Three years ago, the timing wasn’t right for San Diego State junior outfielder / first baseman Brandon Meredith.
Meredith was selected in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 but turned down the big leagues and opted to join the San Diego State baseball team.
“I think I wasn’t ready to go,” Meredith said in an interview in April. “My maturity level wasn’t where it needed to be in order to be out on my own and compete with guys who are in the top in the world.”
Fast forward to this month, Meredith was selected by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the MLB draft last Tuesday.
Meredith, who batted .278 and was named second-team All-Mountain West Conference this past season, feels the timing is better now.
“It depends on what the offers are,” Meredith said. “But I’m most likely done at State.”
Meredith realizes he doesn’t have as many choices this time around.
“I don’t have as many options as when I was drafted out of high school,” Meredith said. “Back then I had the chance to play and learn from (SDSU baseball head coach) Tony Gwynn.”
Gwynn didn’t seem surprised when he spoke about Meredith being drafted.
He was quick to give praise to the player he has helped develop throughout the past three years.
“Brandon came in pretty established as a freshman,” Gwynn said. “He had a great three years here and matured as a player. We’re all thrilled he was drafted, he earned everything he got.”
Meredith’s numbers were down this year when compared with his first two seasons on campus, but he sees eye-to-eye with Gwynn on his growth.
“I’ve matured a lot,” Meredith said. “In baseball, as an individual and in all walks of life.”
When asked what advice he would give to his latest player to be selected in the MLB draft, Gwynn noted that work ethic is going to be key.
“The day you get drafted and the day after may be happy days,” Gwynn said. “But the objective is to make it to the big leagues. The work doesn’t stop on draft day.”
Going the extra mile to achieve a goal will be nothing new to Meredith.
Gwynn noted that Meredith shouldn’t struggle with the change in lifestyle.
“He’s a grinder,” Gwynn said. “Professional life won’t be difficult for him.”
As his time as an Aztec comes to a close, Meredith knows that his three years at school will help him in the long run.
“I’m going to take it as a learning experience,” Meredith said. “I grew as a baseball player.”