GOLD COAST, 31 July - Ryan Dale has signed with MLB franchise Kansas City Royals, becoming the seventh Aussie MLB signing in six weeks.
The 16-year-old Melbourne local has been training at the Major League Baseball Academy (MLBAAP) on the Gold Coast for the past six weeks, where his impressive infield tact cemented him as a serious third base prospect for the Royals.
The son of Melbourne Aces' manager and Australian baseball legend Phil Dale, Ryan picked up a baseball before he could walk and grew up playing baseball in the back yard with his dad who was the first Australian to win a baseball scholarship in the US.
For power-hitting third baseman Ryan, who still plays in summer for his first club, Waverley, his signing is a special achievement.
“I’m proud of myself and so is my family. This is a thank you to them for getting me to all the games and trainings every day,” explained Ryan.
The Victorian local is focused as much on playing for Team Australia one day as he is making the Majors;
“I’d like to make the Australian Senior Team and one day play at the World Baseball Classic and World Cups. Putting on the Green and Gold at that level would be another big achievement for me”.
The 16-year-old has developed within the Melbourne Aces Victorian Academy and is looking to step-up for the Melbourne National League team this season;
“I’m hoping to play for the Melbourne Aces this season. Playing in the ABL will be another step forward for me”.
Ryan will finish Grade 10 at the end of this year and then will head over to the US next year to focus solely on baseball with the Royals for the first part of 2013.