HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
It's not often folks find their profession
right out of highschool. But more than a handful of Hawaii's youngsters may
discover their calling and a big paycheck after this week's MLB first year
One of those
expecting an early call is Punahou's Kainoa "K.J." Harrison.
crazy you know. It's kind of a lot coming at you." Harrison told Hawaii
It's funny to hear
KJ utter those words; It's the same response opposing pitchers have said after
facing the smooth swinging slugger.
Ranked as the 10th
best "pure" catcher by Baseball America, Harrison is a favorite
amongst the 30-major league teams who have paid him an in-house visit.
"On the field
they like my arm strength and how I'm a gap-to-gap hitter." says Harrison.
"And I have the
potential to become a big power hitter. Off the field, they really like my
character and they like me and my family.
That likability is
familiar to Hawaii baseball fans. His father, Kenny Harrison starred at the
University of Hawaii and played professionally in Japan after being drafted in
the 33rd round by the Minnesota Twins and playing one season of minor league
conversations are unique -- because Kenny's past can relate to KJ's future.
"I am in the
position I am because of him and I thank him and love him." says KJ.
"Mentally we always talk about his experiences and you just gotta have
that attitude that you belong there."
Further proof that
KJ belongs, came last week when he flew to Arizona for the Diamondbacks
"We got to see the
field and met the general manager. We met the assistant GM, the scouts from
bottom to top there. So it was just a crazy experience."
If KJ isn't drafted
in an early round the 17-year old has a full ride scholarship to Oregon State
that he's more than happy to fall back on.
"We've been thinking about that a lot and either way it's going to be a
great option. And Oregon state is ranked number one in the nation. So I just
look at it as if it happens it happens and if it doesn't it doesn't."
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