Talented Penrith baseballer Dean Frew has been awarded the opportunity of a lifetime after he was invited by Major League Baseball (MLB) to attend Spring Training.
The 18-year-old shortstop is one of 26 promising youngsters invited by MLB to attend Spring Training in the United States and participate in a number of exhibition games.
The squad was selected following wide consultation across the baseball fraternity, with over a dozen locally based scouts voting on the final list.
Players also needed to meet specific criteria set out for participants by MLB as part of the initiative.
The Training Camp and exhibition matches are funded by MLB, and will provide the group a great opportunity for exposure.
Speaking with the Weekender, the Penrith Baseball Club member said he was looking forward to visiting Florida and earning some much needed exposure.
“Baseball is relatively small in Australia and it doesn’t get the same coverage like it does in the US,” Frew said.
“Hopefully the exposure this experience will bring will encourage scouts to sign me up professionally in later years.”
Many of the Australian squad, including Frew, who will attend the 12 day Spring Training program have already committed to baseball programs at various Junior Colleges in the US.
“I’ve already accepted by scholarship to attend Hill College in Texas,” Frew said.
“Hopefully I can perform well in College and then get picked up professionally after that.”
The Australian squad will come up against some of the best baseball talent the US has to offer with games scheduled against top MLB franchises Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers as well exhibition matches against the European Academy and Canada.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to most, going up against the best baseballers in the world,” Frew said.
“We’re playing MLB’s Spring Training teams, so we’re pretty much going up against professionals. I can’t wait!”
Baseball Australia’s Head of Performance Glenn Williams was delighted to announce the initiative.
“The upcoming training camps are hopefully the first of many such trips to the US,” he said.
Frew left for the US on Tuesday.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.