History repeated itself again on Monday night as the Twins drafted Matt Wallner as the 39th pick of the MLB Draft.
As the story goes three years ago, Wallner just a senior in high school out of Forest Lake, Minnesota, just 25 minutes away from Minneapolis, received tickets to a Twins game one weekend. The same day the Twins had drafted Wallner in the 32nd round of the 2016 draft.
Three years later, the Twins selected Wallner as the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft.
“It’s definitely been a dream of mine growing up as a kid,” Wallner said. “I realized it a little bit when i got drafted as a senior but this one is kind of for real. I’m really excited to get going with it.”
Wallner described the moment when he got the call again from the Twins.
“It was like the 37th pick,” Wallner said. “I probably didn’t turn [the MLB Draft] on until 31 or 32 and then I got a call from my advisor and he asked me if I wanted to be a Twin and go back home. he got me pretty excited. Then I obviously found out at 39.”
Wallner is now the highest draft pick in Southern Miss history and the third player in the program’s history to be drafted by the Twins.
The 6’5 junior will go down as one of the most decorated Southern Miss baseball players in the school’s history. In his freshman year, he was named as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman Hitter of the Year, D1Baseball.com. Baseball America and named him Freshman of the Year as well as being named first-team All-American. In his sophomore year, he earned All-American honors again by the NCBWA and D1Baseball.com.
In his final season, the slugger tied Southern Miss’ single-season record for home runs at 23 while setting the career record for home runs at 58.
“There’s so much with Hattiesburg and Southern Miss that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Wallner said. It’s been three of the best years of my life. Lot of hard work and dedication has gone into this with help from all the coaches.”
Wallner said that the plan is for him to continue to play in the field rather than pitch.
The slot value for Wallner’s draft spot is listed at $1,906,800. Wallner said that the agreement salary of his contract was meant, but did not disclose how much it was.
Wallner will head to Minnesota for a physical and then work out the final details of his contract.