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Former local star headed to South Carolina to chase baseball dream

'I'm still chasing my dream of going pro... and I've been putting in the work,' says Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School graduate
2020-06-22 Yojairo Juan 2
Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School graduate Yojairo Juan has earned a scholarship to play baseball at Vorhees University in South Carolina. Tyler Evans/OrilliaMatters

A Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School graduate is looking to take his baseball career to the next level at Voorhees University in South Carolina this spring.

Yojairo Juan, a former Orillia Royals standout shortstop, spent the past two years playing for Jefferson Community College in Watertown, New York. He was pursuing his associate's degree in business and is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree.

The left-handed speedy outfielder is looking forward to playing at Voorhees University on a scholarship.

"I played in a summer league in Texas last year," Juan explained. "My coach was in contact with Voorhees and told them I was looking for somewhere to transfer."

Juan, 21, grew up in the Dominican Republic playing sandlot-style baseball. He immigrated to Canada in 2014 at 13 years old with the dream of becoming a professional baseball player.

After getting his first taste of the sport at an organized level with Orillia Legion Minor Baseball, Juan decided to sign with the Georgina Bulldogs rep team where he played through the 2021 season.

"I'm so thankful that I've gotten the opportunity to play at the level I'm at today," he said. "I'm still chasing my dream of going pro."

Despite his baseball dreams, Juan says his education comes first.

"I want to make my mom proud," he said. "I'm also planning for life after baseball and whichever path I take." 

Juan is excited about playing with and against tougher competition this spring. He is going from Jefferson Community College, a National Junior College Athletic Association Division III school, to Vorhees University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I school.

"I feel like I'm ready for it," he said. "I've been preparing for this opportunity, and I've been putting in the work."

Juan says playing against some of the best competition for his age group at one of the highest levels is "surreal."

"There are some great players of many talents," he said. "There are some guys that I look up to, and it's really cool to have them around me."

To prepare for the next step, Juan has been training at The Kage Barrie and hitting off a tee in his backyard in Orillia.

"I'm still taking this all one step at a time," he said. "I'm focused on the challenges that are in front of me now and it will lead me to my next path."

Juan thanks all his coaches who helped him get his start with baseball when he first moved to Canada.

"They know who they are, I don't even have to mention names," he said. "I also want to thank my teammates, and my mother who has given me all of these opportunities."


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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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