Philippine National Baseball Team starting shortstop Lord Aragorn De Vera has received an invite for a workout with Major League Baseball (MLB) team Arizona Diamondbacks in the United States.

The Tanuan, Batangas native is currently in Los Angeles, California where he is undergoing training to prepare for the workout set in the second half of July. 

The workout would allow him to showcase his skills to see if he has what it takes to be part of the team, an opportunity never been granted to any other Filipino. 

“Excited ako dahil hindi lahat nabibigyan ng ganong opportunity and nung sinabi sa akin ng coach ko… syempre masaya dahil ma-so-showcase ko yung skills ko sa isang MLB team,” he said.

Nicknamed “The Dragon”, he added that it was former Major League Baseball scout and national team coach Vince Sagisi who arranged the workout and broke the news to him.

A huge fan of Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani and American shortstop Brandon Crawford, De Vera bared to GMA Regional TV News that it is every child’s lifelong dream to be able to play in an MLB team.

“Syempre yung makapasok ako sa MLB, kahit sino namang baseball player, hindi lang sa Pilipinas, kundi sa buong mundo na makapasok sa league na yun… yun yung pinaka-goal mo talaga,” De Vera highlighted.

His experience playing with the national team, especially in the last Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China, helped him improve and be exposed to a larger audience.

“Nagkaroon ako ng experience, nakita nung mga ibang teams, and pag may game kami, madaming videos and nakatulong din yung nakapag-perform ako nang maganda noong last Asian Games so maraming nakakita nung video and, siguro nagustuhan nila yung performance ko nung tournament na yun,” he said.

In December 2023, the Philippine Men’s National Baseball team rose to the 28th spot, currently their highest, in the World Baseball Softball Confederation rankings. 

De Vera, hopes to help keep the team’s momentum and be at par with Asia’s best teams with the squad set to see action in the World Baseball Classic qualifier in 2025.

“Pinaka-goal namin is makapasok dun sa World Baseball Classic na main tournament… Sana mag-improve lang kami as a team and kasama namin sa bracket yung Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, China, so at least, paunti-unti lang, maungusan namin, at least, yung China,” he said.

Despite the popularity of other mainstream sports in the Philippines such as basketball and volleyball, De Vera said it was the strong influence of baseball in the family and the growing popularity of the sport in their hometown that made him fall in love with baseball. 

“Yung family ko kasi, sa side ng mom ko, naglalaro talaga sila ng baseball and then sa city namin sa Tanauan City, Batangas, mas sikat yung larong baseball, so doon ako namulat talaga na mag-focus sa baseball instead na basketball,” he said.