Slovakian-born left-hander Adam Macko. (Ryan Berry / The Everett Herald)
In 2019, the Seattle Mariners drafted a young left-hander by the name of Adam Macko. Adam Macko had a background like no other player in the Major League Baseball draft. Macko was taken out of high school in Alberta, Canada where he attended the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball, a prep school that had a 100% graduation rate, but Adam’s story does not start there. Adam Macko was born in Bratislava, Slovakia in December of 2000. In 2012 the Macko family moved to Ireland where Adam’s involvement in the game of baseball took off (in Slovakia, baseball was not as popular and competive as hockey or soccer). He played for two years in Ireland before his family moved to Alberta where they preside this current day. He succeeded as a pitcher all throughout high school and was planning to attend Purdue before being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2019.
Adam Macko pitched for two teams in 2019 (including the AquaSox). In 2021 Macko pitched at Modesto (after missing 2020, Covid cancelled all minor league baseball) where he started nine games and had a whopping fifty-six strikeouts in thirty-three plus innings. Adam joined our beloved Everett AquaSox in 2022. Macko had twenty-nine strikeouts and only three walks after his first three starts as the Frog’s number 2 starter. The young 21-year-old is making a name for himself as a top prospect in the Mariner’s organization and we will not be surprised if he gets a call up to Arkansas (the Seattle Mariners Double A ball club) before the summer is over.
We at the Seattle Sports Union were able to catch up with Adam Macko after a recent AquaSox game to discuss the life and times of this incredible young man.
SSU: Thank you for taking the time to join us today, Adam Macko. We are truly honored.
AM: Thank you for having me.
SSU: So, you were born in Slovakia, and you grew up in Ireland?
AM: I was born in Slovakia, but I lived there for almost 12 years before I moved to Ireland where we lived there for about a year and a half. We then moved to Alberta, Canada.
SSU: Is there any reason behind the moves?
AM: It was always a big dream of my folks to move to Canada, since before I was born. As you know it was hard to get out of Slovakia at the time. My brother eventually moved to Ireland where he liked living there very much, so we decided to move to Ireland for a year and a half while we worked the visa thing out. Eventually we were able to move to Alberta, Canada after that. Why there, because my Dad knew a Slovakian there who offered him a job as a concrete pump operator, so that is where we settled.
SSU: When did you start playing baseball?
AM: I started playing baseball in grade 1. Baseball is rare in Slovakia, in fact they only had two teams and I was on one of them. It was good fun playing, but it was mostly tee ball then. I really did not take baseball seriously until we moved to Canada.
SSU: Did you have any exposure to Major League Baseball over there in Slovakia?
AM: In Slovakia we never had any exposure to it. In fact, it was not until we moved to Ireland, I finally saw a game and what the players looked like. We were walking by a bar and there was a game on the television. I said “wow, that’s how it looks like.” I thought that was pretty cool. It was the Orioles and someone else playing.
SSU: Did you play any other positions growing up?
AM: I played every position like 1B and Outfield. As for pitching, it was like 3rd or 4th grade when I started. I liked pitcher because it kept me occupied and I got bored with the other positions that I was playing.
SSU: Did you play any other sports or have any hobbies growing up?
AM: I played soccer and ice skated. I was not very good at soccer. I was very slow.
SSU: Did you play summer league or high school baseball?
AM: I did both, I was playing baseball regularly by the Spring after our move (we moved to Canada in the fall). I also played high school baseball at the Vauxhall Academy of baseball.
SSU: Do you have any favorite memories growing up playing baseball?
AM: Every memory was special on the field, but my favorites were off the field. Building campfires with my teammates, bonding with my team, hanging out. Those were my favorite memories that stuck with me.
SSU: So, you were drafted out of high school and in the seventh round in 2019?
AM: Yes, that is correct.
SSU: Where were you on draft day?
