Jake Sommers selected in MLB Draft
Hortonville alum drafted by St. Louis
By Erik Buchinger
Hortonville High School graduate Jake Sommers described his selection by the St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB Draft as “a dream come true.”
Sommers went in the 10th round with pick No. 305, the second day of the draft on June 4.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’ve been dreaming about this since I was 4 years old,” Sommers said. “It’s a dream come true.”
Sommers said he met with 15 to 20 scouts from major league teams including the Cardinals while he pitched at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“It’s a process where you never know which teams are really interested in you,” Sommers said. “Sometimes guys get drafted by teams they never even talk to, so you never know.”
Sommers expected to go in the third day with a celebration planned with friends and family. The 10th-round selection on day two of the draft was a surprise, he said.
“I started getting calls and wasn’t expecting to get taken that day,” Sommers said. “I ended up going the second day, so my parents weren’t even home because it was during the day and everybody was working.”
Sommers was with his girlfriend when he found out he would be playing professional baseball.
“It was a good feeling,” Sommers said. “It’s one of those moments when it’s like, ‘Wow, is this really happening?’ I couldn’t sit still and it was crazy. Just surreal. It took a long time to even realize this was really happening.”
Sommers said he learned a lot from watching his brother Joe, who signed a contract with the Chicago Bears after the NFL Draft in 2016.
“Joe is a really big role model for me because the dude is just the hardest working person I’ve ever met,” Sommers said. “He showed me what it takes to be a professional athlete and had a huge impact on my work ethic and a big inspiration in my life. It was really cool for me to witness him live out his dream, and now I can have the chance to say I’m living my dream.”
Sommers graduated Hortonville High School in 2015. He is the second Polar Bear pitcher to be selected in the MLB Draft in the last three years. Caleb Boushley was selected by the San Diego Padres in 2017.
Sommers thanked his coaches, friends and family for getting him to the next step of his baseball career.
“All of my coaches over the years have been a huge help, whether it’s my college coaches, high school coaches and even my strength coaches,” Sommers said. “All my family and friends supported me, and that’s been the biggest help.”
About a week after the draft, Sommers flew to Florida to the Cardinals’ spring training facility for medical tests before going to Johnson City, Tennessee, where he is already playing rookie ball.
“I want to make it as far as I can,” Sommers said. “I want to work hard and see where it takes me, have fun and make it a good experience.”