The road to Major League Baseball might just be the longest and rockiest path in professional sports.
For young players signing with a franchise, there's no guarantee they'll ever reach the top level. While other codes may have a top team and a reserve team, in American professional baseball it's a little more congested.
Every team has affiliates in the minor leagues, with prospects hoping to work their way up from rookie ball to class A to double A and finally to triple A before cracking the big leagues.
Kiwi Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Kyle Glogoski knows firsthand that it's a situation you can easily be overwhelmed by.
"It's hard. It's definitely something I used to get caught up in back in my first season," he tells the Herald.
"What you've got to understand is if you're always worried about someone else you can't be fully concentrated on yourself; you can't be getting better if you're always thinking about someone else.
"You've got to go out there every day and try to get better. If you work harder than everyone else, good results will come.
Glogoski is one of more than 100 pitchers in the Phillies organisation looking to one day fill one of the 25 pitcher spots on the MLB side's 40-man roster. The 20-year-old from Auckland signed with the franchise in early 2018 and got his first promotion this year, joining the club's class A affiliate Lakewood BlueClaws after spending 2018 in rookie ball.
"In spring training it was on my mind to make the Lakewood BlueClaws single A side…I got the call up and haven't looked back," he says.
"I'm pretty happy with how I'm pitching, that's for sure, and I think the Phillies are as well."
Joining the organisation as a very raw prospect, Glogoski has made huge improvements in his game; the most noticeable and most important of which being to understanding the use of his pitches, where he needs to throw them and why, and executing with consistency.
As a result, the step up to single A hasn't bothered Glogoski. He is dominating opposing hitters with his ever-improving pitching arsenal. In eight appearances this season, which included three starts, he's struck out 45 hitters while only allowing 14 hits and six runs. He boasts a 3-1 record with a scorching 1.30 earned run average.
His performances in the early season earned him a call-up to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game – the only player on the Lakewood roster to make the cut.
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"It starts with our mechanics and the mentality," he said of his improvements. "Being able to throw a pitch then reading the swing of the hitter – was he late? Was he early? Was there a hole in his swing? – then realising when to throw which pitch. Those things alone, if you can consistently do those, the quicker you'll move up through the system.
"Our pitching coach has been really happy with how I've been going. It's nice to see all the hard work starting to pay off."
Every day, Glogoski is working to improve his stuff. When he's at the field, he makes sure to spend as little time as possible in front of his locker. Instead, he gets out and works on not only his pitching, but making sure his body stays healthy. He credits current Phillies MLB starter Jerad Eickhoff with opening his eyes to how important a high work rate is.
Eickhoff spent time with Glogoski's team in the lower levels last year as he recovered from injury. Glogoski says observing how Eickhoff went about getting himself healthy taught him some important lessons.
"One thing I noticed between the big leaguers and us is they're not just sitting around wasting time on their phones or anything. They're at the field, always working, always finding something to do to get better.
"That's what I've got to do if I want to reach the next level."
He was reminded of that over the American off-season when he returned to New Zealand for the Auckland Tuatara's inaugural campaign in the Australian Baseball League late last year. Working alongside former MLB pitcher Josh Collmenter, Glogoski dazzled in limited innings with the Auckland team.
His time in Auckland was unwittingly beneficial for the position he finds himself in early in the 2019 season, with the level of hitters in the Australian league akin to, if not higher, than that of the prospects in class A.
"Thinking back to my first appearance for Lakewood I had to remind myself 'hey, you used to pitch in the ABL, there are a lot of hitters down there with more experience. You had success in the ABL so don't be afraid, just go out there and do what you normally do'."
Still just 20 years old, Glogoski is quickly learning what it takes to be a professional. Trying not to dwell on how other players are pitching, working on his own ability and taking his chances as they come have seen him begin to catch the eye of local fans, media and Phillies staff.
But knowing just how long the road to the majors is, the young Kiwi isn't getting too far ahead of himself.
"You can only take things day by day. Every day I'm trying to get better at something and if every day I'm improving I think I'll be able to find my way up through the system quick enough, it's just a matter of availability. If guys get injured up to, it creates a chain reaction all the way down," he says.
"I don't so much have a goal as much as I just want to stay consistent; just stay to my routine, stay within myself, go out there and just pitch well. All I can do is prepare for my games how I do, work hard and good things will happen.
"All I can do is just go out every day and compete."