Michael Miedzlanowski: It felt awesome. I was in the shower and my phone just kept blowing up and blowing up and my family and friends were telling me I was drafted. Then I looked at the laptop, saw my name, and it felt pretty good.
ITO: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Orioles?
Miedzlanowski: I think I am a blue collar athlete. I am quick and I have a strong arm. I can hit for power at times. I think I am a competitor. I take the game very serious.
iTO: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
Miedzlanowski: Definitely my arm strength and my speed. My weakness would be that I over train sometimes. I wear myself out. I play baseball all the time. I skipped my senior prom, my homecoming, my senior all-star game just to get work in to prepare myself for the workouts.
ITO: How about your defensive game?
Miedzlanowski: I am a speedy and quick shortstop. I cover alot of ground and have a good arm. I am working every pitch and every at-bat.
ITO: Do you know Manny Machado?
Miedzlanowski: Yea, I know him. He is about an hour from me. He is a pretty good ballplayer but I mean, I like competition so I am ready.
ITO: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Orioles' fans have an idea of what your game is like?
Miedzlanowski: Since I was a kid, I always admired Derek Jeter. Both on the field and off the field. The way he plays, but also the way he carries himself. I think I can become a Derek Jeter in the future maybe. I am definitely faster than most guys, but Derek Jeter is a guy I look up to. I also like Cal Ripken. I met him a few years ago. He was at a game that one of our pitchers threw a no-hitter and I made a few plays that saved the no-hitter and after the game he came up to my pitcher and me and congratulated us and signed a ball.
ITO: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Orioles or were you surprised they selected you?
Miedzlanowski: No, I thought either the Phillies, Orioles, or Braves would. I went to the Philies workout and did well but when I went to the Orioles one, it just felt right. I showed my best talent at that workout, I loved all the staff there.
ITO: Do you see yourself staying at the same position or do you think you'll be moved to another position?
Miedzlanowski: I think I will stay at short, but I am a versatile player. I can play outfield. I throw 94 MPH from the outfield. I can play second, third, wherever they need me to play, Ill play, but most of all I am a shortstop.
ITO: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
Miedzlanowski: Playing travel ball with the same group of kids since I was eight. The relationships that we have formed has been unthinkable. We won East Cobb wooden bat tournaments, we placed second in the Junior Olympics, and we have won alot of tournaments together since we have been kids. The relationships with the players and coaches is something I will have for the rest of my life.
Another memorable moment of mine has been playing for the Florida Diamond Pros. I started playing with them this fall. I got the exposure and experience of playing with Pudge Rodriquezs son Dereck Rodriquez , Rey Ordonezs son, Rey Ordonez Jr., and Ozzie Guilliens son. Coach Harold Vaca has always done a great job and he is actually the one who helped me get into college.
ITO: Who was your favorite team and player growing up?
Miedzlanowski: It has always been the Yankees and my younger brothers (a year younger) a big Red Sox fan so we have that rivalry.
ITO: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Orioles? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?
Miedzlanowski: My overall goal has been to play professional baseball. I want to be a professional baseball player but I am weighing my options. I am a bright student and my education is important to me. Overall, I want to play baseball whether it is in college or professionally.
- Michael has signed to play at Morton College in Chicago. They are a Junior College. However, since being drafted he has received several calls from Division 1 schools such as FAU, FIU, and High Point. *