Being one of three baseball players to represent the Tucson area, Canyon Del Oro junior Nate Soriano competed in the 2014 Under Armour Pre-Season All American Tournament for three days in January.
The tournament selects Division I-caliber baseball players nationwide to compete in a two-day tournament at Kino Sports Complex. Scouts from professional teams attend the event and assess the abilities of each baseball player. At the end of the tournament, the baseball players receive an overall player rating, scouting report and video footage. The tournament is a stepping stone for players wanting to be recognized to either play college baseball or MLB someday. David Wright, a seven-time All Star and third baseman for the New York Mets, as well as Bill McKinney, who was a first round pick in 2013, both competed in the Under Armour tournament.
Soriano, the Dorados shortstop, competed at the tournament for the first time this year and considered it a tremendous opportunity and honor to attend.
“It was really fun and exciting,” said Soriano. “You get to see people from around the United States. You get to learn from their skills, how they act, how they play the game and you get to know the people.”
Most of Soriano’s life has been filled with baseball. Like most kids, Soriano started by playing tee ball and before long joined a Little League team. From there he played on a club baseball team until he reached high school and decided to dedicate all his time to playing on his school’s team.
“I played football too, but I fell in love with baseball a lot more,” said Soriano. “My dad is really the one who pushes me and gets me through a lot of stuff and drives me to do better and play better.”
Coming up on his third season of being the head coach, Stephen Ambuehl, sees Nate as a valuable asset to his varsity squad.
“Every single day he is going to be a model of what we want to do on the field. He’ll take extra ground balls, extra swings – he would live on the field if he could,” said Ambuehl. “He has a passion and a hunger for the game and knows how he needs to obtain those goals to make him better.”
Soriano lives and breathes the game. He even confesses that he’ll sleep with his glove before a game – hoping it will bring him luck.
“It’s just kind of a superstition thing. It’s just a ritual I like to do,” said Soriano. “If the game doesn’t go right I change it up.”
For now though, Soriano just focuses on getting better everyday in practice. Soriano has two goals in mind: work hard and win a state championship. The Dorados last won a state championship in 2009 under head coach Lee Anderson.
The Dorados will be coming off a 21-9 record last season to face Pueblo High School in their first home game on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m.