Hailing from the provincial capital and playing for Dawgs Academy in Okotoks, right-handed pitcher Andrew Yusypchuk has logged his share of miles traveling across Alberta to play baseball.
Yusypchuk will tack on a few more miles when he travels to Toronto to take part in the Tournament 12, hosted by the Blue Jays Baseball Academy, for a second straight year.
The national showcase tournament, featuring 150 of Canada’s best baseball prospects, takes place at Rogers Centre from Sept. 17-21. The final day of the tournament, which shines a spotlight on players between 14 and 19 years of age, includes a home run derby and an all-star game. That will also be Yusypchuk’s 17th birthday, so he should have plenty to celebrate on Sept. 21st.
Yusypchuk is the focus of our latest installment in our 7th Inning Stretch series ,which poses seven questions to Alberta baseball players. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into baseball?
I am originally from Edmonton. I got into baseball through some of my friends who played, so I just sort of joined them.
2. Did you set any goals coming into Tournament 12 this year?
My goals for T12 this year are to be able to really compete among all the best players in the country. Last year, I was really nervous, so this year I am just looking to have fun and perform my best. I am really looking forward to being able to play alongside such great players.
— Prospects Academy (@ProspAcademy) September 16, 2018
3. You mentioned you’re from Edmonton. Where have you trained so far and what have your academy experiences been like?
In recent years, I played and trained with Prospects Academy and it helped me improve a lot. Just recently though, I moved down south to attend the Okotoks Dawgs Academy. So far, it’s been great and I am looking forward to training with them all year.
4. How well have you got to know the other T12 players from Alberta over the years?
Playing in tournaments like T12 last year and Canada Cup have really helped me get to know players from around the province and even the country. I find it really cool to meet and play with new people from different places and see how they play the game.
Final rosters have been announced for the 7th annual Tournament 12 presented by @NewEraCanada.
— TBJ Baseball Academy (@BlueJaysAcademy) August 19, 2019
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player and why?
My biggest influence is definitely my dad. He has helped me out whenever I need it and really taught me the game. I would be nowhere near the player I am today without his help throughout my career.
6. What is the best piece of baseball advice you’ve received?
The best baseball advice is to just have fun and enjoy the game. When you start putting too much pressure on yourself and take it too seriously it stops being enjoyable.
7. Final question: what is your best baseball memory so far?
My favourite baseball memory so far is definitely T12 last year. Getting to pitch on that mound is just something very special.