By: Phil Jones
ST. PETERSBURGH, Fla. _ Tyler Duncan is a towering young baseball star roaming the outfield at the Walter Fuller complex in pursuit of a dream.
The 6’4” MLB prospect hails from Sooke, British Columbia, and is coming off a phenomenal 2015 season for the Victoria Eagles in the Premier Baseball League.
Duncan got his introduction to baseball through his parents who also played and initially met through the similar interest.
“Both my parents played slow-pitch together for years and they fell in love through playing the game,” said Duncan glowingly.
The 17-year-old phenom recently acquired his driver’s licence and makes the hour long commute to Victoria to play for the Eagles. Last season he posted exceptional stats, including a .371 BA, 40 runs, 49 hits, 5 HR, 31 RBIs and 31 stolen bases in 42 games played. He also led the league in triples.
“Triples are probably the most exciting thing you can probably hit,” said Duncan. "Having to run the whole way and sliding head first, popping up, and seeing your whole team there (being) excited.”
The triple-hitting machine also got more than excited when he hit a walk-off home run last year in a key game while playing for Victoria.
“Last year, it was the bottom of the 8th,” recalls Duncan. “I came up and hit a walk-off to win the game. Coming around third, seeing my whole team there cheering, it was a feeling like I’ve never had before.”
These impressive stats and heroics obviously caught the attention of Canada’s Junior National Team selectors. According to Duncan, they’re not the only ones who took notice of his magnetic numbers and clutch performing. This is his first year of draft eligibility for Major League teams and someone came knocking.
“I’ve had a few teams contact me,” said Duncan. “I had someone from the Mets come to my house, I had to fill out a questionnaire for them and answer some questions. They came all the way out to Sooke and met my family. I was surprised.”
The Mets organization has clearly been doing their homework and must have thought quite highly of the Canadian baseball player to travel 4,000 kilometers to meet with the Duncan family. With Major League interest, he isn’t shy to portray that playing in the big leagues is the ultimate goal.
“Yeah, 100 percent, that’s the goal at the end of all this to get a professional contract,” said Duncan.
For now he’s studying for his SATs when he can, and is looking into attending Oregon University once he graduates. As for where he lands after that, Duncan is open and optimistic to just about anything.
“Toronto, Seattle is close to home, anywhere really. I mean, that’s the dream at the end.”
Guided by his parents love for the game, Tyler Duncan has established himself as a recognizable talent with immense potential which sets the table for an exciting future as he chases his baseball dream.