Path to the Draft: Rodgers' letter to Rockies fans
Over the past four months, MLB.com followed top high school prospect Brendan Rodgers through the process of being a top-of-the-Draft candidate. Rodgers was selected No. 3 overall by the Colorado Rockies and officially signed his contract on Wednesday afternoon. Before setting out for the start of his professional career, he took time to pen this letter to Rockies fans.
Let me start by telling all of you how excited I am to be a part of the Rockies organization. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and my family. I look forward to playing hard every day and helping my team win along the way. This is what I have been waiting for my whole life.
I'm still trying to get my head around everything that happened on Draft night. The three best words to describe the experience are nervous, anxious and excited. I was honored to be a part of everything Major League Baseball had set up for us, anxious to hear my name called and nervous about which team would call my name. I tried to take my mind off it as much as possible but it was definitely in the back of my mind.
In the days before the Draft, I walked around NYC with family and friends, went to the driving range, and ate some really good food. That allowed me to think less about Draft day and let it take care of itself. I was hoping everything would work out, and it did. I couldn't be happier.
When I heard my name called, the best feeling was embracing my mom and dad. I got choked up a little bit, and they did too. I really can't compare it to anything I've ever felt. That was one of the greatest feelings and experiences of my life. I'll never get to relive that exact feeling again, but it was worth the wait and the effort I had to put in to get to that point.
Watching the Draft in previous years, seeing the guys there, that's where I wanted to be. Seeing all the jerseys, even kids I didn't know, gave me goosebumps when they put them on. It was all breathtaking. To be honest, I was in awe of the moment, when I walked up on that stage, I remember putting the jersey on, shaking the commissioner's hand, and then everything after was a blur. I don't remember the interview with Sam Ryan after. I was still in shock.
Like many kids, my dream was to one day be a professional baseball player. In school, when the teacher would ask what we wanted to be when we grew up, I would always write down "a baseball player." The greatest feeling is that your hard work was worth it. It paid off today. Signing that contract is another moment like hearing your name called.
I'm going to be playing for the Grand Junction Rockies in the Pioneer League. Tomorrow, I fly to Idaho to meet and work out with the team. They're away, so then I'll have my first bus ride, an eight-hour trip back to Grand Junction. I've never been looking forward to a long bus ride this much in my life.
I'm excited about learning more about the Rockies organization. I know it's a great organization, with one of my closest friends, Forrest Wall, having been drafted by them last year. It'll be great to have him sort of by my side, showing me the ropes and giving me tips. Hopefully, I can catch up to him so we can be playing side by side like we were when we were 11 and 12 years old.
To Rockies fans, I just want to say: I'm not going to let you down. I'm going to do my best to make you proud. I'll continue to work hard and give it my all.