When Brent Headrick graduated from Reed-Custer in 2016, the talented southpaw left Braidwood with an IHSA Class 2A State Championship and an IHSA Class 2A Player of the Year award and headed to Illinois State University.
After three years in a Redbirds uniform, Headrick’s next stop is professional baseball.
Headrick was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the ninth round of this month’s MLB Draft and signed his contract with the Twins last week. Before beginning his minor league career, Headrick caught up with the Daily Journal to discuss his time at Reed-Custer, his college career and the future that lies ahead.
What were you doing when you found out you were being drafted and what was your reaction?
I was at home with my family when I heard my name called. It was a great moment for everyone. I was very excited I was going to be a part of the Twins organization.
Was playing professional baseball always your career goal? Did you have a “backup” plan you were going to school for?
School was always a main priority, as was baseball. Playing baseball professionally was always a goal of mine, but I knew it was important to always have school as a backup plan in case it didn’t work out. I went to college and finished my degree in Business Administration. I chose business so I always could carry it into the baseball world.
When did you realize your childhood dream was a legitimate reality?
Ever since I came to college, getting drafted was something I thought about. It started to become a reality at the beginning of my junior year once major league teams started to contact me.
The MLB Draft process is different than other leagues, such as the NFL and NBA. For those who aren’t familiar, what is the process like for being scouted, talking with potential teams, etc., without having a “combine” such as football and basketball?
It is very similar to most drafts, just a lot more picks and decisions for teams to make. Mostly, scouts are all around the country watching baseball and trying to find the right players for their organization.
How often do you think back on your state championship run at Reed-Custer in 2016?
It was a lot of fun with my teammates and coaches, and it is something I always will remember.
Do you keep in contact with your coaches and former teammates?
Definitely. The friends I have made along the way will always be my friends. I talk to them all the time as we have created such a strong bond during the years. Also, every one of my coaches has helped me and played an important role in my career up to this point, and I look forward to staying in touch.
How familiar are you with Brian DuBois, another former Comet to make it to the big leagues?
When I was a junior in high school, Brian was my pitching coach and did a great job for our team.
What was your experience like of beating Louisville in the NCAA Tournament and coming so close to the College World Series? Editor’s note: The Redbirds defeated Louisville in the first round of NCAA regional action before falling to the Cardinals in the regional championship.
It was a great experience for us. No one believed we ever would be in that position as preseason polls had us finishing sixth in the conference. That added a little extra motivation for all of us. The new staff did a great job, and, as players, we all came together and realized we had something special. We had a lot of fun this year from beginning to end, and it was a step in the right direction for the program as a whole.
Did you give going back to school instead of signing with the Twins much thought?
ISU and Redbird baseball have been great to me for the past three years, but I felt as though this was the right time for me to go and live out my childhood dream of becoming a professional baseball player.
What was that feeling like of signing on the dotted line?
It was awesome. I am glad to be a part of an organization that has such great people who care a lot about you as a person and as a baseball player. I am looking forward to this journey and can not wait to see what the future holds.
A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.