Mueller’s next step with the Toronto Blue Jays
MacK Mueller, who led Wylie to a state baseball championship in 2016, recently signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Mueller will play in the club’s minor league development system, although he isn’t sure where. He plays outfield and first base.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to get to play with them,” Mueller said. “It’s a great organization. I have been very happy with the way that they have handled this process, and the way they’ve talked with me.”
Mueller graduated from Baylor in May with a degree in health, kinesiology and leisure studies. He had a year of baseball eligibility left (thanks to COVID-19) but decided to move on to the professional level.
He had met with the Blue Jays scouts several times and expected them to call after the Major League Baseball draft in June. Because of COVID-19, the draft was shortened from 40 rounds to five rounds, making undrafted free agency following the draft much more important than usual.
“That was a pretty big deal this year,” Mueller said. “That was like the later rounds of the draft.”
When the Blue Jays called, he took about one minute to say yes.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for sure,” he said. “I’m just excited to get ready to play to get in the organization and start my development process. The Blue Jays have a great player development operation that I am excited to start working with to become the best baseball player I can be.”
Mueller has played baseball as long as he can remember, and he has generally done so at a high level.
When his family was stationed in Germany, his German team represented Team Europe in the Little League World Series twice. At Wylie, he twice helped the Bulldogs get to the state championship tournament, where they lost in the semifinals in 2015 and then won the state championship in 2016. (The Bulldogs went on to win a second consecutive state championship after he graduated.)
At Wylie, Mueller was the Bulldogs ace pitcher. He was District MVP in 2015 and 2016 and All-State as a pitcher in 2016.
Mueller went to Rice to pitch after graduation, but after one season, he decided to transfer to Cisco College.
“I think it was a great decision for me as an individual to find that place to grow,” he said “I don’t think I was ready for Division 1 baseball.”
After a year at Cisco, he decided to focus on hitting rather than pitching and transferred to Baylor.
“I decided that my future was going to be with my bat,” he said. “I didn’t see as much potential in pitching. The floor was higher as a hitter than it was as a pitcher. Plus I had a passion for hitting.”
He did well at Baylor, hitting .286 with two home runs and 13 RBI in his first season while hampered by injuries. He was off to a great start in 2020, hitting .281 in 16 games, with four doubles, 10 RBI and four home runs.
However, the season ended early because of the pandemic. He said he was disappointed, but everything happens for a reason.
“I was really excited to see where the Big 12 conference was going to go,” he said. “It was a powerhouse. That was going to be an exciting race, and we could have had five or six Big 12 teams in the NCAA tournament. That was going to be really exciting.”
He decided to move to the pros, but he said he is very grateful for a wonderful experience at Baylor.
“Everybody is a giant family in for one goal,” he said. “It is a wonderful place. It’s really, really special. Just being part of the team was a lot of fun.”
Mueller was expecting to report to the Blue Jays spring facility in Florida in late June to undergo a medical evaluation and officially sign his contract. But he had no idea what would happen after that. He was expecting minor leagues to possibly have a camp in the fall, depending on how a re-start went for the MLB.
“I just want to become the best baseball player I can be,” he said. “I’m going to use every resource that the Blue Jays have. Where ever that happens to take me, that is where I’ll end up. I’m just going to try and enjoy every moment. I’m really looking forward to it.”