Undrafted (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoseph Mazzello
Written byJoseph Mazzello
Produced by
  • Joseph Mazzello
  • Eric Fischer
  • Brianna Johnson
CinematographyAdrian Correia
Edited bySharon Rutter
  • Dead Fish Films
  • Parlay Pictures
Distributed byVertical Entertainment
Release date
  • July 15, 2016 (2016-07-15) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$5,777[1]

Undrafted is a 2016 sports comedy-drama film. It is the directorial debut of Joseph Mazzello, who also wrote, co-produced and starred in the film. It also stars Aaron Tveit, Tyler Hoechlin, Chace Crawford and Philip Winchester. It is based on the true story of Mazzello's brother who missed out on the Major League Baseball draft. The film was released on July 15, 2016, by Vertical Entertainment.[2]

The film was executive produced by Tony Romo, who was an undrafted free agent before being signed by the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League.


A summer league baseball team called the DBs (for Diamondbacks) is in the league semifinals. Maz, one of their players, decides to play despite the disappointment of finding out minutes earlier he was not drafted. The opposing team, the Bulldogs, have ringers so the DBs will have to play extra hard to win. The DBs manage to keep the Bulldogs from scoring until the final inning. Pitcher Dells loses his confidence and gives up several runs. The DBs must play perfectly in their final inning, and by some miracle, Maz becomes the hero of the game.




Mazzello wrote the screenplay based on events in his brother's life. "I watched for 15 years as my brother worked tirelessly to make his dream come true only to see it never happen and it was heartbreaking [...] During that time I saw the love he and his teammates had for each other and for the game; that is the heart of our story."[3][4]


Principal photography took place in Dunsmore Park, La Crescenta-Montrose, California[5] from September 2013 to October 8, 2013.[6]


On June 2, 2014, Mazzello announced via Twitter that he had "finally finished editing my film".[7] In February 2016, Vertical Entertainment acquired worldwide distribution rights to the film.[8] The film was scheduled to be released on July 15, 2016.[2]


The first official poster was released on Mazzello's Twitter on February 17, 2015.[9]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 14%, based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 4.3/10.[10] On Metacritic, there are three "unfavorable" reviews out of three, and the average rating is 31/100.[11] Writing in the Hollywood Reporter, Frank Scheck stated "Undrafted never manages to make us care about its overgrown adolescent characters and whether or not they win the game. It’s a fatal flaw in a sports movie, even if several of the young actors demonstrate real athletic skills.[12] Film critic Brian Orndorf described the movie as "an itchy valentine to the world of intramural baseball".[13] Nivk Schager also panned the film in The Village Voice, writing "there’s no escaping the fact that the dugout-and-diamond shenanigans are consistently tedious."[14] Steve Green wrote in Indiewire, " "Undrafted” tries to make a ragtag baseball team from a bevy of players with quirks dialed up so high they overwhelm every other aspect of the film," and concludes, "this is standard-issue sports fare that still seems intent on grafting unnecessary piles of story on top.[15] Todd Jorgenson's review stated, "The errors outnumber the hits in this heartfelt ensemble drama," stating that the film was sunk by "an off-putting collection of characters who become tiresome, both on and off the field.[16] Critic Frank Swietek wrote, "despite the best efforts of a game cast, the movie definitely comes across as a bush-league effort."[17]

Michael Rechtshaffen gave Undrafted a mixed review in the Los Angeles Times, calling the film "an amiable if aimless ensemble comedy that's unable to overcome its amateur status...the greatest challenge being faced turns out to be not knowing what story to tell."[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Undrafted (2016)". The Wrap. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Gates, Anita (April 29, 2016). "Summer Movie Release Schedule 2016". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  3. ^ Curt Wagner (October 3, 2013). "Philip Winchester, Chace Crawford, other TV stars drafted for baseball film". redeyechicago.com. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Owen Williams (September 26, 2013). "Joseph Mazzello Gets Undrafted". Empire online. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  5. ^ Christine (September 13, 2013). "Friday Sept. 13 Filming Locations for Ironside, Walking Dead, Revolution, Us & Them, and more!". onlocationvacations.com. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  6. ^ Joseph Mazzello (October 8, 2013). "Thank God I am done directing that stupid movie #Undrafted, Now I can finally catch up on all my reality television". Twitter. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Joe Mazzello (June 2, 2014). "Finally finished editing my film #Undrafted today. Literally don't know what to do with myself now". Twitter. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  8. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (February 13, 2016). "Vertical Entertainment Catches Worldwide Rights To Baseball Pic 'Undrafted'". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  9. ^ Joseph Mazzello (February 17, 2015). "Check it out! First official poster for #UNDRAFTED !!!!!! Spread the word!". Twitter. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  10. ^ Undrafted, retrieved August 7, 2016
  11. ^ "Undrafted". Metacritic. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  12. ^ "'Undrafted': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. July 15, 2016. Archived from the original on January 2, 2023.
  13. ^ "Undrafted (2016) Movie Reviews - Critic Reviews and Ratings - Fandango". Fandango. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  14. ^ "Baseball Farce 'Undrafted' Is No First-Round Pick". July 14, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "'Undrafted' Review: It's a Great Year for Baseball Movies, Just Not This One". July 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Capsule reviews for July 15". July 15, 2016.
  17. ^ "UNDRAFTED -". www.oneguysopinion.com. July 20, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (July 14, 2016). "Baseball comedy 'Undrafted' strikes out swinging". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.

External links[edit]