Ashton Creal, a three sport athlete and graduate from Metea Valley is this week’s Where Are They Now spotlight, presented by Molly Maids of the Aurora Naperville Area.
Over the past few decades, the concept of high school three sport athlete is becoming a bit of a dying breed. What used to be a common practice to keep players in shape throughout the school year, has transitioned to many players focusing on one specific sport to compete in year round through club and travelling teams. The desire for student athletes to showcase skills in their strongest sport and concerns over potential injuries has caused the number of three sport competitors to dwindle.
But Metea Valley football, basketball and baseball was lucky enough to have a player like Ashton Creal, who despite his desire to play on the diamond at the next level, was more than willing to shine on the gridiron in the fall and on the basketball court in the winter.
Standing over six feet tall and one of the quickest players on grass, turf or hardwood, the former Mustang was one of the school’s top performers especially during his senior season. A deep threat for now Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne, Creal hauled in over twenty catches, four of them for touchdowns for MV in the fall of 2016. He then averaged over ten points per game from the guard spot, slipping past opponents on the way to the hoop.
In the spring, Creal set the tone for the Metea baseball lineup as the leadoff man by hitting well over .300 and keeping opposing pitchers on edge as a base stealer.
Following his graduation, Ashton signed on to play at John A Logan college, one of the top junior college baseball programs in the country. Creal continued to refine his skills for the Volunteers, culminating with an All-Regional selection in 2019. That season the outfielder hit .387, had an on base percentage of .497 and stole 38 bases in 41 attempts. That caught the eye of Major League scouting departments and on June 9th, 2019, Ashton Creal was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 21st round of the MLB draft. Despite originally committing to continue his collegiate career at Division I Southeastern Louisiana, Creal instead chose to sign with the Reds and begin his professional career.
Assigned to the Arizona Reds in the Arizona League, the Aurora native hit .276 with a .406 on base percentage to go along with eight stolen bases. He led the team in walks, doubles and runs and finished 2nd in hits and stolen bases behind a player who somehow is named Fidel Castro.
As it stands right now, Ashton Creal is like the rest of us, hoping for the containment of the COVID-19 outbreak while eagerly awaiting the opportunity to continue his baseball career. Regardless of when baseball or any sport returns to action, this former Mustang has already given his alma matter a great sense of pride.
Check out other Where Are They Now stories in our Athlete Profiles!
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