From the Classic to the PGCBL

Kyle Dean of the Amsterdam Mohawks

2015 PG All-American Kyle Dean, a native of San Diego, is the first participant of the Classic to also play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League where he prepares for life at BYU with the Amsterdam Mohawks.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The three-time defending Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) champions, the Amsterdam Mohawks, have been an organization of consistent success over their tenure in the PGCBL. With three out of four PGCBL titles calling Amsterdam home, the Mohawks have dominated the PGCBL ranks and are once again atop the East Division in 2015.

With a 26-7 record halfway through July, the Mohawks have an eight-game advantage over the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, who sit in second place in the East. As the Amsterdam organization has flourished throughout their time in New York, General Manager Brian Spagnola believes the team’s success is due in part to the dedication and hard work that has been put into the organization.

“We have garnered great trust with college coaches from around the country and within our organization,” Spagnola told Perfect Game this week. “I believe those are both key for any organization that wants to be successful and win at this level.”

As the team pushes through the dog days of summer, depth, talent and trust will start to become an even more valuable part of the Mohawks success. One of the youngest players on the Amsterdam roster, Kyle Dean, has exhibited all of these traits throughout his time in New York, which has helped take Amsterdam to the top of the PGCBL once again. 

A 2015 Perfect Game All-American, Dean has become the first PG All-American to play in the PGCBL. As a high school baseball star, Dean made a shocking gesture when at the Classic in his hometown of San Diego last August, as he took a pitch from the lefthanded batter's box to honor the late great Tony Gwynn. A righthanded hitter, Dean took the strike before then switching back to his righthanded self where he went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base in the game.

Gwynn, a fixture in world of baseball for many years, played and coached in San Diego during his baseball career and was looked up to by Dean and many more throughout the baseball world. 

“I wanted to do it for him,” Dean said of his memorable tribute. “He is Mr. Padre, and to make a gesture like this in my hometown and the pace he called home for so long was something I’ll never forget.”

One of the best high school products in the country, the San Diego native has an explosive bat that coincides with strong fielding abilities. Committing to play baseball at Brigham Young University, Dean is excited about his opportunity to play in Provo and start his college career.

“When I visited I knew this was where I wanted to be,” Dean added. “I am excited to lead their program to new heights and better myself as player alongside their coaching staff and school.”

In Amsterdam, Dean has started to come into his own of late, batting .244 with four doubles while being one of the youngest players in the league. As the season has progressed, the PGCBL rookie recognizes that what he is seeing in New York will prove to be crucial in his development at the next level. 

“Amsterdam and Perfect Game have gave me great opportunities throughout my baseball career,” Dean said. “From improving my game against top collegiate competition here in New York, to being able to be around great friends at tournaments and showcases, it’s all been something special that will pay diligence heading into college.

While the PGCBL takes every player on his own ride throughout the summer months, the 18-year old Dean acknowledges that his time in upstate New York is not finished yet.

“We have a great shot to win a championship,” Dean said. “I’m looking forward to learning even more from my teammates and developing my skills throughout the postseason.” 

While the Mohawks are looking to repeat as champions for the fourth straight year, competition in the league is at an all-time high. With five teams having .500 records or better, the East and West divisions both share close races that will end in both heartbreak and relief for several clubs.  

With great coaching, front offices, and facilities on hand throughout the league, Spagnola believes these great assets are why the league is at such a high in 2015.

“Expansion into great areas here in New York have really opened up the league. With all the teams adding improvements and attracting new players, the PGCBL is going to continue to thrive in years to come.”

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