|Born: October 13, 1970|
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
McConnell went to O'Gorman Catholic High School and played American Legion Baseball for Post #15 in Sioux Falls. Out of high school, he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round (449th overall) of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft, but he opted not to sign. He attended Creighton University, where he played college baseball for the Creighton Bluejays baseball team in the Missouri Valley Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I.
McConnell was named a unanimous College Baseball All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association, Baseball America, and Collegiate Baseball. That summer, he competed for the United States national baseball team in the Summer Olympics.
The Philadelphia Phillies drafted McConnell in the first round (13th overall) of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Phillies, receiving a $500,000 signing bonus. He played for the Phillies minor league organization until 1996.
- Preston, Mike (July 28, 1992). "U.S. survives second scare, Taiwan". The Sun.
- "TOP PICK MCCONNELL GETS $500,000 BONUS TO SIGN WITH TEAM". Philadelphia Inquirer. August 13, 1992. Retrieved 2019-05-21.