Gilbert is a fiery player who gained a reputation at Tennessee for being a clutch player who always hits the field with plenty of swagger.
After Gilbert was selected by Houston, Vitello had plenty to say about the Minnesota native.
Tennessee’s head coach spoke during the broadcast about how Gilbert “changed his life” and the way the Vols’ program operates.
“Obviously a loud personality on the field because he wants to win so much,” said Vitello. “But I can’t describe to people how he changed my life when he got to our program. He does things in the locker room and the dugout that are very tough to describe, especially in a short amount of time. But literally changed the way the program operates, thinks, competes, works.”
“I think he’s going to do that at the big league level too, even though he’s going to have to establish himself,” added Vitello. “Phenomenal kid. I’m so happy for him.”
#Vols head coach Tony Vitello was on the MLB Network panel all night, and we got a true treat when one of his own was drafted.— Frank DeLuca (@FrankDeLucaTV) July 18, 2022
Listen to Vitello gush over the @astros 28th overall selection, OF Drew Gilbert. pic.twitter.com/sPbOL5k8c5
It’s easy to see why players love playing for Vitello. He allows players to be themselves and he sticks up for his players when they receive criticism from the national media (Gilbert was one of many Tennessee players who caught some flack this past season for playing the game “loud”).
There’s no doubt that Vitello has his players’ backs. And that’s part of why Tennessee baseball played at such a high level this past season.
Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK