Drew: Day Two

Drew Pomeranz leaned back in his chair in the athletics department at Ole Miss Tuesday. There was relief in his demeanor and expression as he looked relaxed, hands locked behind his head for a few seconds.

As he met with the local media contingent that regularly covers Ole Miss baseball for perhaps the last time in his college career, he admitted such.

"Lot of relief," said the highest draft pick ever at Ole Miss, going fifth overall to the Indians Monday night. "I was more anxious than anything. Not so much nervous. I pretty much knew how the first three picks were going to go. When they got to four and five, my heart started beating a little bit. I was thinking let's have this happen already."

Normally Mr. Cool, Calm and Collected, sometimes it appears his heart rate doesn't beat fast, even when he's on the mound. That he says it simply "started beating" and not racing is no surprise. One of Drew's attributes, in addition to being a superb athlete and pitcher, is his ability to remain cool, calm, and collected.

But it was harder Monday night than usual, he admitted. And it was clearly different than when he was drafted in the 12th round out of high school by the Rangers.

"Last time I was sitting in front of a computer. This time I had a TV (camera) in my face," he said, drawing laughter. "They did call me Thomas last time. They called me Drew this time. I didn't know which one they'd say. It kinda surprised me."

Drew drew more laughter. Relief. Comic relief.

He said he needed his cell phone when the time came for him to "get the call." But that was a problem, too.

Drew Pomeranz

"They wouldn't let me have it on set, because it was messing up their live deal," he said, the "set" being in the IPF at Ole Miss. "At the same time, I had to have it, if someone called and said will you sign for this or that. So I had it like behind me, because apparently it interrupted their live feed or something."

That it was the Indians who called wasn't that big of a surprise to him.

"They had been on me a little harder than some of the other teams," he said. "But I really had no idea. I thought it could have gone Royals or Indians. I felt pretty good about the Indians and knew that was about to happen. I didn't hear from them at all before the draft. I heard my name and I was like 'alright.' The local (Indians) area guy, Chuck Bartlett, called me like 10 minutes, 15 minutes after it happened to say congrats."

He said he doesn't know all that much about the Indians organization yet.

"I'm sure I can call up (former Reb outfielder with the Cleveland organization) Jordan Henry and ask him about that. He texted me last night and said congrats," Drew said.

He does like the fact that it appears to be an organization that could use some young pitchers.

"It's definitely a positive to go to a team where I could be up pretty quickly as opposed to one that would drag you through the system and had all these better players ahead of you, and you might not be up for a while or could be traded," he said, explaining the situation as he sees it. "I guess it's always good to have that and know you could possibly be up quicker."

Drew said playing professional baseball has always been his dream. But now that it's here, it's almost hard to fathom.

"It's always been my goal, but it's weird to think that it happened," he said, collecting his thoughts on how to explain it all just a day after it became a reality. "It almost seems like it didn't happen but did. You're thinking like ‘Hey did that just happen?' And you're like,'It really did.' It hasn't completely settled in yet. I guess it's still kinda growing on me."

Pomeranz as a freshman, Fall of 2007

His road to the pros led through college. Some kids go that route; some go straight from high school into the draft and on into professional baseball.

Whatever works is how Drew assesses it. For him, college was a key.

"I've actually been asked that question a lot (Tuesday), on a radio show and on a conference call talking to Cleveland people," he said concerning if college is the best route to go for a high school player. "It doesn't happen for everyone. Not everybody comes in and moves up and does better. I think I just quadrupled what I was offered in high school, which is always a positive."

More laughter from those assembled, and also with the reality of just how much this guy is about to make.

"It's definitely right for some people," Drew continued, talking about the college path. "I wouldn't blame the kids (for going pro) that get offered a lot of money (out of high school), like a huge number, because you're not necessarily guaranteed that again. For some people it's smarter to come to college, grow up, you realize you're not ready, and you get shelled your first fall in college. You just figure out more things and grow up as a person with three years in college."

Drew did. It's obvious. He admits it.

And he will miss it.

"The Regional last year, the Super Regional here. Traveling all the places. It's not going to be the same anymore," he said. "Guys that played here the last couple of years (say they) miss the atmosphere and being with the team you've been with for three years and 8,000 people in the stands. It's definitely going to be a lot different."

So might he stay and play one more year in college? That what he's suggesting?

"That's definitely one thought that hasn't crossed my mind," he said.

Yes, of course, more laughter.

For now he will take his relief to another venue and another sport, waiting to see how negotiations go and the outcome of it all, whenever that is.

"I'm just going to play golf and see what happens," he said. "I'll probably play golf every day. My golf game's probably going to get a lot better."

His baseball game, his pitching that is, is obviously already quite good.


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