Athlete’s Spotlight: Marlborough High School junior Michael Yates
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Coach: Paul Duplessis
Notable 2012 Stats: batting – .333; pitching – 3 – 2, 31 strikeouts; and a 1.78 ERA
What is your earliest memory playing baseball?
“My first game when I was 4 years old. My cousin’s team needed a player, and I just got hooked to the game. I also remember going to the field and practicing with my dad.”
You’re a multi-sport athlete for the Panthers; what other sports do you play along with baseball?
“I also play football and basketball. I play quarterback for the football team, and point guard for the basketball team.”
Which sport is your favorite to play, watch?
“My favorite sport to play is football, because I love the contact. My favorite sport to watch is baseball, especially Red Sox games.”
How’s it feel to have had such a hot start at the plate this season?
“It’s been great being able to hit so well, because last year I struggled at the plate. My coaches helped out with my swing, which is why I’ve been hitting so well.”
Which of your first three seasons on the baseball team has been the most special?
“My freshman season was the most special because of the success our team had. At the beginning of the season I didn’t even know if I wanted to play, but I’m glad I did. We went 16-4, making it to the playoffs. That’s also been my best year pitching so far, going 7-0 in the regular season.”
When you aren’t pitching, you’re usually in the outfield. Do you prefer pitching or playing the field?
“I prefer pitching, because I like the pressure. Also when I’m pitching, it can push me to hit better, because I’m more involved in the game.”
Who has most encouraged you to succeed?
“All three of my high school coaches have encouraged me to succeed – Paul Duplessis, Arty Bennett and Bob Wood. They gave me a shot freshman year, and have been helping me get better ever since. My pitching coach, Ed Riley, has also been a great help to me. As far as teammates go, my catcher Matt Buroni pushes me the most. He’s the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to.”
Have you started looking at colleges yet? Would you like to play a sport at that level?
“I hope to play college baseball and be a pitcher. Right now I’m just looking at a few different colleges, and waiting to do some showcases for college scouts this summer.”
You mentioned the Red Sox are your favorite MLB team to watch; who is your favorite player?
“Bryce Harper [rookie outfielder, Washington Nationals] is my favorite baseball player, because I love the way he plays the game. He plays with a confident attitude, and goes hard every single play. Another favorite player of mine is Tim Lincecum [pitcher, San Francisco Giants] because he’s not the biggest player, but he’s still very good.”
What is your favorite class in school?
“My favorite class would have to be either math or accounting. I’m good with numbers, and those have been the subjects I’ve most understood throughout high school.”
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