Evan Meek, who lives in Seattle, was still in pajamas -- "Heck, I still had sleep in my eyes. I'm never up this early." -- when he heard the Pittsburgh Pirates took him with the second pick of today's Rule 5 draft.
"I'm excited. It's hard to find words right now."
"I thought there was a chance I might go, but I didn't expect to go with the second pick. I was watching it on mlb.com and, when I heard my name, I thought I was hearing things."
Meek didn't give up a run in the regular season with the Biscuits after Aug. 9 and had an 0.93 ERA in the Arizona Fall League.
"I was fortunate to do well there. Everything just came together. The last month of the season and in the fall league, everything came together."
"I talked with my agent (former major-leaguer Joe Sambito) after Tampa didn't protect me. He said, 'I don't want to get your hopes up, but I think there's a good chance you'll be selected in the Rule 5."
"I hadn't heard anything at all. I wake up today, I knew the draft was at 10 o'clock Eastern, I turn on the computer and start watching it. All of a sudden, 'Wait, what?' I'm just happy Pittsburgh is going to give me a shot."
"Today is a good day, but there's a lot of work to be done."
Meek was originally an 11th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2002. Comparing it to that day ... "This is more exciting. Much more exciting because of everything that's happened in my career. I've had all the ups and downs, and this lets me know there's some light there."
"I had a good first year with the Twins, but then I had some control problems. It's taken a lot of hard work to get out of that. Just knowing that someone thinks I can be a major-leaguer is awesome. I can't tell you how excited and ready I am for this opportunity."
Meek had a fitful night last night. "I didn't sleep at all. I tried to, but I couldn't sleep because I knew this was this morning. I hoped for the best and hoped to be picked, but there are no guarantees."
Meek had to go to run an errand. He had to drive his little brother, seventh-grader Bryce, to school.
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