Bradley Roney, right, with Area Scouting Supervisor Don Thomas, signed with the Atlanta Braves Sunday. Contributed Photo
Bradley Roney, right, with Area Scouting Supervisor Don Thomas, signed with the Atlanta Braves Sunday. Contributed Photo

ONE BRAVE WEEK: Roney talks life after signing with Braves

Published 5:06pm Friday, June 13, 2014

Brave Bradley’s been busy.
Wetumpka native Bradley Roney was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the eighth round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft a week ago. The former University of Southern Mississippi closer signed with the organization this past Sunday and since, has been on a professional baseball whirlwind.
“There was a lot of stuff leading up to being drafted, waiting on getting a call and whatnot, not knowing what’s going to happen,” Roney said. “On draft day, I was at the house, hanging out watching tv with my family. I eventually got a call and I was excited to be a Brave. I’ve been cheering for them my entire life. It’s a dream come true for me.
“Now, I’m out in Orlando at a camp for this week. Then, I’m going to leave here and head up to Danville, Virginia to their advanced rookie team. So I’ll be there most of the summer.”
After spending the last three seasons with the Golden Eagles where he tied the program’s mark of career saves at 30, the past week for Roney has been full of different experiences.
“It’s a different experience with the players that I’m around right now, there’s a lot of Hispanic and Latin guys,” the 21-year-old said. “It’s a little different than  a college team. It was tough today, we had to get up at 7:30 a.m. for drills, get our throwing conditioning done. It’s a lot different than college.”
While several of his now teammates speak different languages, Roney said he’s been able to build relationships with them because they all share the attitude and ambitions.
“I feel like I have a good attitude with the guys here because we all can play the game,” Roney said. “You have the talent, you just have to have the attitude to put in the work and work for you advancement in the organization.
“It’s just different experience than college in the aspect that it’s more about individual based performance at the minor league level. It’s not all about winning, it’s about getting better as a player.”
Admittedly, the Wetumpka native didn’t know his life would change this much this soon. But after being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles straight out of high school where he was an All-State player and stockpiling a stellar resume in three years at Southern Miss, Roney knew he belonged in the MLB.
“I’ve always wanted to do  this since I could speak, since I knew what a baseball was,” Roney said. “It’s my dream to play for the Braves. It’s their local team for most people in Alabama. Growing up, it’s what I wanted to do. Out of high school, I had the chance to go to college. Then I knew I needed to play three years  to have a chance to play professional baseball. This is what I wanted to do and now I know I’m capable of doing it.”

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