BRANDON Stenhouse is headed for the big league. The Mordialloc teen has been drafted by baseball giants the New York Yankees as a pitcher and will head to the US in September.
Brandon’s father, Dave Stenhouse, said the 17-year-old Parkdale Secondary College student was excited about the prospect of heading to America and realising his near lifelong dream to play professional baseball.
“He’s been playing baseball since he was four years old,” Mr Stenhouse said. “When he reached the age of about 14 we realised he may have what it takes to turn pro.”
Brandon has been played for the Cheltenham Rustlers in the Victorian baseball league for the past few seasons.
Yankees scouts had been tracking the Australian young gun for some time before making a six-figure sum offer to sign him up as a club draftee.
The New York club’s scout based in Australia, John Wadsworth said: “I have been waiting for many years to see if Brandon Stenhouse had the physical and mental makeup to be considered as a possible Yankee. I am pleased to see just how far this young man has progressed and his future is exciting to us all.”
Brandon will head over to Tampa for a two-week orientation camp in April before returning to Australia to finish his Year 12 studies.
He will then join the Yankees as a full-time draftee in September.
Mr Stenhouse said it could take some time for Brandon to break into the Yankees’ team since it takes an average of five to six years for pro baseballers to get Major League Baseball games ready.
“Brandon will head over to America, settle in at the club, get an agent and have Yankees’ coaches working with him to take his game to the next level,” Mr Stenhouse said.
The teen will also be subject to a rigorous training and dietary regime.
Mr Stenhouse said his son’s signing for the New York Yankees had also attracted a lot of media attention stateside and the family had been fielding numerous calls over the past week about Brandon’s prospects.
Many US sports websites have praised the Yankees’ decision to sign Brandon as a future investment in youth.