Grant Hartwig closer to Mets dream after spurning medical school


PORT ST. LUCIE – When Grant Hartwig walked down the mound on May 29, 2021 with a loss to Ball State, the Miami of Ohio right-hander thought his baseball career was over.

The Redhawks would not make it into the postseason and Hartwig’s college career was hampered by Tommy John surgery in April 2018 that cost him all of 2019, followed by the impact of COVID on the 2020 season.

,,I thought I was done with baseball”, Hartwig said. “It seemed less and less possible that anything would happen.”

Hartwig said no scouts had spoken to him before the 2021 draft, so he was not surprised he was not hired.

“I loved playing in college and if it was I would have been okay with it,” said Hartwig. “I made sure to cherish my senior year.”

The right-hander was so confident he was done with baseball that after majoring in pre-med and microbiology, Hartwig signed up for the MCAT, with the idea of ​​pursuing medical school the following year.

Grant Hartwig could make his MLB debut this season.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

But a few days after the 20-round MLB amateur version ended, Hartwig received an unexpected phone call.

“The Mets contacted me and I had never heard of them before,” said Hartwig.

And even though his mind told him it was okay that he was done with baseball, Hartwig soon reconsidered.

“I was on the verge of whether to do it or not,” Hartwig said. “I had invested five years trying to get into medical school, studying hundreds and hundreds of hours. It’s hard to run away from.”

But between the end of his college days and the call from the Mets, Hartwig realized.

“After I stopped playing, nothing really filled that competitive void,” said Hartwig. “I needed something more. The Mets calling drove me to do it.

General manager Billy Eppler said the Mets signed Hartwig based on part of area scout Chris Heidt’s evaluation.

“We saw elements in his game that piqued our interest,” said Eppler. “He was a target of ours after the conscription.”

Grant Hartwig will play in the Arizona Fall League on October 29, 2022.
Grant Hartwig will play in the Arizona Fall League on October 29, 2022.
Getty Images

So instead of preparing for medical school, where Hartwig planned to become an orthopedic surgeon—partly because of the importance of the elbow surgery that extended his own career—Hartwig signed with the Mets and was sent to Port St. Lucie every other year.

Last year, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Hartwig made it all the way to Triple-A Syracuse and could be in the game to pitch out of the bullpen in Queens at any point this season.

As for a possible medical career in the future, Hartwig, 25, said he’s stuck with throwing for now.

“When I thought about medical school, I wanted to be able to help guys keep their careers going and give back what was given to me,” said Hartwig. “But no matter what I do, I’m really focused. And now that’s baseball.”

So far this spring, Hartwig has pitched two scoreless innings in a pair of Grapefruit League appearances and his arm has impressed both Buck Showalter and Eppler.

“He stood out on every level,” said Eppler. “Hitters will tell you if someone can pitch or not and hitters tell us Grant Hartwig can pitch.”

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