The Chicago White Sox had a very successful 2017 MLB Draft, picking up a wide range of talented college players who fit many of the organization’s needs. In the first two rounds, the White Sox selected a pair of power bats, one of those being first baseman Gavin Sheets from Wake Forest University. The left-handed hitter had a strong senior season, hitting .317 with 21 home runs and 81 RBIs. The newest first baseman in the White Sox organization was kind enough to take some time and answer a few questions.
To start things off, at what age did you first begin playing baseball?
I started as soon as I could walk. I would swing a little plastic bat around the house.
Were there any other sports that you played growing up? If so, when did you realize that you wanted to stick to baseball?
I grew up loving all sports. I played golf, basketball, and football mainly. I realized heading into high school that I had a passion for baseball, and that’s when I became serious about making it a career.
You were drafted in 2014 by the Atlanta Braves. Was it a difficult decision for you to choose between going pro and playing baseball collegiately?
It was always a dream of mine to play in the ACC, so to get an opportunity to do that at a school like Wake Forest, it was going to take a lot to get me to sign a pro contract. The Braves were kind enough to draft me, but I think they knew that I was set on going to college as well.
After spending four years at Wake Forest and playing for such a great baseball program, what is one of your favorite memories that you have as a Demon Deacon? Also, is there anything in particular that you will miss the most?
Hosting our first regional and playing in front of that crowd was something that I will never forget. And I’m definitely going to miss the brotherhood that you have in college both on and off that field. That relationship with your teammates is only something you find in college.
Now let’s transition over to the 2017 MLB Draft. You were selected in the second round, with the 49th overall pick, by the Chicago White Sox. What was that moment like when you learned you were drafted?
Bittersweet, just getting knocked out in the super regional 15 minutes prior. But I was super excited about being apart of the White Sox organization and thankful for the opportunity to chase my dream.
Since being drafted, did you have a chance to speak with any of the Major League players?
I did not, but everyone that I have met so far, coaches and players, have been awesome. It is a first class organization.
Just recently, you began your assignment in the Arizona League and now Kannapolis. How does it feel to finally get started within the organization?
It’s exciting to begin the journey that I’ve dreamed of as a kid.
Is there any part of your game that you would like to improve?
I want to continue to improve on the power aspect, but most importantly, improve at every area of my game.
Your father, Larry Sheets, was a former Major League player. Has he given you any advice?
Yes, he has just told me to be myself and don’t try to change the person and player that I am. Keep doing what has gotten me to this point and don’t try to change.
That’s great. Lastly, if you could meet one player past or present, who would you choose and why?
Ken Griffey Jr., in my opinion, the greatest player of all time. I loved the way he played the game and he was one of the reasons why I fell in love with the game.
We would like to thank Gavin for taking part in this interview for Sox On 35th. White Sox fans can follow him on Twitter (@cleansheets24) and Instagram (@gsheets24). Also, be sure to follow the Kannapolis Intimidators (@Intimidators) for updates on Gavin Sheets and other White Sox prospects.