I spoke with now former Ole Miss pitcher Bobby Wahl yesterday.
He signed with the Oakland A’s organization almost two weeks ago. There was some confusion the night that news of his signing broke. Through Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco Wahl quickly denied that news, but it had the look of a signing that was imminent and in fact did occur the next day.
Wahl talks about the window of time here and talks a little about sliding to the fifth round.
Wahl is working out in Phoenix and awaiting assignment. He’s pitched three bullpen sessions but hasn’t pitched in a game yet.
(There was some confusion about when you signed. What was going on there?)
“It was weird. I’ve been in Arizona for a while now. I had to get my physical, get all my X-rays and make sure I’m healthy.
“I hadn’t signed anything at the time. I saw the tweet, and people were asking me questions and all that. It really started on Twitter. I saw that, and I was kind of confused. I hadn’t signed my name anywhere at the time, and I didn’t want people thinking I didn’t tell anybody before I did, especially coach. He was one of the first people I wanted to know. I didn’t want him to see that and think that I never told him or something like that.
“It was confusing, but we worked something out, and the next day it was done.”
(At that time, though, was the signing pretty much going to happen?)
“I was pretty confident, and the deal was pretty much done. I just didn’t want something to be said that hadn’t happened yet. Nothing had happened at that time. It was kind of frustrating, but we were over it pretty quick.”
(Have you gotten feedback on why you slid to the fifth round?)
“There were a couple of things said to me. I can’t really comment on too much right now. There were a couple of things that a lot of the organizations I guess saw and didn’t like. Everything worked out for the best. I have to trust in God and know that he has a plan for me. At the end of the day, I’m getting paid to play baseball. Being a professional athlete is a feeling that really hasn’t sunken in completely. It’s been my dream. There’s not too much I can complain about.”
(How much thought did you give to a return to Ole Miss?)
“I thought about coming back all the time. Ole Miss is my home, and I love it. It was probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. It took a lot out of me. It was hard to leave Oxford really. This has been one of my dreams, and I kind of had to start that dream. I’m at a point in my career where I’m a mature pitcher. I understand what it takes to get outs at a high level. I feel like I can do that and move quickly. It’s been my dream. It’s still a blessing. It’s still a great feeling to be drafted even if it was a little lower than expected. It’s still pretty cool.”
(What did the A’s see in you that made them want to pick you?)
“They were pretty surprised I was still in the fifth round. They were pretty happy about it. I”m in an organization that has confidence in me, really wants me to succeed and has a plan for me. It’s a great feeling. All I really wanted was an organization that had faith in me, knew that I was a winner and would go out and compete every day. To know that they saw that in me was all I could ask for.”
(Where do you need to improve your game?)
“Just being a better pitcher, trying not to overthrow, rare back and throw as hard as I can, get to where there’s not as much effort in my delivery. You have to improve in all facets of game. It’s tough. Being able to pitch in SEC for three years teaches you a lot and makes you grow up quick. Being at Ole Miss help me be ahead of the curve, I’m so grateful for the three years I had there.”