When you’re ranked as the third best high baseball player in Massachusetts and the 31st-ranked catcher in the United States, good things happen in your career.
And for Lynn Classical senior Kyle Devin, it’s been a career off-season home run, just like those he used to hit in droves out of the West Lynn American Little League field.
Devin has signed a national letter of intent to attend Stony Brook University in New York, where he will continue his baseball career in a Division 1 program. Devin is also celebrating another milestone: the 6-foot-1-inch, 225-pound star athlete has signed a contract to play this summer for the North Shore Navigators, who compete in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League and play their homes at Fraser Field in Lynn.
Bill Devin, Kyle’s father and the director of athletics at Classical, feels the dual achievements bode well for his son’s baseball career after he completes his final varsity campaign with the Rams this spring.
“We’re very happy for Kyle – I think he made a good choice,” said Devin. “I think Stony Brook is a good fit, both academically and with their baseball program. They have a history of producing very good catchers and the facilities are great. He’s excited and we’re excited for him.”
Devin said he was surprised when Navigators coach Jon Cahill called his son to inquire about playing for the team that is made up of top collegiate players in New England. The Navs have roster spots for only two graduating high school seniors.
“We like the situation because all the home games are at Fraser Field and he’s going to get the chance to play for Richie Hebner, who’s a legendary Major League baseball player,” said Devin. “The pitching is outstanding in that league and it’s going to prepare him for the next step.”
“We’re just extremely proud of him,” said Kyle’s mother, Lynne Devin. “The last year has been a real whirlwind and a lot of people give kudos to Billy and myself but honestly Kyle is the one who gets up every day and goes to practice. He’s earned everything that he has coming to him and we’re very proud of him.”
Kyle Devin, who began practices for his varsity hockey season at Classical as a team captain Monday, has remained humble about the Stony Brook scholarship and the Navigators’ honor and low key about the fact that several Major League baseball teams have him on their radar for the 2013 Major League Draft in June.
“It’s been eye-opening because you don’t think about this stuff when you’re in high school,” said Kyle. “If I were to get drafted, it would be an honor and be the icing on the cake that has transpired the last couple of summers.”
Devin gained considerable attention from the pro scouts in August when he threw out five runners attempting to steal bases at the prestigious Area Code Games in his third outing. He earned Player of the Game honors for that accomplishment in the prestigious California tournament that brings together the top high school underclassmen in the country.
He’s excited to be on the Navigators’ roster for the 2013 season.
“I definitely think playing for the Navigators and seeing college pitchers who are 2-3 years older than me, I think it will help me jump from high school to college ball,” said Devin.
Kyke credited former professional baseball catcher and Classical coach Jeff Waldron and current Classical head coach Mike Kulakowski for giving him the opportunity to advance his skills as a catcher.
“I have to give kudos to coach Waldron because he asked me if I wanted to transition over to being a catcher,” said Devin. “If he weren’t there and he didn’t work me as hard as he did, I wouldn’t be half the catcher that I am today. I want to thank coach Mike Kulakowski because he gave me the opportunity to be a catcher whereas most coaches would want to choose someone who’s been catching all their life. He and coach Waldron have helped me not only mature as a player but as a person. They’ve taught me to put the team ahead of myself.”
Classical Principal Gene Constantino, who coached Division 1 athletes such as Helen Ridley and Monique Lee during his tenure as girls basketball coach, congratulated the newest addition to the club of Rams alumni who will play a sport at the highest level.
“Kyle has worked very hard and it’s a well-earned scholarship,” said Constantino. “He is one of the best players that I’ve watched in recent memory. He’s a great student and a great role model for us and we’re really happy for him. We’re looking forward to watching him play hockey and baseball and then go on to his future. We wish him the best of luck.”
Devin thanked his father for helping him strive toward his goals and devoting extra time to his athletic career.
“A lot of people don’t understand the time and effort that my dad puts in for not only me but my three little brothers and sometimes it’s tough, but he always finds the time to go down to Frey Park and throw to us and get some work in,” said Devin. “And all that time that we’ve put in has worked out because I’m going to a great college with a good baseball team and great academics.”