Josh Federico signs first professional contract

 

By Joel Charron

Josh Federico will be playing professional baseball this summer.

Federico, 23, recently signed his first professional baseball contract and will be playing for the London Rippers of the Frontier League this summer.  Federico was offered the contract shortly after attending a Tryout for the Rippers in Waterford, Michigan last month.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Federico. “All the hard work is starting to pay off.”

A graduate of St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, Federico is currently an assistant coach at Oakland City University in Indiana, where he was also a player.

Last year, Federico hit .358 with 34 hits and 25 runs scored.

Federico admits he didn’t know what to expect when he got to the tryout, but was impressed with what he saw. He said the Rippers’ facility in Waterford is a former Best Buy location that enabled to him take batting practice from a live pitcher and also allows for fielding practice. He has experience at both shortstop and second base.

“They had a really nice set up there,” he said. “It was unbelievable to see this place.

The 5’11”, 190-pound natural shortstop said he was taking infield practice at shortstop and second base, whiling noting that he is comfortable at either position.

“It doesn’t matter where they put me in the infield, as long as I’m playing,” joked Federico.

With London Rippers owner Dave Martin over his shoulder, Josh Federico signs his first professional baseball contract.

Federico said that the Ripper’s tryout was “well-organized” and mentioned that it was one of the better tryouts he’s attended.

“I’ve been to the tryouts where they have 330 people trying and you have to be at your absolute best,” he said.

He added that the number of players wasn’t as large in the past, which worked in his benefit.

“It definitely helped me stand out a little bit,” he added.

Federico said he was able to showcase his skills when they started turning double plays.

“It was nice to get them looking at me then because I’m not the fastest player on the diamond,” he said.

Federico even caught the eye of London evaluator and ex-Detroit Tiger Scott Lusader.

“He told me that I was on the borderline and I needed to hit the ball,” he explained.

When Federico got his turn at the plate he excelled, stating that he hit the ball well and drove it hard up the middle.

“I got eight at bat and I think I hit four or five balls really hard,” he said.

After the tryout, Federico said they brought him into the office to speak with him and that’s when he started to feel that “it was all coming together.”

Playing in London is an added bonus, he said, as it is close to home. Being a Canadian didn’t hurt his chances of getting a contract either.

“It will be nice to play so close to home. My family will be able to come and watch so I’m pretty excited,” he said.

Spring training starts May 5 with the Rippers playing a 99-game schedule.

The 23-year-old said signing a professional contract is a “dream come true” but mentioned he plans to use this contract as a stepping stone for something “bigger and better.”

“This is just the beginning,” he said.

Federico credited his family and coaches, past and present for the successes that he has seen during his career.

“If it wasn’t for their support and encouragement I don’t think this would have been possible,” he said. “I owe a lot to a lot of people.”

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