NRV’s Brady Kirtner drafted by Mets out of Virginia Tech

Brady Kirtner, Virginia Tech
Brady Kirtner, Virginia Tech(Dave Knachel | Virginia Tech Athletics)
Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - This past week, five baseball players on the Virginia Tech roster got calls that they have been drafted by major league organizations.

One of those players is an NRV product through and through, having grown and cultivated his skills entirely in the Roanoke Valley.

“That’s what I’ve worked towards my whole life,” says right-handed Hokie reliever Brady Kirtner.

“It was really exciting to me,” he adds.

Kirtner is a Christiansburg High School graduate who caught the attention of the Virginia Tech baseball team during his junior year in 2019.

“Growing up in this area, Virginia Tech was my dream school, so when they started showing interest, it was a no-brainer that that was where I wanted to spend the next few years of my career,” he remembers.

Spending his first season at Tech as a red-shirted freshman, Kirtner focused on putting on weight and increasing his velocity.

“I’ve done a great job with my development between changing pitch grips, changing my pitches altogether. With our TrackMan and the various technology devices that we have that’s kind of changed over the years, it’s made it a lot easier to make those little switches to end up being huge jumps later.”

As his spin rate increased, so did the interest from major league clubs.

Earlier this week, Kirtner was drafted by the New York Mets in the 12th round.

“Throughout the year, I started to get a better idea that the draft was a good possibility,” he recalls. “So actually hearing your name called on TV was a surreal moment for me. It’s something that I dreamed of as a child and the day that I’d always look forward to and it was finally here. I’m stoked about that. I’m stoked for all of my teammates that got called.”

No matter the next steps for Kirtner as he continues to develop on the bump, he says he is grateful for the support of the Christiansburg community, and for the four-year-old boy who made him fall in love with the game in the first place.

“Four years old, I probably wouldn’t have believed it,” he laughs. “Just looking after those guys that are in the MLB right now, and how much success they have and they’re getting to play the game for a living. So to be in the position of getting drafted, I would have been stoked as a four-year-old and know that’s what my future held. I definitely love that I’ve been local for high school and got my dream together, Virginia Tech, and helps having so much support around Christiansburg. It’s small town so everyone follows and it is a good feeling to have the success that I’ve had and have all the support behind me.”