Grant Hartwig closer to Mets dream after spurning medical school
PORT ST. LUCIE — When Grant Hartwig walked off the mound in a loss to Ball State on May 29, 2021, the Miami, Ohio right-hander thought his baseball career was over.
The Redhawks were not going to make the postseason and Hartwig’s college career was interrupted by Tommy John surgery in April 2018 that cost him all of 2019, after which the 2020 season was impacted by Covid.
“I was thinking I was done with baseball,” Hartwig said. “It seemed less and less possible that anything would happen.”
Hartwig said no scouts talked to him before the 2021 draft, so he wasn’t surprised he wasn’t taken.
“I loved playing in college and if that happened, I would be fine with it,” Hartwig said. “I made sure I cherish my senior year.”
The right-hander was so confident he was done with baseball that after pre-med and majoring in microbiology, Hartwig signed up for the MCAT, with the idea of applying to medical school the following year.
But just days after the 20-round MLB amateur draft ended, Hartwig got an unexpected call.
“The Mets reached out to me and I had never heard from them before,” Hartwig said.
And even though his mind told him he was fine with baseball, Hartwig quickly reconsidered.
“I was on the edge of whether to do it or not,” Hartwig said. “I invested five years trying to get into med school, studying hundreds and hundreds of hours. It’s hard to get away from it.”
But between the end of his college season and the Mets’ call, Hartwig had a realization.
“When I stopped playing, nothing was really filling that competitive void,” Hartwig said. “I wanted something more. The calling of the Mets made me do it. ”
General manager Billy Eppler said the Mets signed Hartwig based in part on an evaluation by area scout Chris Heidt.
“We saw elements in his game that interested us,” Eppler said. He was our target after the draft.
So instead of preparing for medical school, where Hartwig had intended to become an orthopedic surgeon—in part because of the importance of the elbow surgery that extended his own career—Hartwig signed with the Mets and ported him to finish. Sent to St. Lucie. the year
Last year, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Hartwig finished at Triple-A Syracuse and could be in play to pitch out of the bullpen in Queens at some point this season.
As for a possible medical career down the road, Hartwig, 25, said he’s locked in on pitching for now.
“When I was thinking about med school, I wanted to be able to help guys continue their careers and give back what was given to me,” Hartwig said. said “But whatever I’m doing, I’m really focused. And this is baseball now.
So far this spring, Hartwig has pitched two scoreless innings in a pair of Grapefruit League starts and his arm has impressed Buck Showalter as well as Eppler.
“He stands out at every level,” Eppler said. “Hitters will tell you if someone can pitch and hitters are telling us Grant Hartwig can pitch.”