PC: Shawn Stannard
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – As the Albany Dutchmen headed three hours east on Wednesday afternoon, the team was in the midst of a two-day road trip, recently finishing a 4-0 loss against the Victor RailRiders.
With a wide variety of talent on the Dutchmen roster, Dominic DiCaprio, an 18-year old from Coral Springs, Fla., is one of the youngest prospects in the PGCBL looking to gain valuable experience before he heads off to college this fall.
The Rice University commit, DiCaprio is one of two incoming freshman on the Albany roster. Following in the footsteps of Virginia’s College World Series winning second baseman Ernie Clement, DiCaprio is a first-year PGCBL star that has a strong-arm behind the plate and major power potential offensively.
At 6-foot, 200-pounds, DiCaprio has seen a lot of action in his first PGCBL season. With valuable collegiate experience in his back pocket, DiCaprio is confident the PGCBL has prepared him to play collegiate baseball at a high level.
“It’s been a great experience so far,” DiCaprio said. “Traveling around New York and getting a feel for what it’s like to play day in and day out will pay huge diligence as I head off to school.”
With leadership and guidance all around him, DiCaprio has been able to see what it’s like to grind through the summer months, something he’ll have to do in college and throughout his baseball career. As the game continues to speed up, the Dutchmen catcher knows he will have to compete for everything he gets.
“He’s gaining valuable experience he can take with him into the future,” Head Coach Nick Davey said. “He is here to make himself a better player and compete at a high level, which we feel he has done and will continue to do in college.”
While DiCaprio has adapted well to this point in the season, Davey believes it simply comes down to Dominic focusing on letting his abilities shine, which the coach acknowledges the youngster has done up to this point.
As an 18-year old behind the plate, DiCaprio has shown to be mature above his years on and off the field. A strong arm accompanied by great defensive tools and a great mind for the game have garnered the rookie respect throughout the league.
“Part of the reason I came here was to get up to speed with catching college pitching,” DiCaprio stated on a bus ride home Wednesday night. “I wanted to get myself ready to compete in the spring and this is one way I could do that.”
As his offensive abilities will continue to improve as well, Dominic is confident that the collegiate talent he is playing with this summer will also shed light on his future game.
“This is a great league with a lot of tough pitching. It’s always going to be a challenge, but having to make adjustments at the plate and in the field are beneficial for what I’ll be seeing at the next level.”
The Rice Owl, DiCaprio will take his baseball talents to Houston three weeks after the PGCBL season ends. A school that excels in many different areas, DiCaprio is excited about his future in the lone star state as a player and student.
“Rice is a school with great baseball tradition and great academics,” DiCaprio said. “I’m ready to get in there and compete on the field while being a member of their community.”
While DiCaprio’s journey has taken him through several peaks and valleys, the soon-to-be college kid also gave thanks and praise to Perfect Game.
Competing in over 20 events throughout his high school career, including five showcase events, DiCaprio excelled in Perfect Game tournaments and showcases before becoming a 2015 Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American. He was named to four All-Tournament Teams and also participated at the 2014 Perfect Game National Showcase with and against the top players from his class from across the nation.
With great upside and a terrific mindset, DiCaprio was an outstanding competitor that sold his game to numerous collegiate programs throughout his PG career.
“Perfect Game gave me the opportunity to travel around the country and get in front of a lot of coaches and scouts,” DiCaprio said of his experiences. “It was a great fit for me and something that helped me get recruited in several ways.”
With his high school years now behind him, DiCaprio has become a more polished baseball player this summer in the PGCBL. As a youngster who has used Perfect Game to his advantage once again, the Florida native feels strongly he is headed in the right direction as the PGCBL season winds down and his next stop in life creeps closer.
“I’m excited to finish out the year here in New York and then I’ll focus on college,” DiCaprio added. “We still have a lot of work to do here in Albany and I owe it to our community and organization to give it my all.”
With the final stretch of the PGCBL regular season now upon them, the Dutchmen will try to improve on an 11-16 record that places them fourth in the West Division. As the team stays in high spirits, the atmosphere around the club has never dipped.
“It’s been a great ride,” DiCaprio stated. “I’m looking forward to finishing strong and being around my teammates and coaches as much as possible.”