Isabella Medina
After over a decade of baseball training, Bonita Vista High School sophomore Nate Nankil and juniors Omar Vega and DiMaggio Cazares were scouted by Major League Baseball at the start of fall 2017.

The three students attended a tryout for the Seattle Mariners scout ball team, in which they were instructed to do a workout and tested in several aspects of baseball such as pitching and running. These boys were drafted out of over two hundred other players.

“[Baseball] my passion, I love it a lot. I was overwhelmed [at the tryout] because it’s my dream to play in the MLB,” Nankil said.

Nankil has continued playing baseball since he was five years old. He currently plays for the San Diego Stars, a premier baseball academy for youth and has already committed to the Division I college, California State University, Fullerton.

“[My advice is to] practice every day. Follow your dreams and if someone doubts you, prove them wrong,” Nankil said.

Cazares has played baseball since the age of four by his dad’s decision. He has since joined the team at Bonita Vista High alongside Omar Vega and Nate Nankil.

“I enjoy playing the game, it’s kind of an escape from all of my problems and everything else I have going on,” Vega said.

Cazares states that connections with his coach got him a recommendation for the Mariners scout ball team after official tryouts had passed, later attending a private workout instead. Through these workouts, he was able to be evaluated for skill. From there, he was drafted by the Mariners.

“The way I tried out wasn’t typical. To be honest, I was really nervous. I’ve never played for a team with such good players and that much prestige. It was a really humbling and enlightening experience. You learn a lot about the game and how it is played at higher levels through playing on a team,” Cazares said.

According to Omar Vega, he and Cazares attended the private tryout for the Seattle Mariners scout ball team together.

“When I was at that tryout I was with DiMaggio and we’ve grown up together playing baseball. I was nervous for myself, of course, it was nerve-wracking not just for me but for my friend. [We’re] brothers and we both said that if we’re not making it together, it doesn’t matter,” Vega said.

Vega began playing baseball when he was three and has since dedicated his baseball career to his loved ones.

“[Right before] my grandpa passed away, I told him in his bed that I don’t care how, I’m going to find a way to make it to the pros. Those were the last words I said to him, I’m going to play as hard as I can,” Vega said. “I don’t play for myself, I can hate the game but at the end of the day, it’s not for me, it’s the promises that I made to people, it’s to show the people that I love. The time and money my parents put into me—I want to give back, that’s all I ever want.”