Auckland teen signs with Philadelphia Phillies

Diamondblacks pitcher Kyle Glogoski.

One of the nation’s brightest young baseball players has signed a contract today to play professional baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies organization and will head to Florida in the new year for spring training with the club.

Auckland-born pitcher Kyle Glogoski (Howick College) had been sought after by a number of MLB clubs and universities in the United States, but committed to the Phillies just prior to Christmas.

After formally signing his contract today, he will return this week to pitch for the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League (ABL).

“I couldn’t be happier right now to finally get that pen to paper,” said Glogoski from his current Sydney base. “It’s been a bumpy road to get to this point and I couldn’t be happier to come to terms with the Phillies.” Glogoski said he understands the magnitude of signing with such a storied franchise that last one a World Series in 2008. “One thing that excites me is that they’re one of the oldest organizations in the game and they have a lot of history behind them, so I can’t wait to put that jersey on for the first time and meet a lot of young talented kids the same age as me all trying to chase that same dream of making it to the big leagues,” Glogoski added.

The 18-year old (Kyle turns 19 on 6 January) has pitched well for the Sydney team in his first season of the ABL, appearing in five games with one start, but as yet he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to complete the current season with the Blacktown-based professional team. “I will have to see if the Phillies have a throwing program for me to go over these next couple of months, so I am unsure at this stage if I will be able to complete my season with the Blue Sox as their (Phillies) throwing program may clash with their (Sydney) playing schedule,” he said, adding that he hopes to be allowed to finish out the year with his Sydney teammates.

Glogoski credits his parents Gary and Sharon as a major factor in his success thus far on the diamond, and his father, who has spent quite a few years carting Kyle from game to trainings, is especially pleased with this first major milestone for his son. “It’s great to see Kyle realize his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, a super proud moment for us and those who have helped along the way,” said Gary Glogoski, who confirmed that dozens of people have helped his son get to this point. “We couldn’t be happier for him; he’s been very lucky to have been accepted and guided by so many in various baseball teams in New Zealand and New South Wales,” the elder Glogoski added. “Plus he’s received sound advice over the years from Alex Johnson in Sydney who negotiated the deal with the Phillies but was also able to provide him with college alternatives if that was the path Kyle chose.

“Kyle has been very focused around baseball and his long-term goal (of playing professionally),” said Gary Glogoski, who confirmed that baseball wasn’t actually his son’s first choice of sports as a youngster. “But once he found baseball and made his first New Zealand team it’s been all baseball,” he said. “He’s taken nothing for granted and worked hard to make various representative teams and continued to work hard once securing a place on those teams.”

Glogoski pitched for New Zealand in the 2014 World Baseball Softball Confederation World Championship in Mexico, and then became the youngest player on the New Zealand Diamondblacks men’s national team in Sydney in 2016 at the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. But Glogoski first came to the attention of a number of Major League scouts when he spent two weeks in Florida in early 2017 playing for an MLB Select team against Major League Baseball Rookie teams at various Spring Training facilities around the St Petersburg area.

“One of the biggest things I learnt on that tour was how to pitch against the more advanced hitters and to have a game plan on how to approach them, and this contributed a lot to my success over there as I was able to figure out what each batter was expecting and ultimately throw a different pitch,” said the young right-handed hurler who was clocked at 92 mph (148km/hr) in Florida and was the hardest thrower on the entire World Team roster.

Baseball New Zealand CEO Ryan Flynn couldn’t be happier for Kyle and his family. “I’m thrilled that all of their hard work has paid off and that Kyle is signing with the Phillies, who are one of the most storied franchises in the sport of baseball,” said Flynn, who added that he believes Kyle has a chance to be special, on a global scale.

"He has the right make-up, he knows what he wants, he’s clever and he’s still growing as a man and as a player. I think the Phillies will look back at this signing as a real coup and that he could help the big league club in the future,” said Flynn, who added that the signing is also a nice boost for Baseball New Zealand. “Kyle’s success shows our kids growing up in New Zealand that they, too, can go a long way in this beautiful game…and once we have our own team in the ABL, players such as Kyle will have greater access to a professional level of play and development system domestically—a great stepping stone to highest levels in the world, especially in the United States and Asia,” Flynn said.

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