Arizona Wildcats baseball players Kurt Heyer and Alex Mejia recently spoke to Redbird Rants following the announcement that the St. Louis Cardinals drafted them. The Wildcats are playing in this weekend’s College World Series and you can watch them this Friday at 9 PM ET against their fellow Cardinals draft pick James Ramsey and the Florida State Seminoles.
Alex and Kurt, thanks for joining Redbird Rants today. How are things treating you out in Tuscon after earning a spot in in the College World Series?
Alex Mejia: It’s going pretty good so far. We’re real excited.
Daniel Solzman: What’s the overall feeling been this week? You guys get drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and then earn a trip to the CWS?
Kurt Heyer: It’s a pretty good feeling especially when you have two players from the same team so to continue your careers as teammates again—it’s a pretty good feeling but we’re not really worried about that right now. We’re just worrying about moving the program to Omaha and hopefully winning a national championship.
Daniel Solzman: So last week, what goes through your head during the draft? When did you know that the Cardinals were interested in drafting you?
Alex Mejia: I actually got a call from a scout to kind of let me know…It’s kind of exciting. Everybody, juniors and seniors, they want to hear their names called out. Once your name gets called out, it’s really exciting. I’m kind of torn at the moment. That hour. I have to focus on the team—At the same time, we still have one goal in mind and that’s to win a national championship. I don’t want to let the guys try to think I’m thinking ahead of myself.
Daniel Solzman: I know you can’t talk with the Cardinals until after the season is over. How has Coach Lopez prepared you for the next level?
Kurt Heyer: He’s done a great job getting us mentally and physically prepared. A lot of life lessons about turning boys to men. He’s done a marvelous job with this last two years. I think we’re all ready to move forward to the next level. Hopefully, we can carry on his teachings and hopefully, spread them out there through the organization.
Daniel Solzman: Alex, what does it mean to be named as the PAC 12 Player of the Year as well as the Defensive Player of the Year especially after not being highly recruited out of high school?
It’s a cool honor but at the same time, I’m not focused on those accolades. I don’t take it for granted, either, because it’s about the outcome of the award. It’s just kind of…I’m really proud of myself for getting a chance. I spoke earlier to a couple of reporters that any of the guys on the team could have been up for the awards…Guys that just hard as I do….At least one of us got it.
Daniel Solzman: Kurt, what about you? You pitched a the most innings out of the entire country. 12-2 record, 2.03 ERA, 7 complete games, 3-time All-PAC-12. You have enough left in that arm?
Kurt Heyer: Yeah, I told the media a couple days ago that, at this point in the season, you can’t get tired. You can’t let it distract you. I’ve been used to this for a few years. I love the fact that they love putting pressure on me. Looking towards eating innings for this team, I’m looking forward to the best of my ability. If the situation calls that I reach another 9 innings later, I’m going to do it.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again, guys. Best of luck in Omaha.
Alex Mejia: Thank you very much.
Kurt Heyer: Take care.