With the 121st overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers selected college outfielder Joey Weimer from Cincinnati. Weimer received praise as a draft prospect for his raw power potential and plus-plus arm in the outfield and is viewed as somewhat of a project, but one who has tremendous upside potential if his development goes right. I had the chance to get to know Joey after the draft, and now you can too:
Brad Ford: Joey, what is it like getting drafted?
Joey Wiemer: It was surreal. It’s every kid’s dream come true. From the first time you put on a glove you want to play in the big leagues. I know I’ve put in a lot of work to get there, but just to get that opportunity, it meant the world.
BF: Who were you with and what was the reaction?
JW: I’ve got a really good group of friends and I was with my family, too. We were all together at my Uncle Joe’s. It was pretty stressful all day. Once you get that call, I can’t explain that feeling. I didn’t expect myself to cry, but I shed a couple tears. Just getting that weight of my shoulders and now I can get to work.
BF: Did you think fourth round was the place you’d be drafted?
JW: Yeah, fourth round was pretty much the expectation My advisor told me coming into it, it looked like third or fourth round. Once that fourth round got going in, I was getting a little stressed, but everything worked out.
BF: Did you know the Brewers were interested in you?
JW: I did. But it’s kind of funny because I talked to other teams that were far more involved. Then I got passed up by them with their third or fourth round pick, I just thought, “Woah, that’s not a good sign.”
BF: What did you know about Wisconsin before the draft?
JW: Wisconsin sports in general, I haven’t been the biggest fan, haha. I grew up a Lions fan, so I was never really a huge Packers fan. But I’ve heard nothing but great things about the fans and the fan base. I’m excited to get over there and get going. It’s been awesome, all the fans of the Brewers have been reaching out sayings, “We’re excited you’re a Brewer.” I’m excited to get going.
BF: What are your strengths as a player?
JW: I think my carrying tool is definitely my athleticism. I have a lot of refinements to make, but it’s just tapping into what I have. I know I have a great tool set that stands out among others. I’m kinda just perfecting myself as a player.
BF: What are you looking to accomplish at the plate?
JW: I just am looking to do damage. I’m not looking to hit the ball 500 feet every at bat, I just want to get a good pitch and do damage.
BF: You have a legendary leg kick that shows on all of your videos. You’ve talked about quieting that down. What sparked that change and how’s the progress going?
JW: It’s going really well. You can’t just go 100 to 0 with it, so it’s been a fine refinement of calming it down and getting more control in the load. I’m lowering it a little bit just so I’m more on time consistently. It’s going really well, you can see in BP because I haven’t gotten to hit live a ton, there’s more consistency with barrels.
BF: Was that something your coaches recommended or was that just something you knew had to change with your swing?
JW: It’s a mixture of both. I feel like I’ve done fairly well at the plate, but just knowing that you gotta get in your groove as a player. I think it’s something that will help in the future.
BF: You had a pretty good season playing in the Cape. What was it like in a place that you know is a showcase going against some of the best collegiate players in the country?
JW: That was awesome. I credit my success to a lot of different things. My host family was awesome, my team was great, playing for my coach is something everyone should get to experience. Even getting into a routine and getting to go out there and play every day against the best of the best.
BF: You’ve had a lot of success over there, what do you attribute that to?
JW: Really, it’s going in and treating every at-bat the same. I think that’s something important. The mental approach. Whether it’s a Friday night game at ECU or mid-week against lesser opponents, it all counts the same. It’s something I really took to hear out there.
BF: Is there a pro player that you model yourself after?
JW: It’s been a really cool comparison, but Hunter Pence is someone that I’ve watched since I was a kid. He’s just unorthodox and a really good athlete.
BF: Is it exciting that on draft night, they even mention that he’s a comp for you?
JW: Yeah, that was a really cool part. I feel like I started to get those comparisons as a kid. You know it kind of just happened, but it was a cool thing.
BF: Baseball’s a small world in a big country. Have you had the chance to meet any of the other players you were drafted with or players already in the system?
JW: Yes, so I actually have been hitting with Zavier Warren the last three weeks. We always talked about how great it’d be to land in the same spot.
BF: So what was that like when you found out he’s going to be your teammate?
JW: I called him that night and was like, “Yo, let’s get to work.” That was really cool.
BF: It’s plain to see you have 80-grade hair. What inspired you to grow the mullet?
JW: It started in high school. It was something my buddies and I always used to do as kind of a fun team thing. But, bad news, it’s gone.
BF: It’s gone!?
JW: Yep. I cut it off earlier this year. But I think I’m going to have to grow it back.
BF: How long did you grow it out before you cut it?
JW: It was probably a year and a couple months.
BF: If you weren’t becoming a pro baseball player, what job would you want?
JW: So, I’m an operation management major at UC, which is like logistics supply chain. So, just some sort of management job.
BF: Where can we find you on a day off?
JW: In the gym. I feel like that’s been a huge, huge part of my success as an athlete in general. The weight room has been awesome for me.
BF: If you have a day off, what’s your go-to show to binge watch?
JW: Um, it might sound weird, but I’m not really a big TV and movie guy. If I had to pick one, I like watching like Earth or documentaries about wildlife and stuff.
BF: Anything you want Brewers fans to know about you?
JW: I just think I’m going to fit in well there. Just with the initial blue collar, hard working vibe I get from Milwaukee, I think I’m going to fit in well.