CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia Black Bears pitcher, and Ontario, Canada native, Mitch Bratt was selected early in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday.
Bratt was the first player from the Black Bears selected in this year’s draft.
“It was extremely exciting. It was something that I’ve worked really hard to do. And, moving away from home four months ago I believe, it’s just been a work in progress up until this point, and we’ll continue to do so. It was just a rush of extreme happiness, and a bunch of different emotions.”Mitchell Bratt, Black Bears left-handed pitcher
Bratt says that the draft process happened so quickly that he actually didn’t get a phone call from the Rangers organization prior to being selected. Instead, he and his advisor spoke with the team via text in the moments leading up to Bratt hearing his name called in the fifth round.
“It was very short on time. He didn’t have enough time to call me, because it was so last minute that they wanted to take me,” said Bratt. “So, he just texted me and said ‘Would this number be good?’ And I was like yeah, let’s do it. And then I look up at the TV and saw my name called. So it was a cool experience.”
The 134th overall pick added that things, such as where in the draft he was possibly going to be selected, what teams were in play to draft him, and the pick value that he was taken at, all went into the decision making process of choosing whether or not to sign with the club that would take him, or stick with his commitment to Florida State.
Being selected with the second pick of the fifth round of the draft gave Bratt and his family the answer.
“That fifth round draft pick is going to be the option that I’m going to take,” Bratt said.
Bratt, a Canadian, isn’t overly familiar with the Rangers organization, growing up over 1,400 miles north of Arlington, where the Rangers play. But he does have connections with the team.
Bratt’s previously played in Riders Field, the home of the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate, the Frisco Roughriders.
Black Bears hitting coach, Mike Weatherford, was also previously in Texas’ minor league system, and Bratt says that he has been talking to Weatherford about the Rangers.
Bratt says that he’s gotten used to being away from his home in Canada in recent years, having played a lot of baseball in the United States.
But for as long as he’s with the Rangers’ organization his home will either be in North Carolina or Texas, depending on which minor league affiliate he’s assigned.