Former Pacer Cooper Hummel drafted by Brewers
The catcher was picked in the 18th round and is already playing for Helena
To say its been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Cooper Hummel would be an understatement. The Lakeridge graduate recently finished his junior year at the University of Portland where he put up very strong numbers as the teams starting catcher.
Hummel batted .321 with five home runs and drove in 29 runs which was good enough to put him on the radar of major league scouts.
It has been a lifelong dream of Hummels to play professional baseball and he anxiously awaited the major league draft, hoping to hear his name and start the next phase of his career.
The first two days came and went and Hummel tried not to get down when he wasnt selected.
It was kind of frustrating because I saw a lot of catchers go off the board but I got a lot of calls that night from teams that were asking if I was still interested in signing, Hummel said.
But, on the third day of the draft, the Milwaukee Brewers plucked him in the 18th round. While being selected wasnt a huge surprise, going to the Brewers was.
I had a lot of attention from Seattle, the Dodgers and the Rays but (Milwaukie) was one of about 20 teams that had contacted me, Hummel said.
The call set off a flurry of activity for Hummel. After celebrating with his friends and family in Lake Oswego, he was suddenly negotiating a contract with the club and scrambling to pack as the team wanted him to start with its short season summer affiliate as soon as possible.
Within 12 hours, Hummel was on a plane bound for Montana to join up with the Helena Brewers and was quickly thrust into action at the professional level.
It was crazy. Im just excited for the opportunity. Playing pro ball is a dream, Hummel said.
Hummel has been a baseball junkie since he was a kid. He was a part of Lake Oswegos team that advanced to the Little League World Series, playing in front of thousands of fans in Williamsport for a squad that advanced out of pool play into the semifinals of the United States bracket.
In high school, Hummel blossomed into a collegiate prospect, displaying an impressive mix of power and keen batting eye with terrific defensive skills behind the plate.
Hummel became an important player in an emerging Lakeridge program and eventually went on to play for the Pilots, putting up strong numbers in his sophomore and junior seasons.
He finished the year as one of the top professional prospects in the state and was rewarded for his hard work by the Brewers.
Currently, Hummel is just a handful of games into his first minor league season and he is thoroughly enjoying the experience.
You hear a lot of horror stories about the minor leagues but its been great. They treat us like big-leaguers and the travel isnt too bad, Hummel said.
The season will wrap up in early September depending on the playoffs and Hummel then expects to return home to work out and potentially take some classes.
But he is ready for the potential long haul of a minor-league career. Hummel is excited to be a part of the organization and to see how far his skills can take him.
The Brewers have a history of developing strong catchers so Im just excited to see what happens, Hummel said.