Brandon Woodruff Drafted In 5th Round

Mississippi State baseball signee Brandon Woodruff, who was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 5th round of the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday, gives his thoughts about being picked in the draft, playing pro ball and playing college ball.

After the first round was over with Monday, what were you thinking about the Major League Baseball Draft going into day two?
Brandon Woodruff - "I thought that I would go (Tuesday) because they were projecting me to be drafted between the two through five rounds."

Did you watch the draft on the internet?
"Yes sir, I did. I spent the night with Tanner (Gaines) last night. And he and I went golfing this morning. When I got back to his house I turned it on. It was about 11:30 and the draft had already started. I think it had gotten through round two when he, my girl friend Jonie Green, and I went to lunch. When we got back I was walking up to the computer and I heard them say my ID number and then they said Woodruff, Brandon. So I went to the computer and they started talking about me."

What was it like seeing and hearing them talk about you?
"It was pretty cool. Coming from a small town you never expect to get drafted and being on tv, so it was pretty cool."

After you were drafted, who called you from the Texas Rangers?
"It was Jeff Woods, the area scout for the Rangers. When I saw my name come up and they started talking about me he called me. He told me that they were calling to tell me that they had picked me."

Did you expect to be drafted by the Rangers?
"Yes sir. The Rangers and the (Kansas City) Royals stayed with me. But (Jeff Woods) called me today and told me that if nobody else drafts me before them then they were going to draft me. They were just going to pick the right round. So, I pretty much knew if Kansas City hadn't called before the draft began today, then I knew the Rangers were going to take me sometime."

The 5th round is a fairly high round. But it's a round where you may not get the type money that you may want. Did the Rangers talk to you about possibly drafting you in the 5th round?
"Yes sir, they did. They told me they knew that I want to go to school. (Jeff) told me they drafted me pretty high for someone that will be pretty tough to sign because of wanting to go to college. He said he thinks they can work with me to get me to sign."

Have you told the teams how much bonus money you want to sign?
"No sir, I haven't. I just told them that it will probably have to be life-changing money. That was about it. They pretty much know I will have to get a lot of money for me to go pro."

Life-changing money can vary. What if you get on the low end of that type money?
"I don't know. I will have to sit down and think about that. You have to pay taxes and include that. And that is about 40% of what you will get. So, you have to look into things like that to see how much you will end up with."

It sounds like you have really looked into all aspects of this?
"Yes sir, we have been doing a lot of research."

Do you feel good about both of your options - going to college or going pro?
"Yes sir, I do. Not many kids get the opportunity to go pro or go to college and end up playing in the SEC. Either way I go will be a win-win."

Considering you have done a lot of research, how does the number of college players, especially SEC players, being drafted early affect your decision?
"I saw where a bunch of kids who were drafted out of college weren't previously drafted in high school and they were being drafted in the first round. I saw a bunch of kids like that in the first and second rounds who went to college who weren't previously drafted. And a bunch of those kids were SEC kids. That says a lot about the conference."

You mentioned college and you mentioned the SEC. Specially, what are your thoughts about Mississippi State and possibly playing your college ball there?
"I have always wanted to play there. It's always been my dream, ever since I began to walk. I have always been a State fan. And now they are getting on the winning track; they just made it to a Super Regional. That says good things about the program and its future. I'm really excited about that."

As of this moment, which way do you feel you are leaning - college ball or pro ball?
"I'm not really sure. Until they come in and start negotiating I can't really say at this point."

Have you talked to any of the Mississippi State coaches since you were drafted?
"I have. Coach (Lane) Burroughs sent me a message right after the pick happened, then he called me about 5 minutes later. He congratulated me. Then I talked to Coach (John) Cohen and Coach (Butch) Thompson."

What did they say to you?
"They said to enjoy this day and the moment because it is a good day but he also they would love for me to come on down to Mississippi State and play. He said to make the decision that makes me happy."

Weren't you drafted as a pitcher?
"Yes sir, but the Rangers have come to my school and watched me hit. They said they would give me a chance to try and develop as a hitter. If that doesn't work out, they know I can always pitch. They were going to try and let me do both."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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