Indiana University outfielder Matt Gorski wasn’t projected to go in the first two rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft, but the Pittsburgh Pirates had a surprise in store.
The Pirates took the former Hamilton Southeastern High School standout with the 57th pick of the second round, the highest drafted player ever from HSE and seventh-highest ever from IU.
“It’s one of those things you dream about all your life and the dream came true,” Gorski said. “It was definitely a cool moment that I didn’t get to share with anybody since I was all by myself.”
Gorski got the call late in the evening June 3 on the first day of the draft. As IU’s season ended June 2 with a loss to host Louisville in an NCAA Regional, he had been packing up his Bloomington apartment and planning to go home to Fishers the next day.
“It was a little bittersweet because I wasn’t with my family that I was planning to be with when I heard the news,” he said.
Gorski will forego his senior season and recently signed with the Pirates for a reported $1 million signing bonus. The 6-foot-4 Gorski has been assigned to the Class A West Virginia Black Bears.
The Pirates were impressed with Gorski’s overall athleticism. He played soccer and baseball for Hamilton Southeastern. He was offered college opportunities in soccer but said he felt his future was in baseball.
“College would have been the stopping point for soccer,” he said.
Gorski batted .271 with 12 home runs and 18 stolen bases as a junior this past season. He hit .356 with eight homers as a sophomore, earning All-Big Ten First Team honors. He was then invited to play in the Cape Cod League.
“That’s when playing professional baseball seemed like a real possibility,” he said.
Gorski played first base his freshman season before moving to the outfield.
Under first-year head coach Jeff Mercer, the Hoosiers shifted their approach at the plate to concentrate on more power.
“We hit a bunch of home runs but struck out probably the most in college baseball,” Gorski said. “It’s give a little, take a little.”
Gorski said his main emphasis will be to work on boosting his batting average while maintaining power.
“I want to find the happy medium between the two to make myself the best player I can be,” Gorski said.