm hoping I'll be here," Clifton said, grinning. "Work from home. Just have home-cooked meals and stuff. I think that would be sweet."
Clifton said he's avidly followed his Chicago Cubs in the playoffs during October. Now that the Cubs have made the World Series for the first time since 1945, Clifton is excited that his dream of pitching in the World Series may be closer than ever.
"I've always wanted to pitch in Game 7 of the World Series ever since I was younger," Clifton said. "I always had that dream."
What sets the budding star from the others is a competitive edge, the inability to get rattled and a full arsenal of pitches.
"I don't think anyone's goal is to be a minor league pitcher," Clifton said. "I think when you're younger you think about being a big league pitcher. So that's my goal and I don't care how long it takes. Hopefully I'll be there sooner or later."
Heritage baseball coach Robbie Bennett has seen Trevor get better each year.
"I told him one time, I said 'I feel like you'll pitch in the bigs one day,'" Bennett said. "You just have that feeling about a kid and like I said he's got a legit shot of throwing. I told him the first inning he throws in major league baseball, I promise him I'll be right there. It doesn't matter when it is. I'll be right there."
Clifton may be a year or two away from the bigs. For now, he'll gladly work from home.
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