Recently, I had the chance to talk with 33rd round draft pick Bryce Bush. Bryce is just 18 years old from the state of Michigan. He attended De La Salle Collegiate High School, where he and the rest of his Pilot teammates won a state championship his senior year. In 2017, Bryce broke the single-season home run record at De La Salle when he hit his 15th homer as a junior.
Bush was named Michigan’s Player of the Year before being drafted by the White Sox in the 33rd Round of this year’s draft. He turned down an offer to play D1 baseball with Mississippi State to sign with the Sox. Since being drafted, Bush has played for both the AZL White Sox and the Great Falls Voyagers, slashing a combined .309/.396/.453 with 3 HR and 18 RBI while playing 3B. Bryce was gracious enough to take some time to answer some of our questions so White Sox fans could get a better sense of the player and person he is.
At what age did you start playing baseball, and when did you think that you could make a career out of baseball?
I started swinging a bat when I was 3. When I was younger I was not allowed to play t-ball or coach pitch because I hit too hard. When I was 7 I played 9u with my first travel team and played up for a few years. I’ve realized I could have a career in baseball since I started playing.
You were drafted in the 33rd Round this past draft out of De La Salle High School in Michigan. Did you think you were going to be drafted at all? And, once you were drafted, what made you decide to sign with the White Sox instead of continuing your career into college at Mississippi State?
I knew for sure that I was going to get drafted. Just didn’t know the round. I decided to play professionally because the goal I had since I was a kid was to make it to the MLB. Choosing to play now gives me a head start and a step closer to achieving my goal, especially getting the professional instruction to help guide my way through making me a better player. I knew what I was getting myself into and had been preparing for this for a long long time.
I’m sure there are mixed emotions surrounding being drafted in the 33rd round – both excitement over getting drafted, but still feeling like you’re being overlooked. What were your emotions like when you received the call that you’d been drafted?
My emotions at the time were that this has to be some kind of a jest, but at the same time it was at least cool to even get drafted in the first place.
This past year, you were named Michigan’s Player of the Year. What are some of the most important lessons you learned during your time at De La Salle?
Some most important lessons that I have learned while being at De La Salle was to be and focus on yourself, though with love, respect, humbleness, & overall maturity. Not everything is going to go your way. You have to think about doing instead of trying to get the best consequence out of every situation.
Your high school team won a star championship last year. What were you feeling in that moment, as your team completed a double play to win the championship?
The feeling I had at that moment was not just excitement, but deep down I felt butterflies in my chest. I’m sure that was just my brain sending me signals letting me know how much I really love the sport.
What has your day-to-day life been like as a member of a professional organization? What sorts of challenges do you face?
Day to day life in a professional organization is not too challenging. Of course being away from home is a challenge. The most challenging thing I came across was managing my body. Everyday you have to workout, practice, then play a game afterwards. Somedays your body feels great, somedays you body feels worn down. But you have to stay in good shape to play so many games. Other than that the experience has been amazing. Also met a lot of very good friends/teammates.
There are many young players – many that are the same age as you – who look at you and find inspiration at the buzz you are creating in the Sox’ minor league farm system. What advice do you have for young players who are looking to make it to the same place you have?
Advice that I would like to give to players is to never say that you can’t do something. Have a mindset to where you are only thinking positively about an outcome. Negative thoughts can hurt you. Also don’t worry about not making special events or what anybody says about you in person or on social media. Use those rumors as motivation. No one knows you better than you. You know what you’re capable of. Don’t let gossip bring you down.
On behalf of the entire SoxOn35th crew, I’d like to take a moment to thank Bryce for taking some time out of his schedule to answer our questions. We as fans are certainly appreciative of the time he has given us.
As you can probably see through his answers, Bryce is an incredibly mature and passionate 18-year-old, which makes it even easier to root for his continued success. He is definitely a name to watch during Spring Training and throughout the 2019 season. The SoxOn35th crew will certainly be supporting him throughout his development. He is a talent to watch – one that had his high school coach Matt Cook raving:
In my coaching career he is the best hitter I have seen, plain and simple.”
-Matt Cook, De La Salle Coach
You can follow Bryce on Twitter – @ brycecbush
Featured Photo: @brycecbrush