Waddell and his family watched the 2020 MLB Draft unfold Wednesday and Thursday, but the pro baseball career plans will have to wait for the current Georgia Tech baseball captain
By Chuck Gibson
LOVELAND, OH (June 10, 2020) — The 160th and final selection of the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft was announced near 11 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 11, 2020 without Luke Waddell’s name being called.
Luke Waddell showed range and a strong throwing arm at shortstop for Georgia Tech (Stock photo)
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets baseball shortstop and team captain predicted a “crazy couple of days” anticipating the five round MLB Draft that began Wednesday, June 10, and came to what had to be a disappointing end late Thursday, June 11, for the college junior. Waddell has been heralded for his athletic accomplishments in multiple sports, but his accomplishments on the baseball field have made him regarded as a top prospect for a future in Major League Baseball.
It was only a year ago he had a surprise of a different kind as a much larger MLB Draft unfolded. He was selected in the 32nd round by the Arizona Diamondbacks – there were only five rounds this year – and suddenly received congratulations via text from friends. It was completely unexpected and he was not ready to sign. After a strong summer season in 2019 with the National Team and a great start to a coronavirus-shortened junior season as shortstop and captain with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Waddell was prepared to be drafted, sign, and begin his development as a professional baseball player.
As he said before the draft got under way Wednesday: ““You never know what teams are going to do. You just kind of gotta wait and see.”
Waddell raised his stock with MLB while having a good season with the USA National Team during 2019 (Chuck Gibson)
We will all have to wait and see what is next for Luke Waddell. For now, he is home with his family here in Loveland. His hopes for being selected in the 2020 MLB Draft may have been dashed, but he remains in a good situation to continue his pursuit of a career in Major League Baseball. Due to the COVID-19 shortening of the 2020 college baseball season, the NCAA has ruled all players who lost that season will be granted an additional year of eligibility. That means Waddell is eligible to play two more college baseball seasons if he chooses. He also is on track to complete his degree studies. He expressed in an earlier conversation regarding the draft, but his own words hold true today.
“Hopefully I get put in a good situation,” he said then.
Waddell has proven himself an extraordinary competitor and gifted athlete. He’ll continue to work hard while here at home, working on weights, getting in the necessary hitting and throwing; taking ground balls and staying ready for whatever situation presents itself in his baseball future. A year ago, he was happy to see some other guys get drafted. No doubt he was happy for his two Georgia Tech teammates selected this year. Outfielders, Michael Guldberg (taken 98th overall by the Oakland A’s) and Baron Radcliff (taken 146th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies) were selected in the third and fifth rounds.
“I’m just hoping for the best,” said Waddell.
Here, in his hometown of Loveland, Ohio, we are all hoping for the best for him too.