Two members of the Parksville Royals, Josh Laukannen and Thomas Green have committed to play baseball for colleges in the United States.
Pitcher Laukannen, who also plays short-stop, will join Cloud County Community College Thunderbirds in Kansas while second baseman Green will play for the Cuesta College Cougars in California.
Both players, who are key to the Royals’ line-up this season, are excited to get recruited by collegiate teams and look forward to the next phase of their baseball careers.
“This is what I have been working for in my whole baseball career,” said Laukannen. “It is a good college and good fit for me.”
Laukannen, who attends Dover Bay Secondary in Nanaimo, has chosen the Thunderbirds because he would be able to play both positions either as pitcher or short stop. He doesn’t have any preference right now which position he would be asked to play but eventually he will have to make that decision in the future.
“At this point I don’t really lean towards one as I still love to do both,” said Laukannen. “In the future, I probably see myself more as a pitcher.”
Laukannen, who stands 6’2″ has been playing baseball since he was five years old. He has been playing for the Royals in the last two years. According to Prep Baseball Report, Laukannen’s maximum fastball is 87 mph. He plans to major in Physical Education and become a P.E. teacher.
Green, who goes to school at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay, is eager to make the step up to play college ball. While he had the option to pursue a four-year university, Green said there were multiple reasons why he chose to commit to a junior college instead.
“I felt it was a necessary stepping stone to take the two extra years before going onto a four-year school to develop more,” Green said. “[Cuesta College’s] history of moving guys onto the NCAA D1 level is really good. Coach Miller has been there for 13 years and in the years he’s been there, he’s moved on 64 players to the D1 level. That’s a ratio I really looked at in the recruitment process and something I weighed at the top of the importance level.”
Green said he wanted to follow his cousin’s footsteps. Taylor Green went to play collegiate baseball in California before eventually being drafted by Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers in 2005.
The 18-year-old Green said he worked countless hours on improving his game and credits the hard work he has put in to reach the next stage of his baseball career.
“I had this dream and wanted to follow my cousin Taylor,” said Thomas. “I just continuously worked on it and stayed with it. There were a lot of ups and downs, but it’s the ups you have to focus on while building on your downs. Little curveballs get thrown here and there, but you just got to hit them and make the best of them.”
— With files from
Comox Valley Record