Sometimes, in polite conversation, folks will say “I’m doing good” when they’re not really doing good.
When asked how he was doing Friday night at the start of a phone interview, Pittsburg State pitcher Matt Stalcup said “Doing really, really well.”
There’s no doubt Stalcup was doing good, no just making polite conversation.
Of course, this was just a hour after Stalcup found out he was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 281st pick (Round 9) of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He might be doing really, really well for a long while.
“Words can’t describe the way I’m feeling right now,” Stalcup said. “This is definitely the best moment of my life.”
At home in Wellington, Stalcup spent his Friday watching and listening to the draft coverage on MLB.com. His father, Bill, was home all day and his mother, Given, made it home before the big moment Stalcup received his phone call from the Athletics.
Stalcup had been rated top draft prospect No. 406 by Baseball America, thus it may have been a little surprising he went in Round 9.
“Some teams hinted at late in the 10th but nothing was made definite,” Stalcup said. “I waited patiently and got a phone call. Now, it’s history.”
Each year, for the NFL Draft, for example, ESPN takes its cameras within the homes of a top prospect and we’ll see their reactions throughout the day. Stalcup was asked what it was like when he found out he got drafted.
“I had a few jumps,” Stalcup said. “I hugged my dad and I hugged my mom pretty tight.”
Stalcup, who played two seasons for the Gorillas, joins pitcher Scott Beach (Pittsburgh Pirates, 1995), pitcher Travis Shaffer (New York Mets, 1992), catcher Steve Eagen (Boston Red Sox, 1966 and 1967), catcher David Ross (New York Yankees, 1966) and pitcher Kerry Compton (New York Yankees, 1965) as PSU players selected in the MLB Draft.
This past season, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound left-hander posted a 7-4 record and 3.91 ERA for the 29-24 Gorillas, who made their first postseason appearance since 2004. No. 9 fanned 95 batters in 71 1/3 innings and over his two-year PSU career, Stalcup finished 14-10 with 187 strikeouts over 148 1/3 innings.
With those two seasons, Stalcup found himself tied for fifth in school history in both wins (14) and losses (10) and second in both career strikeouts (behind Brett Parsons’ 197, which he achieved over four seasons) and single-season strikeouts (113 by Parsons in 2002).
Stalcup broke the single-season (11.9) and career (11.4) strikeout ratio, as well as the single-game strikeout mark when he fanned 15 Central Oklahoma Broncho hitters over seven innings of a run-rule victory in Edmond. The previous record was 13, set by Shaffer in 1992 and Parsons in 2002.
“It’s just being able to replicate your motion every time,” Stalcup said in a feature written not long after his 15-strikeout performance. “That’s the hardest part. It took me a little while at the state of the season, changing my motion a little bit. We’ve been fixing some things and the last two starts, you can tell that I’ve been able to replicated my motion a lot more and my walks have been going down and my strikeouts have been going up. It’s working.”
Page 2 of 2 - Stalcup earned wins over nationally-ranked opponents Missouri Western and Central Missouri, the latter in the MIAA Tournament series Pitt State won 2-1.