From Venezuela to Alberta, infielder Alejandro Cazorla Granados has seen a lot of baseball.
For the second year in a row, he’s seeing even more of it at the Tournament 12 (T12) in Toronto.
Taking place at Rogers Centre – home of the Toronto Blue Jays – from Sept. 17-21, the utility player is one of 150 prospects from across Canada on display.
We posed seven questions to the teenager as part of our ongoing 7th Inning Stretch series. Find out more about his best baseball memories and most influential coaches below:
1. Let’s learn a bit about you. How old are you, where are you from, and how did you get into baseball?
I’m 17 years old and I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where baseball has a big influence. Although I was born in Caracas, I felt like I was raised more in the little town of San Pedro Del Rio in the state of Tachira, where my mom is from. I have a lot of family that I look up to that I grew up with in San Pedro, like my cousin Miguel Alberto, who played professional soccer, and my grandfather, who did so much for the people of San Pedro. I know I will always have the support of the people of San Pedro, no matter what.
I got into baseball because of my dad’s love for the game. In Venezuela I never played organized baseball, but my dad would take me to the park, where we would hit for hours.
Because of the crisis in Venezuela, we had to move to Canada, but it gave me the opportunity to finally start playing organized baseball.
2. This isn’t your first time attending the Tournament 12. What goals have you set for yourself for the T12?
First off, I am super grateful for the opportunity to be attending T12 again. Expectation-wise, I’m not going to T12 with any expectations. As a senior, and this being my last T12, I just want to enjoy the experience as a whole. I don’t want my performance on the field to alter my experience. Whether I play good or bad, I’m going to play the game how I always have, with heart and passion.
— Alejandro (@acaz_23) September 19, 2018
3. You are a student at the Dawgs Academy. What has your experience in Okotoks been like?
It’s been more than I could ever ask for. Baseball-wise, the whole staff has helped me improve as a player – both on the physical and mental side of the game. That said, being at the academy is so much bigger than baseball. Although I have improved substantially over the years, the friendships I’ve made I know will last a lifetime.
4. Dawgs Academy is well represented at the T12 yet again. What is it like having so many familiar faces there with you?
Being able to attend T12 with my brothers in the academy makes the experience that much more special, especially with guys like Ricky (Sanchez) and Matt (Wilkinson) being two really close friends. Last year, I was able to attend with two of my closest friends, Micah (McDowell) and Cesar (Valero), who were able to give me guidance throughout the tournament. We also made memories that we won’t forget off the field.
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player so far, and why?
Up to this point, the person who has had the biggest influence on me as a baseball player is coach Andy Peterson. Although this was my first summer working with coach Andy, he helped me immensely on the field.
Off the field he was a big influence on me, too, helping me with tough times, like when my grandfather passed away in June. I’m hoping to be able to work with him these next few years to come.
6. What is your favourite baseball memory?
Although I wasn’t on the roster and I didn’t play any games, my favourite baseball memory was being on the bench during the Dawgs’ WCBL (Western Canadian Baseball League) season this year and being able to be in the locker room with guys who are where I want to get to. And being able to be in that dog pile with Ricky, Matt, Micah and Fernando (Fuentes) in the championship was something we’ll never forget.
— Alejandro (@acaz_23) August 17, 2019
7. What’s the best baseball advice you’ve been given?
The best baseball advice I’ve ever received is: “control what you can control.” You can control your effort and attitude. Everything else is up to God.