After a record-setting career on the mound for the East Paulding Raiders, Zack Wheeler was rewarded for all his hard work Tuesday night, June 9 when he was selected as the sixth overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft.
This has been a very fun, but also busy year for Wheeler, starting this past summer pitching at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the Aflac All-American Game as well as at Wrigley Field in Chicago for the Under Armour All-America Game.
Wheeler followed that up by leading East Paulding High School to the first Final Four in the history of high school baseball in Paulding County. Here’s what Wheeler had to say about draft night and his future as a San Francisco Giant.
Q: Congrats Zack on being drafted by the Giants. What’s San Francisco getting by drafting you with the sixth overall pick?
Zack Wheeler: I think they’re getting a hard worker, and somebody who wants to play. I’m happy to be a Giant.
Q: What do you expect will be your biggest adjustments going from the high school level of competition to the Minor and Major Leagues?
Zack Wheeler: The past two summers I’ve been playing with East Cobb, and that’s big competition. I think that’s helped me out a lot. You know, it is going to be a difference going up, but I think I’ll be able to adjust pretty fast.
Q: What are your impressions with some of the guys you’ve met and talked with in the Giants’ organization after you’ve been drafted?
Zack Wheeler: I’m happy they got me. They seemed relieved, as well as I am. They really can’t do anything right now, but they’ll be talking to me a little bit later on about everything.
Q: How do you think your performance in the playoffs this year, leading East Paulding to the Final Four, helped your draft stock?
Zack Wheeler: I think it helped out tremendously. I threw a no-hitter. There were a lot of scouts at the playoff games. It’s better competition, so they wanted to see that.
Q: With being the sixth pick, of course you’re going to get a nice little signing bonus. Do you have any idea what that first purchase might be with your first paycheck?
Zack Wheeler: Probably something for my parents and my family. They’ve been treating me well my whole life, so I’ve got to treat them good back.