The sports world suffered a huge sucker punch in the middle of March when it received news that it would be shutting down for what we all ‘thought’ would be a two-week hiatus, but here we are. Sports-less and what’s more, looking for the promise, the hope, the flicker.
We aren’t the only ones who feel this way, athletes all over the world are grappling with whether they return to their field in what remains of 2020. Even the baseball draft has been cut down to five rounds. The dream of being drafted isn’t dead for all players, though. One in particular, has a very bright future and is expected to go in the top ten, of said draft.
With the June 10th 1st round of the MLB Draft inching closer, signs point to #Gophers pitcher Max Meyer (Woodbury HS) not falling past the #Rockies at 9. He surely could go higher too. He’s tracking toward being the highest Minnesotan drafted since Joe Mauer went 1:1 in 2001.— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) May 20, 2020
Minnesota’s own Max Meyer is that player. The young star has caught the eye of many scouts, but that’s not a new thing, Max has been a star on the rise since his attendance at Woodbury High School. Of his four years spent in St. Paul’s eastern suburb, he was a starter for three of them.
His arm was on fire and at 16 and 17 years old, his fastball was clocked at 92 MPH and his change-up, at just 78-80 MPH. His arm, hard work and tenacity back then let people in the baseball world know that he was going to be something special.
He was ranked No. 2 locally and No. 114 by Prep Baseball Report in 2017. That year, he would be drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 34th Round of the Amateur Draft and even when that monumental event happened – he wasn’t at home waiting patiently… he was at the mall with his friends and informed by his parents when he got home. His humility is one that is second to none.
When he entered the U of M as a freshman, he weighed 165 pounds. He built that up to 180 by his Sophomore year and the 15 pounds of additional muscle showed immediately By 2020, his velocity would hit triple digits at 100 and 101 MPH.
His fastball tickles 100 mph 🔥— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) February 28, 2020
His slider may be the best in the country.
He’s a two-way preseason All-American.
And currently has MLB scouts buzzing.
Meet @GopherBaseball star Max Meyer: https://t.co/ajJDto6Yea pic.twitter.com/u6g0LRFcg5
With the 2020 baseball year cut short, he was already on his way up to beat all the records he had previously set not only for himself, but for the team as well. He has accomplished every goal possible while playing for the Gophers. While his senior year did not end the way he wanted it to, he certainly has a lot to look forward to.
When you look up Max Meyer in Google, his name populates with no less than 5 articles naming him in a mock draft in the top ten. The Gophers haven’t had a player drafted in the first round since 1990 when Dan Wilson would go to the Cincinnati Reds 7th overall.
The last time we had a Minnesota native go in the first round, was 2001 when the Twins grabbed Joe Mauer was with the #1 pick overall. Don’t get too excited though, Meyer has too much potential to even last until the Twins selection at 27 and honestly, shouldn’t be stuck here. We have a homer problem and it was evident in this past football draft. Even I am guilty of thinking we need to “keep the Gophers home”. We love our kids, so why let them go? Because there are other teams, other programs that need the craft of our players.
We are single handedly, in 2020, putting the University of Minnesota on the MAP! From Rowing the Boat to major bowl games and throwing heat on the baseball field…. The University of Minnesota has a LOT to offer athletes, even beyond athletics!
Our programs are shaped by people who care not only about the athlete on the field, but off the field as well. John Anderson, the head coach of the baseball team puts the academic priority of his students far above the needs of the field. His philosophy has been that he is preparing students for the, “next 50 years of their lives”…sound familiar?
We aren’t just building athletes, we are building men, we are building future productive members of society and people are starting to see it. It may not be as flashy, or as spendy as the SEC, or the ACC, but what we don’t have in flash or fancy, we have in academia, pride and morality.
Just another day in the great state of Minnesota. We wish Max all the best in the June draft, and look forward to seeing him chase his MLB dream.
Sherry Cerny | Minnesota Sports Fan