OSHKOSH — Oshkosh West High School alum Ty Willman was hoping he’d be picked already. He waited through Thursday and Friday, the first ten rounds of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft without hearing his name. Willman needed some fresh air and took a break on a swing outside his house. The unwatched pot then boiled.
“My brother comes running outside and goes, ‘Tyler you just got drafted!” said Willman. “I was like, ‘yeah, right.'”
Willman was picked in the 12th round of the Draft, 372nd overall, by the Oakland Athletics after completing his junior season pitching at Western Illinois University.
“It’s been crazy,” said Willman. “This has been a dream of mine since I can remember. It’s a very surreal feeling.”
With a senior season left to possibly play, Willman could turn down the chance to join the A’s, return to school and hope to improve his draft stock next year; but he’s leaning towards going pro.
“If contract negotiations work out, I’m dead-set on going [to join the Athletics organization],” said Willman. “It’s been my dream and I feel like I’m mentally and physically ready to play at the next level.”
The 6’6, 190 pound righty was named First Team All-Summit League in 2014, coming in fourth in the conference with 63 strike outs over his team-best 83.2 innings pitched. The former Oshkosh West Wildcat says there has been an outpouring of support since he was picked from former teammates, friends and family.
“”I was at like 2% battery [on my phone],” said Willman.
Willman was the third person who played high school baseball in Wisconsin picked this year, following Alex McRae (New Berlin Eisenhower/Jacksonville University) to the Pirates in the 10th round and Jameson Henning (Janesville Craig/Western Illinois) to the Giants in the 12th round.