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Interview with Toronto Blue Jays 2012 draftee, Grant Heyman

Interview with Toronto Blue Jays 2012 draftee, Grant Heyman

June 9, 2012

Grant Heyman was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th round (355th overall) out of Pittsford Sutherland High School

When Grant Heyman was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th round (355th overall) in this year’s MLB Draft, fans were immediately told that Heyman was a 6’4” 200lb left-handed outfielder from Pittsford Sutherland High School. Wanting more information behind the 355th overall draft pick, Heyman sat down with JaysProspects to discuss his journey and explain his story.

“My family and I were in the kitchen and had the computer hooked up to the television as we watched each pick announced from MLB.com.” Heyman said, discussing his experience getting drafted by the Blue Jays. “When the 11th round began, a couple teams called, including the Blue Jays, the Miami Marlins, the Boston Red Sox, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers. But the Blue Jays chose first.”

He added, “When I heard my name called by the Blue Jays it was unreal. The place erupted. It is something I will never ever forget.”

It’s evident that the Blue Jays are interested in Heyman as they wasted no time contacting him: “Toronto Blue Jays’ scout, Jamie Lehman, called me a mere ten minutes after I heard my name announced and he discussed the Blue Jays’ interest in me. It was really cool!” Heyman said.

Many wonder, however, if the Blue Jays’ interests will be enough, as it’s evident that this very talented prospect has had other interests, including his acceptance to the University of Miami. With that said, Heyman admitted that he is really looking forward to joining the Blue Jays.

“While my acceptance to the University of Miami will definitely play a factor due to the fact that it is one of better programs in the country, I’m really, really excited about signing and my parents are excited about it too.”

He added, “Signing with the Blue Jays is a really good possibility. I’m going to be meeting up with the Blue Jays’ GM on Friday to work out with them and meet some of the guys. I’m really looking forward to it.”

 

In his two seasons as the starting quarterback for his high school, Heyman led his team to a 16-3 record. (Photo credit: Grant Heyman)

Being a three-sport athlete in basketball, football and baseball, it was wondered why Heyman decided to pursue a professional sports career in baseball over his other sports. “I was all-state quarterback and named the best defensive player in basketball, but despite these kills, I know I have the most potential in baseball. If I focus solely on baseball, I know the sky is the limit for me!”

One can only imagine that Heyman is right, as the New Yorker put up incredible numbers throughout his entire high school career. In fact, in 2010, he held a .366 batting average, a 1,000 fielding percentage, scored 19 runs and drove in 21 RBIs. To make things even more impressive, he helped his high school team win its first ever State Championship, going 3-3 with two doubles and hit the game-cinching homerun. Reliving that moment, Heyman said: “My sophomore season was incredible and to be able to go 3-for-3 and hit the game winning championship homerun was amazing because I love to win and I am extremely competitive. To be able to it with all of my friends made it surreal and something I will never forget!”

This past season, Heyman also found tremendous success, batting .424 with five triples, three home runs and 17 RBIs. But despite his incredible offensive stats, he also displayed incredible defensive skills, maintaining a 1,000 fielding percentage in 2012, making only three errors during his entire high school career. But while his defensive skills are above-average, the young prospect modestly stated, “Like any part of my game, there is still room for improvement with my abilities in centre field. But every day I gave my 110 percent, running out there and using my athletic ability to make plays for my pitcher.”

The lefthander shows a great range in the outfield due in part to his incredible speed, which has also helped him lead his team the past two seasons in extra bases and steals. “There is no denying that my speed is a game changer,” Heyman replied when asked to discuss how speed helps his gameplay. “My five triples this season could have all been doubles, but I like to push the other team to make the play. I also put a lot of pressure on the the opposing team’s infield — if they don’t field the ball cleanly, I’m going to beat out the play. It puts a lot of presure on the defense and only benefits my team.”

Despite his strong defensive skills and his speed, Heyman further noted that while he prides himself on hit ability to provide power and speed from the left side of the plate, his true talents lie in his confidence. “I have some work to do, just like everyone else, but I know I can provide and I am really looking forward to my next opportunity,” he said.

But he isn’t the only one who is looking forward to his next opportunity, as Heyman admitted that he is incredibly thankful for the many individuals who have supported him and continue to support him throughout his journey to professional baseball. “It’s tough to thank any individuals in particular for helping me get as far as I have as no matter what I am sure someone is going to feel left out. With that said, everyone has gotten me to this point, my parents, my coaches, my school, everyone has been so supportive.”

“My school is presently going nuts. They are wearing Blue Jays gear, asking for autographs and truly supporting me! There are a thousand more Blue Jays fans in Rochester! It’s been so special to me and nearly impossible to put into words!”

Concluding the interview, JaysProspects asked Heyman if he could tell us something about himself that one may not find in the box score or scouting report. “My superstition is to not be superstitions.” He replied, explaining, “If I have a really good game, and by chance I think about something specific, for example, the socks I wore during my last good outing, I will purposely not wear those socks. Thus, my superstition is not to be superstitious!”

JaysProspects wishes Grant Heyman the best of luck in his future and thanks him kindly for his time.