With their pick in the 27th round of last year’s draft, the Chicago White Sox selected first baseman Tyler Osik out of the University of Central Florida. The now minor leaguer went on to split the start of his professional career between the Arizona Rookie League and later the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators. Due to the ongoing talk around next week’s draft and today being the anniversary of Osik’s selection, we thought it would be interesting to hear about his experience in his own words.
The following is written by Tyler Osik:
After I played my last college game at UCF, it was tough not making the NCAA tournament, particularly as a senior and not knowing if I would ever play another baseball game again. We had about two weeks off before the draft. I spent some time with my family as I had a pretty good idea that I would get an opportunity to play professionally and knew if I did, that I would be away from them all summer.
The three days of the draft for me was more of a stressful experience. As a senior, I knew that I wasn’t going on day one, but I met with pretty much every team leading up to the draft and a handful of then said there was a good chance I would go in rounds 5-10 on day two. As that didn’t happen, I was just hopeful I would get an opportunity to play, to be honest, and I didn’t really care where I got drafted. I just wanted a chance to show that I can compete at a high level.
I remember sitting out in the backyard with my family and after round 20 completed, I went inside kind of frustrated. I thought after the last three years of my college career, especially my last two seasons at UCF and how I did against that level of competition, that I had done enough to hear my name called by that point. My parents and sisters remained hopeful though. I remember my dad told me as I went inside, “Relax, you have done enough to get an opportunity. Somebody has to give you a shot.” I didn’t even watch the next few rounds and believe it or not, I started to think, “Damn, I might need to find a real job soon.”
Randomly, I saw a comment on one of my old pictures on Instagram from somebody I didn’t know saying, “congrats on getting drafted.” I still didn’t think I got drafted until I walked outside and my family was all happy and said, “you just got drafted” as they were still watching the draft tracker. It was cool to see everyone so happy for me when it happened, but for me, I was more relieved and felt like I was slept on slipping all the way to the 27th round. But it was cool that all the work paid off and I got a chance to show that I can play. That’s all I ever wanted.
After I got drafted, I flew out to Arizona to take a physical and sign a contract. I played the first half of the season in rookie ball in Arizona and the second half of the season in Kannapolis. It was the most fun that I’ve had playing baseball since I was a little kid. Everybody within the White Sox organization has been great. My teammates, coaches, and staff have been amazing and I love going to the ballpark everyday to get to work with them.
More recently, I spent the last two months working out back in the Orlando area and at UCF, where I went to college. Just staying active and doing some baseball stuff everyday. Just last week, I came home to Long Island to see my family and workout with my dad as we wait to see what happens with the minor league season.
I’m forever grateful for the White Sox and all of the opportunities they have given me so far to this point.
Featured Photo: Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports)/Twitter