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Community Champion: Las Cruces baseball player to compete in MLB Jr. Home Run Derby

A freshman from Centennial High School is getting the chance of a lifetime next week as he will compete in the MLB Jr. Home Run Derby.

Diego Venegas, 14, is a baseball player for the Centennial Hawks, and is one of only 10 teenagers from across the country who qualified for the Jr. Home Run Derby.

The derby will be held at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio during MLB All-Star Week.

In order to qualify, Venegas first had to win a home run derby in New Mexico, and then a regional derby in Phoenix, Arizona.

Venegas said that in the regional home run derby, he and another competitor had to go into a hit-off, and Venegas was able to win after getting just one more home run than his opponent.

Venegas says he’s ready to soak it all in and is ready to compete.

“I’m going to be excited, going to be a little bit scared, but I’m going to be super competitve,” Venegas said.

As for his strategy, Venegas say he’ll try not to overthink and focus on taking level swings.

Venegas hopes by representing Las Cruces, New Mexico others will take notice of the level of talent in the Land of Enchantment.

“Like nobody really knows where New Mexico is, they think it’s just Mexico,” Venegas said. “It’s pretty cool, so I can get the name out there. Not a lot of people come from here.”

Venegas is also hoping to meet MLB All-Stars during his visit to Cleveland.

Those on his wish list are Christian Yelich from the Milwaukee Brewers, and Aaron Judge from the New York Yankees.

As a participant in the MLB Jr. Home Run Derby, Venegas and one family member will get an all expense paid trip to Cleveland, Ohio.

The family is hoping to get other family members up to Cleveland to watch Venegas compete, so a Go-Fund me account has been created to help raise money.

Anyone interested in making a donation can click on the link below.

Article Topic Follows: News

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