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Koenig thrilled for next opportunity
- Updated: June 14, 2015
Sam Koenig faced many adversities throughout his five years on the Milwaukee Panthers baseball squad. But, his determination and outstanding work ethic paid off in a big way recently, as the Los Angeles Angles selected the star outfielder in the 27th round of the MLB Draft.
It was a special moment for Koenig who battled injuries throughout his entire time at Milwaukee.
“I was hanging out at home and watching it [the draft] on the computer,” Koenig said. “I guess I was getting a little bit frustrated as every round went by, but it finally came and they called my name. Obviously it was a great feeling. I was really happy for my family too because they were excited as well.”
Koenig had the potential to be selected even higher in the draft, but his injury history and age (23 years old) didn’t help his cause.
“I was expecting to go sometime, it was really hard to know with my past with the injuries and me being a little older,” Koenig said. “I could have gone a lot sooner, but I’m just happy I got drafted to be honest.”
Following the draft, Koenig flew to Phoenix where he will be signing his professional contract on Monday morning before participating in workouts at the Angles facility in Arizona he said.
Although he will just be starting his pro career, playing in the major leagues is still the ultimate goal. Koenig said that in order to reach the majors, the key will be for him to just remain himself.
“Putting in the work everyday try to become the best player you can,” Koenig said regarding what he needs to do in order to eventually reach the majors. “You can’t try to change who you are. It’s going to be a long hard road, but hopefully I can make it someday.”
Besides Koenig, left-handed pitcher Justin Langley (Miami Marlins) and catcher Mitch Ghelfi (Milwaukee Brewers) were also drafted out of Milwaukee, while right-hander Gunnar Eastman was signed as a free agent by Toronto.
“It is awesome and definitely good for our program,” Koenig said regarding the amount of player drafted/signed into pro ball. “It is only going to make our program better. Hopefully we can go out there and represent our program the right way.
“It is definitely sweet for us to get this opportunity. I know not a lot of people can say that, so for the fact that we all come from Milwaukee is definitely a cool thing.”
Check out my feature article I did regarding Sam Koenig earlier in the year here.