Buckingham, Browne & Nichols outfielder Rhett Wiseman took a phone call this afternoon from the Chicago Cubs, letting the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year know they were taking him with their selection in the 25th round of today's final day of the Major League Baseball Draft, and there was little time to celebrate. The Mansfield resident was getting ready for a prom tonight in Waltham.
Then again, maybe there is some time.
"That's going to be my draft party -- that's a pretty good celebration, all my friends around," Wiseman laughed. "When everyone shows up, I'll just say, 'Oh, you got dressed up too?'"
Heading into this week's amateur draft, Wiseman was projected to come off the board in the first round -- some scouting services had even made late first-round projections. But with the new draft rules enacted under the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, someone in Wiseman's situation was going to be less attractive as a top-round pick. Hours before the draft, Wiseman told ESPNBoston.com he would be honoring his commitment to Vanderbilt University unless he was taken in the first 40 spots.
"I'm honored, it is extremely humbling," Wiseman said of getting selected. "I'm glad my name was called, there's definitely a little bit of pressure off now, with all of the projections and stuff the past few months. I had no problem with not going at all, but it's definitely nice to have your name called, definitely."
Asked if where he went in the draft was humbling at all, Wiseman countered, "I think it's humbling any time you see your name called in the draft -- whether that's the first round or 40th round. To know someone thinks that highly of you to choose you in any pick is really nice."
Wiseman will be heading to Vandy in the fall, with no regrets, but happy with the team that selected him. The Cubs were among a number of National League teams showing heavy interest in Wiseman, whose bat speed and foot speed are considered natural fits for the Senior Circuit. While he didn't meet with general manager Theo Epstein, he got a chance to meet plenty of folks in the organization, all of whom impressed him with their professionalism.
"I was genuinely impressed with everyone in that organization," he said. "Every single person I met was just awesome. It was a very, very impressive staff. I have nothing but unbelievable things to say about the Chicago Cubs. If there was one team I was exposed to the most, it was definitely the Cubs."