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Detroit Tigers Bryant Packard Advises Student-Athlete’s, “The more versatile you are, the more valuable you are”

Bryant Packard is an East Carolina University baseball alumni who was picked in the 5th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. During his time at ECU, Packard was National Player-of-the-Year and an All- America candidate. Entering the 2019 season, he was listed as the seventh-best player in the country. Packard was also named to five preseason All-America squads. In 2018, he set an AAC and ECU record for most consecutive hits (32). During his streak of consecutive hits, he had a .469. In 2018, he was selected to play for Team USA, where they posted a 12-3 record along with his strong performance at ECU. During his time in the Minor league, he has played for three different teams. He has an overall batting average of .296 between the three teams. 

Height: 6-3

Weight: 200 lbs.

College: East Carolina University

MLB team: Detroit Tigers

LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that Cliff Godwin has given you?

That baseball isn’t forever. I have to get my priorities straight and learn to be a man before anything else. 

LRT Sports: What was the motivating factor for playing for ECU?

It was my hometown. I love Greenville, and the fan base here is impeccable!

LRT Sports: What advice do you have for the high school athletes who have the talent but are not recognized by coaches? How can they push to get on their radar?

Social media and connections. Send out a video to every coach in the country if you have to. Being annoying is better than doing nothing! 

LRT Sports: Some athletes get bent on only playing their position. Should high school athletes be open to playing different positions once in college?

Of course. The more versatile you are, the more valuable you are. I’ve seen kids that aren’t very talented at one position, but okay at a lot of them, but still play because they fit anywhere. 

LRT Sports: What are the two main characteristics that a high school athlete will need to make it at the college level?

Attitude and work ethic. You have to be a great teammate and always work at your craft. 

LRT Sports: What is the main difference between playing high school ball to college ball?

I would say school. School gets way harder along with the competition. You have to focus on things outside of the ball field, which makes it difficult to prioritize. 

LRT Sports: What makes a great teammate at the college level? And what makes a great teammate at the pro level?

They’re the same, really. Just be a friend who is always there for your teammate. Congratulate them when they’re performing great, and encourage them when they’re struggling. 

LRT Sports: For baseball athletes looking to go pro, should they look for colleges that have a good track record for developing pros? Or does it not matter?

I don’t think that matters. I play with guys that went Division III and got drafted from there. Go somewhere where it is best for you and fits your personality and play style. 

LRT Sports: Should recruits ask coaches how long are their contracts, so they can gauge if the coach will be there for four years?

I think that is an okay question to ask; never really thought about it, though. I guess if you want to put your full trust in someone, you want to know their future plans as well. 

LRT Sports: Did your coaches send both pitchers and position players to play summer ball, and if so, which summer league did your team participate in?

Various players on our teams went to different places. I went to the Cape Cod league and played for Team USA. I loved both my experiences; my advice would be to play summer ball every chance you get. 

LRT Sports: When you were in high school, how many schools were you looking at? Do you recommend a certain number of schools a student-athlete should look at?

I was looking at probably about 20 schools. I think players should give every school a real chance. Go on as many visits as possible. 

LRT Sports: What is the biggest lesson you learned as a result of competing in college athletics?

It really humbled me. I was very cocky when I first started playing, but failure was quick to change my mentality. I became more confident instead of cocky.  

LRT Sports: What was the most significant adjustment you had to make going from college baseball to professional?

That it is now a job. I have to focus on my priorities in the sport and work at it every day because nothing is guaranteed. Also, not doing school is fun, haha.

Fun Questions:

LRT Sports: Suit or sweatsuit?

Sweatsuit easily 

LRT Sports: Go-to-meal before a big game?

Two cans of Red Bull 

LRT Sports: What is the funniest thing to ever happen to you or a teammate during a game?

One time, I fell going to the outfield during my first game, being back from injury, and almost hurt myself again. Everyone laughed at me though.

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