By CLAY CUNNINGHAM
Times Staff Reporter
The major league aspirations of a former Northview baseball standout came one step closer to fruition Wednesday, after he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox.
Brady Shoemaker, a 2005 graduate of Northview and two-year player at Indiana State University, was selected by the White Sox in the 19th round with the 583 pick of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Shoemaker expressed great excitement with his selection.
"I've been waiting my whole life for a chance to continue playing baseball," Shoemaker said. "(My hard work) has paid off and I'm happy for the opportunity."
Shoemaker is coming off a tremendous season at ISU in which he posted a .389 batting average and led the Sycamore in eight offensive categories, including home runs (14) and runs scored (65). Despite his accolades, Shoemaker said his draft selection came much sooner than he anticipated.
"I didn't even sit down and watch, so I wasn't really nervous," Shoemaker said.
The Major League Draft contains 50 rounds.
Shoemaker said he has spoken to several executives with the White Sox, and said they conducted themselves in a classy and professional manner. In addition to Chicago, he also generated interest from several other organizations, including Detroit, Baltimore, Texas, Colorado and Milwaukee.
Shoemaker didn't list any big league players as his influences, choosing rather to give credit to his parents, Brian and Lorrie, of Brazil, friends, teammates and coaches. His high school coach, Gary Witham said Shoemaker was always a hard working player and his drafting did not come as a surprise.
"Brady's always been a really hard worker," Witham said. "He's gotten progressively better and better and I am thrilled for him. I hope he does a good job (in Chicago), and I'm sure he will."
Though the transition from the amateur ranks to the pros seems difficult, Shoemaker won't be making it alone. Accompanying him through the White Sox Farm System will be Sycamore teammate Nick Ciolli (10th round selection) and Indiana University standout Joshua Phegley (1st round). These three played two years together on the Terre Haute Legion Post 346 squad. In their second year on the roster, Post 346 made it to the final round of the American Legion World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, eventually taking the runner-up position in the tournament.
Shoemaker said he had been in contact with Ciolli since they had both been drafted, and expressed excitement he would be going through the ranks with players he was familiar with.
"It'll be comforting to play with people I've played with before," Shoemaker said. "This is an awesome opportunity to play with them again."
Shoemaker said members of the White Sox organization would be contacting him in the next few days over how to proceed about signing a contract and where he will be sent.
He said he wasn't sure, but thought his first stop would be a summer developmental league run by the team. Regardless, just hours after his selection, Shoemaker still seemed a bit overwhelmed about what had transpired, and was still attempting to fully grasp the situation.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Shoemaker said of his drafting. "Maybe when I get out wherever they are sending me it will, but now it's sinking in."
Shoemaker's college stats
Olney Central JC
Indiana State University