UVa Baseball's Pinero is First Freshman Starter at Short Stop Since 2002

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The UVa Baseball team has a nickname for their starting short stop.

"They describe me as the Canadian," said Virginia freshman Daniel Pinero.

Pinero is UVa's first freshman to start at SS since 2002.

Pinero was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, where playing on the diamond quickly became his favorite hobby.

"It always kind of clicked," said Pinero. "My dad stuck with it because I kept getting better and better." 

Pinero's dad was his number one mentor growing up. Pinero elaborated, "He thought maybe my kid has a chance to go somewhere with this. We just kept practicing after school. We'd go to the park and he'd pitch to me."

With his dad's guidance, Pinero was drafted in the 20th round by the Houston Astro's while playing short stop for the Ontario Blue Jays.

"The first person I wanted to see was my dad," said Pinero. "It was about my dad more than it was about me because of all the time he spent training me with both sports you know not just baseball. We shared that moment together. He cried on my shoulder."

Although it's been a lifelong dream for Pinero to play in the major leagues, He decided to come to UVa because he knew the resources and coaching staff would only make him that much better.

"Once I met them I was like these coaches are for real," said Pinero. "On my visit here I just loved the field, the first time I stepped on the field I was like, wow, this is a beautiful park."

Pinero says it doesn't hurt having a huge fan base. Pinero said, "I've never played somewhere with this many fans. It's crazy just seeing all these people support you - you get pumped up."

While his dream is to play for the Yankees one day, he's content with focusing on his college game and letting the innings play out. 


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