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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Mar. 28, 2022 8 months ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Christian Yamashita

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Christian Yamashita may be in the sixth grade, but he’s already competing for the Windermere Prep junior varsity baseball team.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

Christian Yamashita may be in the sixth grade, but he’s already competing for the Windermere Prep junior varsity baseball team as a shortstop. In addition to playing JV, Yamashita has played on the USSSA All-State team for Florida, as well as the All-American team and already has the attention of scouts from around the country. He recently was invited to Perfect Game’s under-13 prospect showcase for 2022. Outside of athletics, Yamashita maintains a 4.0 GPA, earning him a place on the Headmaster’s List at Windermere Prep. 

What got you into baseball? 
My dad started playing baseball when he was younger and was pretty good at it, so I thought I would give it a shot after I was done with karate. I earned my black belt in taekwando before I got into baseball about four years ago. 

What do you like about playing shortstop? 
Being a vocal leader on the field, and being with everyone is a lot of fun. 

How does it feel being a sixth-grader on the JV team? 
It feels good, but I don’t like talking about it. I prefer to stay in my own area and not brag about it. I try to not draw too much attention to myself when I’m around the team. I thought it was great that my teammates treated me the same instead of picking on me as the youngest on the team. 

How has the adjustment to playing high school baseball been for you?
It’s been great since I’m getting more used to it now. At first, it was shaky, but now I’m fine and doing well. I’m not nervous anymore when I go into games. 

What would be a big accomplishment for you this year to set the tone for the future? 
I want to play JV this year, next year and maybe eighth grade, but I hope to already start playing varsity in eighth grade. 

Favorite shortstop? 
Francisco Lindor. He’s a great player, a switch hitter who hits really well, and he’s a smooth fielder. 

Favorite baseball team? 
Right now, it’s the Mets, but the Yankees would have to be my overall. 

Favorite class in school? 
Math. 

What is key to maintaining your high GPA and also putting in the time you need to practice baseball? 
You have to have good time management by learning how to do it. I would go to school, play baseball until 8:30 or 9:30 and then I would do my schoolwork. If I had any time in between my baseball practices, I would get my schoolwork done in an efficient and fast way. The way I do that is going step by step and making sure everything is in order. 

Favorite movie? 
I like a lot of movies, like the Marvel movies and the DC ones as well. Some DC movies are good, but I like Marvel better. The new Batman movie was awesome though. I really liked it. Robert Pattinson was better than I thought he would be.

TV or Netflix show you are watching right now? 
I watch a lot of Netflix’s anime catalogue so it depends on whatever one I’m watching at the time. I recently finished the second season of “Demon Slayer.” 

Favorite anime? 
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.” 

Favorite character in “Demon Slayer” besides Tanjiro? 
Zenitsu Agatsuma — he seems like a completely harmless crybaby when he’s awake, but his true power comes out when he’s asleep. He’s really funny though too. 

What’s an interesting thing about you that no one would expect to know? 
I like science books, astrophysics, specifically, because I’m really into it. I know a lot of stuff about space. 

What’s something interesting you’ve learned? 
There’s the thing called a white hole. It’s like a black hole, but it’s so far away from us that we don’t exactly know what it does. The theory is that it’s the opposite of a black hole in that it can only shoot things out instead of sucking them in. 

In the future, what’s one place you’d like to go to in the world? 
I’m going to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. 

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