MILWAUKEE — When he got the opportunity to take batting practice at Miller Park before Saturday’s game, Bryan Bulaga — the Green Bay Packers’ top draft pick — just hoped he could hit a few balls hard into the outfield. He did a lot better than that.
Bulaga, who played baseball into his high school years, took batting practice pitcher Dale Sveum deep 14 times out of roughly 50 swings. With the Brewers’ position players looking on during their pregame stretch, Bulaga even hit a few into the second deck in left field.
“It took me about 10 pitches to even start hitting the ball,” Bulaga said. “I was hoping just to hit a couple solid ones, maybe just not make myself look like an idiot. But I did pretty well I guess.”
Not only did the offensive tackle out of Iowa impress those in attendance, he blew a few of his Packers teammates’ numbers out of the water.
When they took their swings two weeks ago, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and offensive tackle Mark Tauscher combined for just three home runs. Linebacker A.J. Hawk had two home runs a year ago when he had a similar opportunity.
Bulaga, who brought his girlfriend, brother and brother’s girlfriend with him to the ballpark, said having the Brewers players watching gave him some added motivation.
“I had to step it up,” he said. “I couldn’t not hit one out with everyone watching.”
As a native of Crystal Lake, Ill., Bulaga admitted he was a Chicago White Sox fan first and Milwaukee Brewers fan second.
“No Cubs fans in this family,” Bulaga said. “The Brewers are my second favorite team. I can’t lose faith in my White Sox though.”
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter