K-State's Ross Kivett celebrates his home run with coach Mike Clement at third base against Baylor at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas on April 18, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
June 9, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
K-State senior Ross Kivett and juniors Austin Fisher and Mitch Meyer were all selected this past weekend in the 2014 MLB Draft, making K-State second among Big 12 teams with 11 position players drafted since 2011 (TCU has had 12 position players drafted in the past four years).
Kivett was taken by the Detroit Tigers in the sixth round (190th overall), Meyer in the seventh round (206th overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers and Fisher went in the 13th round (398th overall) to the Cleveland Indians, each of which started at least 45 games in 2014.
Leaving behind four memorable years at K-State, once Kivett got his draft call he was both excited and relieved to learn he will soon embark on the newest journey of his baseball career.
"It's exciting, it's really exciting," Kivett said from his home in Broadview Heights, Ohio. "I don't know if it's really sunk in yet, but it's going to have to sink in quick. The dream isn't to play Minor League Baseball, the dream is to play Major League Baseball, but I'm really happy for the opportunity to keep going.
"I know Detroit is a very polished organization, very professional, they win a lot and there are reasons why they win a lot. I'm just looking forward to getting there, learning the ropes and beginning the grind."
Not only did Kivett help K-State reach two NCAA Regionals, win its first conference title in 80 years and go on to the program's first ever Super Regional, but he also earned recognition on a personal level as he was named an All-American in 2013 along with being named the Big 12 Player of the Year.
During his senior season, he started every game for the Wildcats and batted .333 (70-for-210) with 13 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 33 RBI and 21 stolen bases, including a conference-leading 12 steals during Big 12 play. He earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors and had two Big 12 Player of the Week accolades - one of which came after hitting for a cycle on March 26 in the Wildcats' 12-6 win over Nebraska, K-State's first cycle since 1997.
Kivett's 80 career stolen bases are a K-State best, while he is second all-time in the Wildcat record book in both games played (255) and games started (215). Kivett ranks third all-time in hits (277), fifth in walks (108) and is tied for seventh in triples with 11.
"I learned it doesn't' matter who you are, what you do or what you've done, all that matters is what you put on the field every day," said Kivett of what he learned during his time at K-State that he will take with him to the next level. "You're going to have to work harder than the next guy because everyone is fighting for the same job, everyone wants to be a big leaguer. It's a dog-eat-dog business; the ones who take it the most seriously and the ones who work the hardest usually come out on top, so hopefully my work ethic continues to stay where it's at."
Beginning with a summer in Lakeland, Florida, Kivett said his next week will consist of "going to Florida, getting a physical and signing a contract to be a pro."
Meyer, native of Stillwell, Kansas, is the first active Wildcat to be drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers franchise in K-State history. In his 121 career games, Meyer batted .277 (85-for-307) with 30 extra-base hits and a .466 slugging percentage.
"I don't even know if I can describe it, it was just awesome," Meyer said about getting his draft call. "I wasn't really expecting a phone call that early, but some other things worked out in the draft room and the Brewers thought I fit into a spot where they needed me. It was exciting, I was shocked and it's just awesome."
Meyer, who said it has been a busy few days since he was drafted on Friday afternoon, said he will leave today for Helena, Montana, where he will begin competing with the Helena Brewers, the team's rookie-level team in the Pioneer League.
"I'm really excited to get there, get settled in and not have to worry about the draft anymore," Meyer laughed. "I'm just ready to get there and start playing baseball again."
On what he learned at K-State that he hopes to carry with him the rest of his career Meyer said, "At K-State we pride ourselves on being one of the hardest working teams and we do things that not everyone else is doing. So being able to take that work ethic that I've learned from K-State and transition that work ethic into the professional level, that will help a ton."
A native of Lenexa, Kanas, Fisher spent the last two seasons as the Wildcats' starting shortstop and hit .300 in 2014 (62-for-207) with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 34 RBI. He also set career-bests in walks (25) and stolen bases (6).
Fisher's draft call from the Cleveland Indians came on Saturday afternoon and, like Kivett and Meyer, he is excited for the opportunity ahead.
"I've been getting text messages and calls like crazy," said Fisher yesterday afternoon about his past 24 hours. "I think there's probably 15 or so phone numbers that I didn't even have in my phone. People are coming from everywhere and congratulating me. It's been crazy; it's just really cool."
Fisher said that while he's followed Cleveland's Major League team, he is looking forward to learning more about the organization and he has a meeting today with the Indians to look further into its minor league teams.
"I had a blast playing the past three years and I wouldn't trade it for anything," began Fisher, "but I also understand that coming back, things can go bad, you can get hurt and I might not get another chance to play pro ball."
For the complete releases on Kivett, Meyer, Fisher and their selections in the 2014 MLB Draft click here (Kivett, Meyer selected During Day 2 of MLB Draft), or here (Fisher Becomes Third Wildcat Drafted).