AM: I was at school that day. I was at the dorms (it was a boarding school) watching the draft with my parents, coaches, teammates, girlfriend, and other friends. I was so excited. It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was walking around crying and floating in the air. The last three months I was so nervous leading up to the MLB draft.
SSU: Did you have any inkling that the Seattle Mariners were interested in you?
AM: I had a couple teams interested in me. My high school coach was an area scout for the Seattle Mariners, but the Mariners were not the main team that showed interest. I was so happy to be drafted by the Seattle Mariners.
SSU: How many pitches does Adam Macko throw? We are so impressed by your poise and how nothing seems to get to you out there on the mound. You have twenty-nine strikeouts through three games, how impressive is that?
AM: Thank you for that. I have four pitches that I throw. I throw a 4-seam fastball, a curve, a changeup, and a slider. Up until I was drafted, I did not have a slider. By the time the 2022 season came around, the slider started coming around and I have been using it a lot more.
SSU: What is your out pitch? When it is 0-2 on the batter, what pitch do you use?
AM: Going into this season it is mostly the slider, but I like to use my other pitches as well. My changeup has been effective in getting batters out as well, but I guess to answer your question, the slider.
SSU: Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider and Keith Law of the Athletic we have interviewed, and your name came up when talking with the both of them. They raved about you young man. The fans are getting to hear the name Adam Macko more.
AM: That is great to hear, thank you. I am familiar with both of those guys. I believe I talked to Keith Law before. Thanks for sharing that.
SSU: What good things would your coaches and teammates say about you or vice versa, what would you say about them?
AM: OOH, I think they would label me as goofy. I like to have fun. I am upbeat guy and take pride in smiling day in and day out. I am a consistent guy.
SSU: With the new minor league living situations implemented this year, do you have a roommate?
AM: Yes, my roommate is Isaiah Campbell. I have been blessed with some great roommates and he is one of them. We get along very well, we like to eat at the same places, cook the same food, play board games at night.
SSU: Besides Funko Field being your favorite field, what is your second favorite field to have played on?
AM: Bailey field in Vancouver is my second favorite field to play in. The layout of the stadium, the atmosphere, able to interact with fans. We played there on a Wednesday night, and it was a sellout. I cannot wait to play up there again this year.
SSU: What is your favorite sports movie of all time?
AM: That is a tough question, probably Major League or Major League Two. Bull Durham is another one. Nuke LaLoosh is amazing.
SSU: Where do you see yourself 20 years from now once your baseball career is over?
AM: Well in 20 years I will be 41 years old, and I would like to be still playing at the age of forty-one. When my playing career is over, I would like to hang out with my family. I want to have a family and be able to raise my kids. I want to be home for my wife who will have it hard staying at home with the kids when I am on the road. I want to give back to my family and be there for them.
SSU: Great answers, right on. That is so awesome.
SSU: Who do you see playing Adam Macko when Hollywood comes out with the movie of your life story?
AM: Oh, that is tough one. They must be good looking for sure, perhaps a younger Leo DiCaprio, but he does not seem to have the best baseball moves. When I watch sports movies, I like to see if the actors know what they are doing or not. DiCaprio seems like he would not know how to throw a baseball. So, my final answer is any actor if they are good looking and are good at playing the game. 😊
SSU: Last question and thank you for joining us. Who is your favorite MLB player currently and why?
AM: I would say it is between Charlie Morton, Justin Verlander, David Price and probably Jacob DeGrom. They are always in control out there on the mound and they are competitors. I truly admire that, and I like to think I treat the game of baseball like they do, or at least I hope to do one day at the Major League level. Thanks for having me, guys, it was a pleasure to meet you both.
Best of luck to you Adam Macko. One thing he also shared with us is that his parents and family have not seen him pitch professionally. That will soon change when the AquaSox head north to Vancouver soon. The Macko family plan on being in attendance. What an experience that will be for them. It already has been for us fans in Everett, even if it has been only a handful of games. The future is bright for you Adam Macko. Somehow, we know you will keep your head up and one day we will see you on the mound for our Seattle Mariners.
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