New Zealand currently has three local kiwi’s affiliated with MLB franchises – Kyle Glogoski (Phillies), Ben Thompson (Braves) and Elliot Johnstone (Mets) and two others playing independent professional baseball – Jason Matthews (Great Falls Voyagers, USA) and Nao Fukuda (Ibaraki Astro Planets, Japan).
We also have a number of talented players playing their trade in the US college system. Each edition of the Baseball NZ newsletter we will give an update on how some of our players are getting on in college.
If you (or your son) are a kiwi playing baseball overseas, please reach out to keep us updated on your progress – firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior at Arkansas Tech
A former U-18 national team representative, Yuuki spent the last two seasons studying and playing at Trinidad State, which is a Junior College in Colorado. He has since transferred to Arkansas Tech, which is a NCAA Division II school which plays in the Great American Conference. Follow his team here: https://arkansastechsports.com/sports/baseball
In his words:‘The last few years has been quite the struggle for me, personally grinding through injuries after injuries, but after transferring to Arkansas tech, I finally felt like all that hard work was paying off. Although the fall was a grind, with the long practices and extra work we had to put in, it was all a very meaningful and enjoyable fall semester and through the sheer amount of games we played I think I was able to improve on my physical health but also my mental health. We are in winter break now, but I will be continuing to work on my craft to perform in the spring where it really matters. I believe we will have a great season at Arkansas Tech University and I hope to make a considerable contribution to the team’s success.’
Senior at University of Minnesota Crookston
In his words:
"This fall has been different as we were able to have a fall season due to reduced covid restrictions, which was a big step for the team as well as me personally. We have a younger team this year at UMC so it was great to see the talented individuals that have been bought on. I had almost 1 year off leading up to the fall due to a broken hand, during that time I was able to make good progress in the gym but my baseball skill lacked a bit and the fall exposed that. Luckily we have a great coaching staff and facility to make changes and I'm just starting to get back into the swing of things again. We have less than 3 months till opening day and I'm looking forward to preparing for that day over the winter and doing my part to take the UMC baseball program to the next level, which for us means winning an NSIC championship."
Senior at Gardner Webb University
‘"This fall has been the best performing fall I have had over the years. Through Fall, we have been playing nonstop squad games along with games from outside competition where we have proven great success and competitiveness. This is potentially my last year playing college baseball, so it is awesome to finish fall on a high note. It's always fun seeing how the team progresses over the fall period in preparation for the Spring season and I can confidently say we will be a team to keep an eye on.
. . . Go Dawgs!"
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