Northwestern’s Zach Risedorf went through his senior season knowing he could be drafted. His teammates knew that as well, and jokingly called him “Big League.”
Now his teammates, and the rest of Connecticut, can call him something else: The Register State Player of the Year.
The senior catcher was eventually drafted 177th overall by the San Diego Padres after posting 33 hits, 31 runs, 19 RBIs and six home runs while batting .485. He led his team to the second round of the Class M state tournament. Risedorf said getting the award was an honor.
“There’s a lot of good players in the state I’ve played with and against, especially on (the Register All-State team),” he said.
Risedorf is the second straight Register State Player of the Year to get selected in the MLB Draft. Last year’s MVP, Masuk standout Tom Milone, was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays. Just like Milone, Risedorf opted to forego college at UConn to join a major league organization.
“I’ve dreamt about it ever since I was little,” Risedorf said. “To hear my name called on draft day was a feeling that I can’t replicate at all.”
Risedorf’s dream of playing professional baseball started to seem like a real possibility when he was 16 years old and in Miami for a showcase.
“I hit my first home run down there,” he said.
After sending the ball over the fence, impressing scouts and players alike, he knew he had a chance. He also knew a life consisting of mostly baseball isn’t half bad.
“I took a step back and said, ‘Wow, I think I can do this for a living,’” Risedorf said.
He had to get through his final high school season first, and Risedorf said it was a blast. He enjoyed playing with his Highlander teammates and said Northwestern has a bright future. He said his teammates were just as happy as he was when he got the call.
“They showed me a lot of love,” Risedorf said.
With high school now behind him, Risedorf begins play in the instructional league, hoping to get a few promotions and make good on the “Big League” nickname given to him by his teammates.