Draft Day Revelations: A Discussion with Bartosic & Muhl
GW's 2017 draftees took the time to chat about their draft-day experience with GWsports.com
George Washington baseball alums Joey Bartosic and Eddie Muhl were both selected within hours of each other in the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft earlier this month. Bartosic went in the 19th round to the Colorado Rockies while Muhl was a 25th-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The former teammates took time out of their busy new lives to chat with GWsports.com about their draft-day experiences, their biggest takeaways from the student-athlete experience and what lies ahead.
Where were you when you were drafted and how did you find out? Were you aware this was a possibility heading into the day?
Bartosic: I had spoken with a handful of teams in the days leading up to the draft, so I knew I had a good chance to hear my name called. The night before I was picked I had spoken with the Rockies scout and had a really good conversation. When I actually got picked I was in the middle of texting Kevin Mahala about how nervous I was and I heard my parents start yelling so I figured someone must have taken me.
Muhl: I was at home with my family when I got drafted. I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and when I came back to my room my phone was blowing up with texts and calls congratulating me. I was aware that this was a possibility heading into the day but there's always a lot of skepticism until you actually get the call and see your name flash across the draft board.
What was your initial reaction like? First thoughts and impressions on being selected?
Bartosic: It wasn't until I was on the plane heading to Colorado that it first set in that I was on my way to playing pro ball. The moment I was drafted I was bombarded with calls from family, teammates and coaches so I never really got a chance to reflect in those first couple of days. I remember taking a deep breath and thinking, "Thank God this is over and now, when is Eddie going to get his name called?".
Muhl: My initial reaction was to run into the kitchen to tell my parents. After I told them we all hugged and my mom couldn't stop jumping up and down. It doesn't really sink in right away but the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to report and get back to work playing ball.
What is next? Have you been assigned a team or given any direction for the immediate future?
Bartosic: I am currently in Grand Junction, Colorado, playing for the Grand Junction Rockies in the Pioneer League. (Bartosic made his professional debut on June 21, going 1-for-4 from the leadoff spot and playing center field for the Rockies).
Muhl: I left California on June 22 for a physical and to sign my contract. I will report to the Bristol Pirates of the Appalachian League.
How would your evaluate your 2017 season and what were they key improvements you feel that you made that led to your selection?
Bartosic: I think that playing in the Cape Cod League gave me a good appreciation of what it took to get to the next level. This past year I really tried to focus on my plate discipline and try to rack up more walks than strikeouts. (Bartosic drew 24 walks compared to 18 strikeouts in 2017).
Muhl: In 2017 I didn't have the luxury of coming into the game in the 8th or 9th for a short stint very often. I was called upon earlier in ballgames and for longer outings which helped me adapt my routine to be ready to be called into the game at a moment's notice. Overall, my innings this year were practice in getting out of tough situations and keeping games close to give us a chance to win rather than shutting the door in the ninth.
How cool is it to see your teammate get drafted on the same day? Were you guys in touch with each other throughout the draft?
Bartosic: Eddie and I were in contact with each other almost hourly each of the three days of the draft. We kept talking about how stressful the process was and what teams had spoken with us. I didn't get a chance to talk with him as much once I got drafted and he was joking that once I got picked he turned off the lights in his room and went into a dark place to clear his mind until his name got called. I love Eddie and I can't wait to hopefully play against him down the road. I faced him once in the Cape Cod League and he got me out so I look forward to getting my revenge.
Muhl: It was amazing. When Joey got drafted I was thrilled. We were texting all day leading up to it so to see him get drafted in the 19th round got me fired up. We've been in the trenches together from freshman year to last summer in the Cape so I knew how much it meant to him to get picked up. Just an awesome experience all around.
Looking back on your time at GW - what are one or two big takeaways that you will carry with you into your professional career?
Bartosic: Coach Ritchie always stressed to us how important it is to cherish every time you lace up the cleats and it really hit me after the A-10 Championship that I might not play again. Now that I get to lace them up again I will really make a conscious effort to take in the experience and not take this opportunity for granted.
Muhl: My biggest takeaway from GW that I will carry into my professional career is the respect and love for the game and the people that you are lucky enough to play it with. As bad as he wants to win, Coach Ritchie always kept the game in perspective and used success and failure alike to teach, grow, and inspire us. Nothing changes being a professional player; the game has been good to me and I will continue to play it the right way.
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