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BCB Interview: 46th-round RHP Jordan Wong

Jordan Wong represents his province.
Jordan Wong represents his province.
The Brewers took Alberta high schooler Jordan Wong late in the draft, leaving him with a tough decision to make. Sometimes it's even more interesting to talk to guys like him than the top picks, because I really enjoy getting some insight into what goes through the mind of a low-round pick when weighing his options. Some guys just want to play ball regardless of the salary, while others are less sure and more interested in security; Jordan Wong falls into the latter category. I talked to him the day after the draft; my apologies in not getting it out until now.

BCB: So, it's been a day since you were drafted--how are you feeling?

JW: I don't know. I'm taking it all in stride and keeping everything in perspective. It still hasn't really hit me yet.

BCB: Did you celebrate?

JW: Not yet. My parents are throwing a party this weekend for a kind of draft/birthday party.

BCB: Right, I saw that your birthday is in a couple days. Hell of a birthday present, huh?

JW: Yeah, it’s right up there in my list of best birthday presents. [laughs]

BCB: So what are your thoughts on signing?

JW: I don't really know yet. The Brewers are going to follow me through the summer, and I guess we'll see what happens from there.

BCB: Is there a scenario in which they'd like to sign you but you wouldn't sign?

JW: I'm not really sure. I want to play professional baseball eventually, but I guess we'll see what happens when an offer comes.

BCB: Do you have a specific dollar amount in mind?

JW: My parents and I still haven't decided on a specific dollar amount, but we all agree that it will have to include my schooling for when my career is over.

BCB: Do you have a strong opinion about whether college or pros would be better to develop your game for the next couple of years?

JW: The whole college experience intrigues me, and I think it would be good for my development, but I also hear that the best coaches are in professional baseball, so it's a tough call to make.

BCB: You’re what, 6'5", 185?

JW: Yeah.

BCB: It seems like a lot of tall, skinny pitchers especially go to college to bulk up a little bit and improve their pro prospects.

JW: That’s one of the things that I think would be better about the college route. I still have a lot of filling out to do and a lot of strength to gain, so I don't think that would be a terribly bad decision to go to school for a bit first.

BCB: How hard do you throw now?

JW: I’ve heard different things, but it doesn't really matter to me as long as I do my job and get outs.

BCB: What other pitches do you throw besides a fastball?

JW: Curveball and changeup. I'm trying to work on a two-seam fastball right now, too.

BCB: Which would you say is your best pitch?

JW: I think my curveball, because it’s usually my go-to strikeout pitch and I’m confident enough in it to throw it in any count. My changeup has developed a lot from last year, though, and has been really effective this year. My fastball has really increased a lot in velocity over the past year, too.

BCB: Have the Brewers been scouting you for awhile?

JW: I met Marty Lehn, the Brewers scout that drafted me, last year at a camp in Calgary, but they only really started scouting me this much lately I think.

BCB: They’re known for drafting an inordinate amount of Canadians. Are there other teams that have a strong presence up there? Probably the Blue Jays, right?

JW: Yeah, I think the Blue Jays drafted quite a few Canadians this year. The Phillies did, too. Baseball is starting to get a lot of recognition up here, with help from programs like Vauxhall and strong leagues like the Premier Leagues in BC and Ontario.

BCB: It seems like most players I see are either from BC or Ontario. Your high school is a hotbed in Alberta, though?

JW: We had four of our current players drafted this year, and two of our alumni also went. Our coach, Les McTavish, tries to recruit players from the smaller provinces that don't usually get as much exposure, like Saskatchewan and Manitoba or the Maritime provinces, so we get a lot of great talent from all over the place.

BCB: So, if you don't sign with the Brewers, where will you be off to?

JW: Right now I'm committed to Hill College in Texas, which is a two-year school. I'm in talks with a few four-year schools too right now, so we'll see what happens.

BCB: Would that decision hinge on whether you want to go back into the draft next year? The decision whether to go to a juco or a four-year school?

JW: Yeah, we'll see what kind of offers come in and decide from there. I wouldn't be against going to either a four-year or a two-year school.

BCB: It sounds like the actual education is pretty important to you too, unlike with some players.

JW: Yeah, my parents have always emphasized education and to have something to fall back on if baseball doesn't work out. They’ll support me in any decision I make, though, so they're not pressuring me to go either way.

BCB: What are you interested in studying?

JW: I was thinking either kinesiology or physiotherapy, so then I can stay around baseball or other sports after I'm done playing.

BCB: You’d like to be a trainer?

JW: Yeah, I think that's ideally what I’d like to do. My trainer here in Calgary, Doug Crashley, has a really good setup, and I think I would like to start something like he's got.

BCB: Well, it sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders. Obviously I'm a little biased as a Brewers fan, so I hope you’ll sign, but good luck in whatever you decide.

JW: Thank you very much. My parents raised me the right way.