- February 20, 2019
Once a young player is old enough to realize what it means to play at the professional level, a small dream starts to grow as they progress through their respective sports. For some competitors, the dream continues to grow until it becomes a reality. It might not always be reaching the professional level. It could
Once a young player is old enough to realize what it means to play at the professional level, a small dream starts to grow as they progress through their respective sports.
For some competitors, the dream continues to grow until it becomes a reality. It might not always be reaching the professional level. It could simply be making an all-star team, playing for a district title, or even a state championship. There are all types of levels aspiring players set out to reach.
For Kyle Datres, the bar has always seems to move up a notch or two when his skills get put on display. Throughout his Little League career, there was always the rumbling of how would good he would be at the high school level. After high school, it was off to North Carolina. After an appearance in the College World Series, it was being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 12th round. Now the questions of how good Datres can be at the professional level can officially start.
Datres is a special player. And with the drive and skills to match, he has carved a name out for himself at every level he has played.
“I mean, when I first started playing baseball I was only five or six so, I didn’t even know what the draft was, but when I got to majors (9-12) that is when the dreams began,” Datres said. “Every young ballplayer has that goal in mind, and to say I accomplished that goal is pretty awesome.”
For those of you not so familiar with the MLB draft, it’s not exactly like the highly publicized NFL draft, which features three days of television and nearly all of the high picks being asked to attend. There was no stage or hug from the commissioner for Datres. He was actually at practice with his team in North Carolina.
It was just a normal day of practice as Datres, and the rest of the North Carolina baseball team, prepared for a trip to the College World Series. He was fielding ground balls when one of his coaches informed him he was just picked by the Rockies and everything came to a stop as teammates and coaches congratulated Datres.
“To be honest, I never got the call. I was at practice preparing for the CWS when I was selected in the draft,” Datres said. “However, while at practice, one of our coaches had his phone out following the draft and when my name showed up, everyone stopped practice and congratulated me, so that was a good feeling.”
The next part of the journey might have been his favorite as he informed his family of the news.
“I was so excited to tell my family that I had finally been picked,” Datres said. “My family means everything to me, and I know I could not have ever made it to this point of my baseball career without all of them, so to tell them that I had been drafted was surreal. They were so proud and happy for me. I am very lucky to have the supportive family that I do.”
Datres grew up in Loyalsock and through hard work and the constant support of his family he accomplished something most people can only dream of reaching.
“It just shows that anything can happen if you really put your mind to it, and work for what you want,” Datres said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from.”
Datres grew up in Williamsport, which has the perfect highlight to the end of the season for area ballplayers. The Little League World Series is something each, and every fan of the sport should take in.
Since Datres grew up in the area, he quickly learned just how involved the process of reaching levels that high would be. He saw the players and families and what each game meant to them. He also got to see how amazing it was for the players to compete at that level.
He never reached the Little League World Series, but he did get to participate in the College version earlier this year.
“The CWS is something I will never forget,” Datres said. “To know all of the hard work that my team and I put into the season paid off means a lot. It was an amazing experience. Growing up going to the LLWS and seeing those kids on cloud nine, that’s the same feeling I had the whole time in Omaha. I was just happy I had a good series and did everything I could to help our team.”
Datres was an All-ACC selection at third base and led his team in being hit by pitches. The last stat is important because a belt designed by Datres and his teammates goes to the player hit by the most pitches. Datres is a tough player and used that ability to gain an edge to reach base as many times as possible. Not only did it work, but it created a highlight for fans of the team. Nearly every time the North Carolina’s dugout was shown on television the belt was visible.
“My whole family made the trip out to Omaha, even most of my extended family was there at some point,” Datres said. “I had over 20 people come to see me at the World Series. I was able to see them every day I was out there. They all just dropped everything to come support me, that just shows how lucky I am to have them.”
Datres was drafted and played in the College World Series over a two-week period. It was a dream any young player would be more than happy to live, but for Datres the journey has only just started.
“My favorite part, that’s a tough question. I would have to say playing in the CWS with all of my best friends,” Datres said. “I had a pretty good idea that I would get drafted this year, but I didn’t know I would have to chance to play in Omaha. I had the time of my life out there.”
- February 20, 2019
- February 20, 2019