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- Olympic champion’s Epic win, big-hearted women’s triumph
- SA runners in search of elusive medals in Kampala
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Durban’s Deyzel is picked up by Pittsburgh Pirates
- Updated: March 18, 2015
With his heart set on playing in the US Major League, Durban-based baseball star Vince Deyzel is one step closer to achieving his dream after he was recently drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and will head to the United States to take part in their summer programme in a few months’ time with ambition of making his trip more permanent in the years to come.
Deyzel has been a member of the Elite Athlete Development Programme that is backed by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation and the Glenwood schoolboy has seen a marked difference in his pitching speed since his involvement with the Prime Human Performance Institute based setup.
‘Being part of the EADP has been really good for me over the past year and I have been able to really get stuck into my training,’ the pitcher said. ‘The medical staff at Prime are really helpful and they make sure that I am working on specific things whilst I am there which means that I can get the most out of each and every session.’
Baseball came fairly late in the piece for Deyzel who only took up the game a couple of years ago but he has not looked back since and with an unwavering determination to succeed, Deyzel has become a regular at Prime since being selected for the EADP.
‘I started playing baseball around four years ago when my mate asked me to play because they were short of players and I realised that I enjoyed it and was also quite good.
‘When I first started training at Prime it was twice a week but I was really pleased when I was able to up that because I see just how good training there was for me.
‘I upped my schedule and being able to have fewer distractions meant I got the best out of my workouts,’ he added.
It has been a hard few months of work for Deyzel who is juggling his Matric studies with his training but he was excited when he received the call from the Pirates offering him a contract and a chance to come and train with them during their summer programme.
‘I was playing at the interprovincial tournament when I was scouted. Through my training at Prime I managed to get my pitching speed up from 86 miles per hour to 88 miles per hour and that was when I got the call!
‘It was awesome when the Pirates phoned me and I am really looking forward to the chance to go over and train with a Major League franchise even though I know that I’m going to have to do a lot of work and start at the bottom,’ a focused Deyzel mentioned.
Deyzel still has one last chance to represent his country when the national Under-18 team travel to Japan for the World Series later this year and he is proud that he will be able to represent his nation.
‘There are still a couple of issues regarding our travel costs but I am hoping that we will still be going to the World Series because if I manage to sign a permanent deal with a Major League side then I won’t be able to represent my country.
‘Just to be playing in the Major League would be a dream in itself though!
‘I was never concerned as to which team I signed with, I just wanted to get a shot to go over to the States and try and prove myself for the few weeks that I have and then hopefully it can become a yearly thing where I head there for six or seven months during the season.
‘In the meantime I want to keep training hard and using the opportunity that I have been given by Prime and the EADP to make sure that I am in the best shape possible for when I head to America,’ he concluded positively.