The draft is over and done with and the Brewers managed to get some exciting talent in their system. One such player is fifth round pick Nick Egnatuk. I was able to get in touch with the high school infielder for a quick talk about his draft experience and who he is as a baseball player.
Brad Ford: What was it like when you found out you got drafted?
Nick Egnatuk: It was crazy, man. I was actually getting a tattoo yesterday, so I was sitting in the tattoo chair, and then the call came in from my adviser. We were trying to listen to it on the phone, but we couldn’t really hear it, and then we got the call from Mike Serbalik. It was pretty surreal.
BF: So, that’s interesting. You have to tell the tattoo artist, “Hey, can we stop for a second, I need to get drafted by a Major League Baseball team.”
NE: When he first started going, I was like, “Just, so you know, I might have to take a break here and pick up the phone. He was like, “Why do you want to go on the phone when you’re getting a tattoo?” I told him “you’ll find out.”
BF: Normally you hear about players trying to watch online or through MLB Network, stressing while they have friends and family watching, so it’s nice that you got to go out and do it in a way where you were distracted at least a little bit.
NE: Right. I actually made the appointment probably about two months ago and didn’t even realize the draft was the 13th or 14th, the day came up and I was like, “Oh man, that’s the day of the draft.” It’s all good, it worked out.
BF: So what’s the tattoo of?
NE: It’s actually a bald eagle with an American flag around it.
BF: After you’re done getting the tattoo, how did you go out and celebrate?
NE: Well, I was supposed to play in the Senior All-Star Game in New Jersey yesterday, but I felt like there was no need to play because I didn’t want to get hurt. I showed up and said hi to everyone then went home and had my friends over, and we hung out for a little bit.
BF: Did you know the Brewers were one of the teams interested in you?
NE: Yes, there’s this team called the Area Code Team that I tried out for last summer and made it and one of the first scouts I connected with was Mike Serbalik. He was the area scout for the Brewers at the time. So I got very close with him over the summer, and then he became the regional scout, so he got us close with the new area scout. The Brewers have definitely been the team I have been most personally connected to out of all the teams that had an interest in me.
BF: What do you know about Milwaukee?
NE: Not much, to be honest with you. I was out probably not even a week ago at the pre-draft workout at Miller Park. I was only there for probably a day and a half, so I didn’t get to see much. All I know is that the stadium is pretty sick and that’s about it.
BF: Did you hit any out at the pre-draft workout?
NE: I think I maybe got one or two out. It’s a big park.
BF: So you played mostly shortstop in high school?
NE: That was just this year. The past three years I played third base, and then after last summer I kinda became a prospective draft prospect a bunch of scouts were telling me to play shortstop because it gives you more versatility.
BF: Where do you think you’re best suited when you make the move to pro ball?
NE: I think third base just because I’ve been playing there for so long. Just because it comes natural to me and I feel the most comfortable there.
BF: What’s your self-scouting report?
NE: For the field, I think my best attributes are soft hands, a strong arm, and good range. The thing I need to work on most are the mental aspects, knowing when to come get it and knowing when to stay back. You don’t want to take the extra step forward and play yourself into a bad hop.
Offensively, the biggest thing for me is the mechanical part of the swing. My biggest weakness is often knowing what pitchers are going to throw and hitting the ball where it’s thrown.
For me, it’s mostly the mental side. As I mature a little bit, over time it’s going to happen, it’ll be good.
BF: So what’s your best tool?
NE: Just my bat in general. I’m always putting the bat on the ball, ever since I was a kid, it’s always been my best tool. Honestly, right now my 60 time has gotten a lot better since the last few years. Freshman year I was probably just under 7, and now I’m at a 6.4, so with the 60 time going down, I’m not as worried about the power anymore. With a 60 time that quick, if I can just get base hits and steal bags, it’s just as good.
BF: Do you have a player you model yourself after?
NE: I really don’t, to be honest with you. It’s kinda funny, I don’t watch professional baseball really. I’m never just glued to the TV watching a baseball team. I’ll watch the World Series, but I just do what feels good to me. I don’t really try to see, ok, well Bryce Harper does this, so I’m going to try to do this. I want to do something because it feels good for me.
BF: When you have an off day, what can we find you doing?
NE: It depends on what time of the year it is. If it’s the summer, fishing definitely, by myself most of the times. Just relaxing and getting time to yourself. In the fall, probably hunting. I like to hunt, hunt a lot. I like to watch a lot of Netflix, too. I get glued to Prison Break.
BF: Anything else you want Brewers fans to know about you?
NE: No, I’m just really excited to be drafted by this organization. I’ll do what I can to get up to the big leagues to make an impact.