July 13, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Mikey Filia begins his professional baseball career playing for the Burlington Royals

Mikey Filia was joined by his parents Mike and Stacy last week in North Carolina. (Photo courtesy Filia family)

It’s been an exciting summer for former Irvine High and UC Irvine baseball player Mikey Filia, who in June was drafted in the 31st round of the Major League draft by the Kansas City Royals.

Filia, a 2015 Irvine High graduate, completed his junior season with UCI last season, forgoing his senior year of competition to pursue his dream of playing in the Major Leagues one day. He graduated from UCI last month.

Now, he’s taking the next step, playing professional baseball.

Filia got a visit from his parents Mike and Stacy last weekend in Burlington, N.C. His parents were there to see their son play.

Mikey Filia also took some time to respond to some questions from OC Sports Zone by email.

Where are you playing and what is the level of competition like?

Filia: I am playing for the Burlington Royals and this is rookie advanced ball. Most of the time we are playing every day throughout the week unless that week has an off day scheduled.

What is life in the minors like including road games?

Filia: What I have learned so far is it is very repetitive. For me personally, I have a set routine that I have become familiar with as the season has gone on. Being on the road, I try to stay as close as possible to my everyday routine. Bus rides in this league are at the longest three to four hours.

How long does the season last?

Filia: Since I just got drafted, it is a much shorter season than a full season. I want to say we play around 70 games.

What’s the difference between going from major college to professional baseball?

Filia: I would say the main difference is you have more freedom. I have more freedom on how to prepare myself and what I think is best for me to get ready for each game. Additionally, each night we’re facing a pitcher that would have been a Friday night starter for a college program or a prospect from Venezuela or the Dominican Republic. Every pitcher throws over 90 (MPH) with many of them in the mid to upper 90’s.

Talk about the reaction of family, friends (to being drafted)

Filia: When I was drafted, my dad and girlfriend were there with me. It was a very special moment. I wish my mom and brothers could have been with me as well but it was still a very special moment. Many people reached out and it was awesome to have all of that support from everyone.

How are you doing offensively and what position are you playing?

Filia: Offensively, I would like the think I am adjusting well to professional pitching. Just trying to get better every day and play as well as I can each day. I am mainly playing right field.