Upon his second tenure with the CompassMarkets.com Sydney Blue Sox, infielder Tyler Bortnick will head back to the United States as a Detroit Tiger.
The 28-year-old journeyman signed with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks last year and is very much looking forward to another opportunity to get to the majors.
"It's another great opportunity to make the big leagues, it's what I do with it that will dictate how things go, no spot is given to me," said Bortnick.
His humble state is a result of his vast experience and his knowledge of the hard work it takes to make it to the bigs.
The journeyman has spent the last six years in the minors playing as high as Triple-A with the Reno Aces and has been consistent but just hasn't broken through… yet.
"I'll head to Spring Training focussed and with a chip on my shoulder like I always do and turn people's heads," he said.
After plenty of baseball in 2015, Bortnick will first head back home to Ohio to recuperate and spend time with family and friends before heading to Lakeland for Spring Training with the Tigers.
Bortnick has enjoyed a great season for the Sox and has been one of the stalwarts of the infield. He has been consistent all season and believes it was that consistency that caught the eye of scouts.
"That's the funny thing about baseball, that's why you play hard every single day because you never know who's watching," he says.
"The baseball world is a small world, people talk and if you catch someone's eye scouts often pass information on to other teams."
Bortnick has played over 650 games in the minors and has remained consistent through them. He notes the National Championship he won with the Reno Aces in 2012 as his career highlight along with playing in the Arizona Fall League.
"I was blessed enough to go there twice - I made some great friends there and a lot of the guys I played alongside with there have gone to the big leagues. It was fun to play with the talent level that was there," he said.
Amongst all his teams Bortnick maintains playing with the Sydney Blue Sox in the ABL has been great for his career.
The hardworking Ohio native always intended to play winter baseball to ensure he remains in top shape in his quest for the majors.
"The intention was to always play winter baseball, baseball is my trade and it's what I love to do so anytime I can strap on my cleats I'm there," he said.
"I was having talks with some other leagues but as soon as Jason called me to play, like I said if you ask me to play I'm going to be there."
With the season and playoff baseball still on the balance Bortnick is looking forward to the business end as the Blue Sox look to make the playoffs once again.
He states that baseball in this country and specifically New South Wales has improved and has continually given up his time for clinics to help grassroots baseball alongside coaches from Baseball NSW.
"I think Australia is going to be great, they are definitely going the right way especially with Grahame (Cassel) and Jason (Pospishil) there trying to get the game going they are in good hands."
"The big thing is getting as many of those guys and Blue Sox players to the camps to show and explain the fundamentals of the game and demonstrate how fun it can be, I think Australia has good things coming in the future."
If you want to attend a clinic held by Tyler and Blue Sox catcher Michael Quesada please click here for more information.