In the black shirt of New Zealand's Diamondblacks, Kyle Glogoski's star rose rapidly. But in the vibrant red threads of the Philadelphia Phillies, the 19-year-old is at the bottom of the food chain.

And that's just the way he likes it.

"You start in New Zealand, you're one of the big names and everybody knows you," Glogoski told the Herald, "then you get over there and you're just so far down in the hierarchy. I mean, I like it; it gives you something to work for, I want to be better than everyone else."

The Auckland pitcher signed with the Phillies late last year, ending a three year period of communications with a number of Major League Baseball teams interested in his signature.


One step closer to achieving his dream of playing in the MLB, Glogoski soon realised it was only the start of a long, long road to the sport's pinnacle.

"It was always in my mind like, man, this could really happen," Glogoski said of signing with the Phillies.

Kiwi pitcher Kyle Glogoski has been released to play for the Auckland Tuatara by the Philadelphia Phillies. Photo / Photosport
Kiwi pitcher Kyle Glogoski has been released to play for the Auckland Tuatara by the Philadelphia Phillies. Photo / Photosport

"It had been on my mind for so long, it was something I was working for for a long time. It was a huge weight off the shoulders."

Glogoski spent the past year playing for the GCL Phillies West in the rookie Gulf Coast League, and it didn't take him long to impress. In 10 appearances, which included eight starts, he proved to be a handful for hitters. His earned run average (ERA) was 2.31 and he held a healthy average of strikeouts per innings pitched.

In the five starts he was allowed to pitch five innings or more, making him the pitcher of record, he won four, with one no-decision. His 4-0 record was tied for the fourth-most wins in the league.

"When I got there, my coaches were impressed with my mechanics and how smooth everything was flowing coming from somewhere little like New Zealand.

"I ended up having a really good season this year with what I had and they can't wait for me to get bigger and stronger and, I guess, progress more."

He's aiming to become the first New Zealand-born player to make it to the MLB, and Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn has labelled Glogoski the poster boy of baseball in New Zealand.


And, stepping up to that mantle, when the opportunity to join the country's first professional team, the Auckland Tuatara, in the Australian Baseball League this summer came, Glogoski grabbed it.

"For me this is huge," he said.

Glogoski, who throws a mid-90mph fastball, change up, curveball and slider, will add to a strong pitching staff, which features former MLB pitchers Josh Collmenter and John Holdzkom.

Josh Collmenter pitched in the MLB for seven years. Photo / Photosport
Josh Collmenter pitched in the MLB for seven years. Photo / Photosport

"I'm stoked to work with guys like Josh. He's someone who's been in the big leagues and now he's on my team, he's definitely a guy I want to hang around and learn from."

A prized asset of the Phillies organization, Glogoski has been released to pitch a maximum of 25 innings for the Tuatara, two of which he pitched in the team's 4-1 pre-season loss to the Brisbane Bandits on Saturday night. The rest are expected to be spread over five starts – and will be shut down before Christmas.

"The Phillies are very cautious of it, especially this is my first full season so it's probably the most innings I've ever pitched in a year so they're very careful about how I build my arm up to start ready.

"They're really careful with how they work you into it so it's good to see that they really take care of their players, it means a lot that they're looking out for you in the long run."

Since joining the Phillies earlier in the year, he's noticed considerable improvement in his slider and curveball, and joining the organisation before the age of 20, Glogoski has an extra couple of year to develop to those drafted out of college.

"It's nice getting in the system young. You get more opportunities and more room to fail, so if you're working on something with a coach and it's not working for whatever reason, they'll give you more time to work on it.

"I've definitely got more years to develop. As a high school guy, they understand you need to develop, you need to get stronger and there's just more room for failure. I mean, I'm definitely not planning on failing; I'm going out there every day and doing the best I can."

Glogoski will be available for the Tuatara for their first ever series in the Australian Baseball League when they travel to face the Perth Heat next weekend.