RJ Yeager talks about going undrafted and signing with the Cardinals

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Mosley alum RJ Yeager is dealing with some raw emotion in the wake of the three day MLB Draft. Despite putting up terrific numbers at Mississippi State this past season, RJ went undrafted yet again. Then late Tuesday night he signed a free agent contract with the Cardinals organization, getting a $50,000 signing bonus. Remember last year, after a great career at Mercer, the same thing happened to him. He figured if he went and proved himself further in the SEC, the pro scouts would have to take notice. A .317 average, 18 homers and 56 RBI in Starkville made believers out of many, but not to the point he was taken through some 600 picks. Yeager telling me Wednesday morning he really felt he’d go in the latter part of day two of the draft.

“So I thought I had a shot to go in rounds 7, 8, 9 and 10. And I had a couple of calls that said you know, be ready, this might be your round, blah blah blah. And I guess you never know until it actually happens. So it was kind of disappointing on the second day. And ultimately yesterday, watched it at the house, thinking it could happen anytime. But it didn’t. Had a couple of calls but like I said, never pulled the trigger. Thankfully at the end of the day the Cardinals hooked me up, so I couldn’t be happier. "

Still RJ admits to feeling anger towards those making the decisions on who to draft.

“It was like wow, this is crazy. I’m really going to go undrafted. And sure enough it did man. It kind of like pissed me off for like a good minute. And the Cardinals even called me right after the draft, and they were offering me like whatever it was for a free agent deal. And at the time I was like man I’m going to have to think about it. I don’t know. Like I was so frustrated. You always here like it’s going to happen with the year I had. I thought it would definitely without a doubt happen.”

After cooling down, the Card’s called back and he agreed to a 50 thousand dollar signing bonus. RJ now getting set to head to Palm Beach and the team’s Single-A headquarters for a physical Friday. And once he gets his assignment, well let’s just say Yeager will be one of the most motivated prospects in minor league ball this summer!

“Yeah there’s no doubt about that. I’ve talked to a lot of people, and I feel like I’ve been doing this my whole life man. So it’s not a position I’m unfamiliar with. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder and it’s just going to fuel the fire I guess. But I’m ready to go, I’m ready to show them, ready to prove them wrong. And just keep doing what I’ve always done.”

RJ telling me Wednesday he’s heard from dozens of friends and fans, with messages of support. And that kind of thing means the world to him as he prepares to start his professional career.

“Just having that support system, it kind of gives you the confidence that you do belong there man. Sometimes this stuff doesn’t make sense, and it never will. But having those people there for me, through everything. Way back through when I was at Mercer too, it’s been awesome. And it’s helped my confidence for sure. And I’ll never forget it and it’s helped me tremendously.”

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