Eleven-year-old Kai Ocasio has found all sorts of success on the field this past season for the 12-and-under Winter Garden League team, and he was recently was named to the 12-and-under All-Star Team. Ocasio hopes one day his talents will take him to New York to play for his favorite baseball team: the Yankees.
What is your favorite part about playing baseball?
My favorite part is hitting — like hitting around with my friends and also the competition.
What is the hardest part about playing baseball?
In my opinion, it’s pitching or catching. Pitching, because you have to be mentally in the game. If you walk two batters, then you could get mentally out of the game and start not throwing strikes. You have to have 100% focus all the time.
How do you get past a tough game?
I just talk to myself and try to be mentally in the game. And I also try to forget about the at bat.
You hit your first home run today — Sunday, May 30 — for the Winter Garden Junior Squeeze. What was that moment like?
Once I hit it, I thought it was caught, but it wasn’t. So then I was racing around first and going to second, but I thought it was a ground-rule double, but it wasn’t. So by the time I got to second, I realized it was a home run. I was the last person on my team to hit a home run.
What’s your favorite thing about playing outfield? What is the hardest part?
My most favorite thing about playing outfield is running to get the ball. Probably throwing a kid out from the outfield.
What’s your favorite thing about hitting?
Getting on base is always perfect, and helping the team.
You were selected to the 12-and-under All-Star Team. How do you feel about that?
It really felt good, and it’s an accomplishment — it’s an honor to be an All-Star.
How did the regular season go for you?
It was a pretty good season. We lost five games, but we made it to the championship — though we lost the championship on a walk-off.
What’s your favorite part about playing in WGLL?
All of the friendships that I’ve made with everybody that plays 12U. And also being able to make All-Stars.
Is there anything you’re trying to work on to get better?
Oh yeah, I’m trying to work on everything — everything all around, especially my hitting.
Do you have a favorite player?
Aaron Judge, because he hits bombs, and he’s also a Yankee.
What are you most looking forward to with the All-Star season?
I’m looking forward to being a part of the All-Stars because this is my last season for All-Stars.
When you’re not playing baseball, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to play outside with my friends, and also play with my dog.