Federico invited to play for Team USA in baseball tourney

By Joel Charron

Josh Federico may be a Canadian, but that’s not stopping American scouts from inviting him to play for Team USA in an international baseball tournament in Venezuela this summer.

Federico, 22, a former Villanova Wildcat and current senior at Oakland City University caught the eye of US scouts while playing in the Winning Inning Invitational in Florida recently.

Josh Federico stand with his father Frank and mother Marsha after a Oakland City University baseball game.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Federico in a phone interview. “I never thought such an opportunity would arise. I guess all the hard work is starting to pay off.”

The 5’11”, 200-pound shortstop was approached by scouts in between games during the Winning Inning Invitation. The scout who invited Federico was Fred Ferreira.

Ferreira has signed a number of Major League players such as: Orlando Cabrera, Bernie Williams, Armando Galarraga and Vladimir Guerrero.

“They took my dad and I aside and explained to us their situation and how they felt about me as a player,” said the 22-year-old.

Federico said after talking to the scouts it gave him more confidence as he went two-for-three and turned a couple double plays in the next game.

Talks continued throughout the weekend until Federico was extended an invitation to play with Team USA. Federico went 9-for-16 with 16 RBI’s and batted .562 in the tournament.

“I had a smile from ear to ear,” he said. “I couldn’t pass this up. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.   When is the next time I’m going to get a chance to play baseball in Venezuela for Team USA, probably never.”

Federico’s father Frank said scouts overlook his son because he is not the type of hitter that will mash out home run, however his soft hands in the field more than make up for his power at the plate.

“He’s got great hands,” said Frank. “There is more to this game than just hitting. He just needed someone look at him and give him an opportunity.”

Federico said although he is Canadian, there will be no problem with him playing on Team USA.  The shortstop stated that although he will be playing for the USA, he wouldn’t forget his Canadian roots.

“I really do wish I could represent Team Canada, but when it comes to an opportunity like this its kind of hard to say no,” he said.

Federico said he will spend a few weeks in Miami at a training camp before the team heads to Venezuela. Professional scouts will also be present at the training camp.

“I couldn’t be happier for him,” said Frank. “This is a great opportunity for him and I know he’ll do great.”

Federico is batting .433 with the Oakland City  University Mighty Oaks, with 13 hits, 15 runs, three RBI and an on base percentage of .630.

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