At 4:30 p.m. on July 4, UTD graduate Mike Biguenet was going through his regular Independence Day celebration with his family. By 5 p.m., he was a professional baseball player.
Offered a contract by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Biguenet jumped at the opportunity and signed as a free agent.
He was assigned to the Diamondbacks’ advanced class A minor league affiliate Lancaster (Calif.) JetHawks.
“I had a day to get my things together and a day to travel, and then I played the next night,” Biguenet said.
In his first professional game, Biguenet – a .338 hitter last season for the Comets – went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. Defensively, he played a flawless game at second base.
Recalling Biguenet’s attitude toward practice and his work ethic, UTD baseball Head Coach Shane Shewmake said he thinks his former star has the potential to succeed at the next level.
Biguenet said he has a hard time comparing himself to his new teammates because – at the professional level – individual statistics are not as telling as the intangibles that help the team win.
“It’s all about wins and losses,” he said.
After graduating from UTD in May, Biguenet worked out for a handful of major league scouts and garnered interest from the Phillies, Rockies and Tigers, among other teams, but didn’t land a contract immediately.
“They all said, ‘You’re a five-tool player, but we’re full right now. If anything happens you’ll be the first person we call,'” Biguenet said.
“It was a little stressful sitting and waiting for the phone to ring, but I’m on cloud nine right now,” he said.
When he signed with Arizona, Biguenet became the second Comet baseball player to move into the professional ranks, joining pitcher Tony Adler who was drafted by the Houston Astros earlier this summer.
Last season for the Comets, Biguenet was among the team leaders in games played, batting average and home runs.
“Mike was a team leader who brought energy and enthusiasm to the team. He had a great attitude and played hard everyday,” Shewmake said.
Biguenet – a three-year letterman at UTD – said he feels playing at a Division III school afforded him the opportunity to play everyday.
“If you’re not playing you’re not getting better. When you play, you’re getting the reps, you’re getting the practice,” he said.
As Biguenet reflects on his stint at UTD, he turns a hopeful eye to the future.
“If I didn’t foresee myself playing baseball in three years, I shouldn’t be here,” Biguenet said.
“If I work hard, the sky’s the limit,” he said.