He hasn’t even played one game for the Moose Jaw Miller Express yet, but New Zealand native Daniel Devonshire has already become the talk of the Moose Jaw baseball community.
Just before hopping on the Millers’ bus Wednesday, Devonshire received a call from a talent scout who said that he had been drafted to the Toronto Blues Jays in the 37th round.
Devonshire hasn’t stopped smiling since.
“I found out about five minutes before we were leaving to go to Swift Current. I got on the bus and I Facebooked my parents,” he said. “They were ecstatic to say the least.”
Growing up in Auckland, New Zealand, Devonshire has joined a list of only two other Kiwis to be drafted to the MLB. And in a country where rugby and cricket make the headlines, he said it was sometimes hard to see where a future in baseball would lead. But with supportive parents who sent him around the world to play, and a love for the game like no other, he stuck with it.
“There’s just something about baseball that I love so much that I couldn’t stay away from it,” he said. “The biggest thing is just the feeling of hitting a home run. I can’t really match any other feeling to how good it feels to see the ball travel 400 ft. out of the yard. That keeps me going.”
His drive eventually lead him to the eyes of a talent scout from Colby Community College in Kansas, where Millers head coach Michael Hunt was working.
“When I was still coaching at Colby Community College, we were actively recruiting him out of New Zealand,” he said. “It was a name that we couldn’t resist and were lucky enough to land. It was kind of the next progression from there, with my ties to Colby, to help to make (Moose Jaw) an appealing place for him to be.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.