Two Division I schools, a junior college and finally two seasons at a Division II program in Florida wasn’t exactly the plan.
But Greg Brodzinski says he wouldn’t change a thing.
“It’s been a crazy ride,” he said.
A 2010 Bishop Eustace Prep graduate, Brodzinski’s goal was to put himself in the best position possible to one day get a shot at professional baseball. That shot came Wednesday afternoon.
A catcher, Brodzinski was selected by the Phillies in the 18th round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. He was No. 534 overall.
“Last year was kind of the start of everything for me. I started hearing interest from some teams and got my name out there,” said Brodzinski, a Washington Township resident. “I’m fortunate enough to get this opportunity with the Phillies.
“It’s always been a dream. I was really shocked when it happened. I was excited more than anything and I couldn’t be happier. The Phillies have been my favorite team my whole life. To be a part of the organization will be awesome.”
Brodzinski was a freshman on the University of South Carolina’s 2011 national championship team, playing in 10 games. But looking to get more playing time, he transferred to Coastal Carolina.
He had to sit a year after transferring but did practice with the team. After going back for the first semester the following year, the coach that recruited him left the program.
Brodzinski re-evaluated his situation and transferred to Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“I got the experience of playing on a national championship team, which was awesome,” he said. “But my whole goal was to set myself up where I could get to the pro level and get drafted.
“The coach that recruited me at Coastal Carolina left, so I had to feel things out. If I transferred, I had to go to a junior college. I went to Kirkwood for a semester and played a decent amount, I was catching every day. From there, I decided to go to Barry. I went from the coldest place to the hottest, but I knew the Sunshine State Conference was great baseball and it had a ton of players drafted.”
Brodzinski finally found a home. He batted .308 with 40 RBIs as a redshirt junior and came back this past season to hit .321 with 13 doubles, five homers and 46 RBIs.
“The Phillies started to show interest last year, but it was my first full year after redshirting,” he said. “At Barry, I got every opportunity to succeed.
“I wouldn’t change anything that happened in my college career,” he said. “There were tons of people who helped me out through the hard times and helped me along the way. It was a great experience and I went on a journey around the country that led to my ultimate goal.”
Kevin Minnick; (856) 486-2424; email@example.com
SOUTH JERSEY DRAFT SELECTIONS
• Brett Kennedy, Atlantic City : A right-hander, Kennedy was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 11th round (327 overall). He recently completed his junior season at Fordham.
• Cody Stashak, Oakcrest : A right-hander, Stashak was taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round (380 overall). He just completed his junior season at St. John’s.
• Tyler Phillips, Bishop Eustace : A right-hander who just finished his high school career. Phillips was taken in the 16th round (534 overall) by the Texas Rangers and was the first high school player from the region selected.
• Greg Brodzinski, Bishop Eustace : A catcher who played his last two college seasons at Barry University, Brodzinski was taken by the Phillies in the 18th round (534 overall).
• Aaron Cox, Millville : This right-hander was taken by the Los Angeles Angels in the 19th round (585 overall). Cox wrapped up his junior season at Gannon University.
• Kevin Walsh, Sterling : The Phillies took a shot on this righty in the 21st round (624 overall). He finished his senior season at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
• Ed Charlton, St. Augustine : An outfielder who wrapped up his senior season at NJIT, Charlton was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the 23rd round (685 overall).
• Joseph Zanghi, Cumberland County College : A native of Milford, Conn., Zanghi was taken by the Reds in the 24th round (715 overall). He was selected as a right-hander.
•Andrew Miller, Sterling: A senior left-hander, Miller was selected by the New York Yankees in the 34th round (1,023 overall). He’s commited to the University of Maryland and was the second high school player taken from the region.