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White Sox prospect Polo on track for big leagues

By - Nov 15, 2017

By Andrew Castellano/For The Sporting Nation
 
Tito Polo, 23, is a Colombian professional outfielder in the Chicago White Sox organization. Polo has been playing in the minor leagues for five years and has been a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox organizations.
 
Polo was recently invited to the 2017 Arizona Fall League with many of the top young major-league prospects, where he played with the Glendale Desert Dogs until the end of last month.
 
The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is an off-season league run by Major League Baseball. Historically, nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League roster, with an incredible 212 All-Stars, 12 MVPs, four Cy Young Award Winners, three World Series MVPs, 66 Silver Sluggers, 58 Golden Glove winnerss, and 25 Rookies of the Year, according to MLB.com.
 
At the young age of 18, Polo heard about an open tryout that the Pittsburgh Pirates were holding in Colombia and the rest was history.
 
“My life changed when I signed with the Pirates, they were looking for people and found a role for me,” said Polo. “A lot of my wishes came true. Playing baseball in the United States was a new experience and I was exposed to new cultures. . . I am really happy about everything that’s happened to me.”
 
Polo was 7 years old when his neighborhood friend introduced him to baseball. Polo’s father influenced his son to fall in love with the game and to follow his dreams. While playing baseball at a young age, all the Colombian would only talk about on player, his idol, countryman and World Series champion Edgar Renteria.
 
“When I started to get to know baseball, the first player I heard of was Edgar Renteria,” said Polo. “All the kids I grew up with wanted to be just like him.”
 
Manager of the Glendale Desert Dogs Shawn Williams sees nothing but potential for the young outfielder.
 
“Tito is a great ball player and I had the privilege to see him play with the Pirates and the Yankees ...  he does a lot of good things,” said Williams. "He has all the tools. He can run, hit, has some power and can defend. Being around him, you can see he is a great teammate, great kid and he definitely has a high ceiling.”
 
Williams understands the struggle of coming from another country and being exposed to a new culture. He said that the Sox organization tries to set up young international players for success both on and off the field. Both coaches and players are learning English and Spanish to make communication more efficient.
 
“It’s all about learning about their culture and where they come from. . . About six years ago I played ball in Nicaragua, so I know what it’s like going to a new country and it’s tough,” said Williams. “I know what it’s like for Tito . . . we’re all in this together, one team.”
 
Polo credits his family and God for putting him in the position to play professional baseball in the United States. He considers himself lucky since people in Colombia would fight for the position he is in.
 
“I see myself in the big leagues in a couple of years working with my family and team,” said Polo. “I want to help people in need and everyone who made my wishes come true.”
 

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