Nathan Tellier was an undrafted, free agent the Boston Red Sox signed at the end of the 2020 draft out of UMass Dartmouth.
JO:My first question is, take me through that draft process, obviously with a shortened draft and the COVID season. I assume it was different from most drafts, probably. So what was it like for you?
NT: Yeah, so there’s only five rounds a year. So I didn’t think much was gonna come of it. And so I went to a Scout game. For the Yankees. I was playing for the Yankees and a Scout game and we were facing the Red Sox. It was at the end of summer, and I performed well, and then the Red Sox guy came up to me. He actually messaged me on Instagram, and was like, ‘Hey, mind talking a little bit’? And then we talked for a little bit. And then he says, Would you like to join the Red Sox? And of course, I’d like to join the Red Sox. I grew up a fan. So um, yeah, it was definitely great. Because I thought that year was just going to be a bust because there’s only five rounds. But it worked out.
JO: You mentioned being a Sox fan, because you are from Massachusetts. So I assume being a Red Sox was a childhood dream. Like what was it like, you know, getting that message and then telling the family that I’m going to be a Boston Red Sox?
NT: Oh, yeah, it was, it was crazy. He came by, I thought we were just gonna talk about like, on a potential signing, he came by sat in our backyard and then just pulled out a contract. Like, how would you like to be a Boston Red Sox, and then call my parents. So he is offering me a contract? I’m going to take it. So my mom, my mom, dad come speeding home from work they just left.It’s a great moment.
JO: So this past season, you just said you started in the FCL and worked your way up to Salem? What was the adjustment, like from those two to UMass Dartmouth where you attended college?
NT: So the FCL is a lot of the younger kids that, um, that are just raw talent, but haven’t seen anything but high school yet? A lot of them. So I would say a talent level that would be the same as UMass Dartmouth because it is the older kids, and they’ve seen faster pitching and all that. And once you get up to Salem like the affiliates, that’s when you really start realizing you’re in pro ball, you know, start getting all the talented kids who have seen the best pitching who have seen good hitters and all that.
JO: So obviously, being a pitcher, who did you idolize me growing up? Was it a Red Sox legend like a Pedro? Was it someone else?
NT: Oh, there was Pedro there was Jonathen Paplebon. I was also a two way growing up until I signed so I was big Dustin podria. Fan. So yeah, those three David Ortiz, of course. But just for pitchers Pedro Martinez,Jonathen Paplebon, I’m a big Joe Kelly fan, so not a bad one. You need to work up? Well, yeah.
JO: So you just mentioned being a two way play. Was that? Did you want to stick with pitching going pro? Or did they kind of say that’s what we envision you more?
NT: That’s where they envisioned me. Well, I always preferred position playing because you get to play more. He had to be more in charge of the game. They saw me more as a pitcher
JO: My last question is, so what position did you play growing up?
NT: I was a shortstop until college and then played center field at UMass Dartmouth
JO: I mean, the Sox kind of do need some outfield help. so, I mean, it has happened before where guys start as a pitcher and to work their way out. So never say never.