Angels’ David Fletcher will get to play with brother on Team Italy

David and Dominic Fletcher spent a while this offseason visiting the place their mom grew up in for the primary time.

As gamers for Team Italy within the upcoming World Baseball Basic, the brothers from Cypress went on a tour of the nation with a few of their teammates. The aim of the tour was to carry extra consciousness and pleasure in regards to the sport to a rustic during which it’s not widespread.

The group made a shock cease in Florence only for the Fletcher brothers, permitting them to satisfy and have dinner with cousins from Fernanda Fletcher’s aspect of the household.

“Our mom taught us Italian when we were young,” Dominic stated. “We kind of grew up speaking Italian and then over the years lost little bits and pieces. We still speak decent Italian. It was good enough to be able to have a decent conversation with our family.”

Italy’s WBC group is managed by Corridor of Famer Mike Piazza, who has lengthy been an envoy for the game within the nation. Piazza, who moved to Italy along with his household after he retired from Main League Baseball, performed for Team Italy within the inaugural WBC in 2006, then returned to the group as a coach for the following two editions.

WBC groups have till Feb. 7 to finalize the 30-player roster they may take into the principle competitors in March, and each David and Dominic are prone to be on the Italian group. It could be the primary time since highschool that the brothers will play collectively on the identical group.

David, 28, has been with the Angels since they drafted him out of Loyola Marymount in 2015. The versatile infielder will enter the third yr of his five-year contract with the group this season. Dominic, a 25-year-old outfielder, performs within the Arizona Diamondbacks group, which drafted him out of Arkansas in 2019. His objective this season is to get a call-up to the majors.

Since turning professional, the Fletchers have performed on the identical subject solely as soon as. That was this previous summer season. David was on a rehabilitation task with the Angels’ triple-A group, the Salt Lake Bees, who had a recreation towards the Diamondbacks’ affiliate, the Reno Aces, who Dominic performed for.

Dominic Fletcher makes a catch in left subject throughout an Arizona Diamondbacks intrasquad recreation on July 6, 2020.

(Ross D. Franklin / Related Press)

Although Dominic thinks David is the higher participant between the 2 of them, noting David’s contract, of that triple-A recreation, he playfully stated: “I got more hits than him.”

“Yeah, that was pretty cool,” David stated. “Getting to play on the same field in professional baseball and hopefully one day in the major leagues too.”

David was known as as much as the large leagues the week earlier than Dominic and the Razorbacks have been to begin their run on the 2018 School World Collection. Their father, Tim, already had tickets and plans to see Dominic play. He discovered a flight to Seattle to catch David, the place he was making his debut.

Tim couldn’t comply with David and the Angels to their subsequent recreation, which was in Oakland, due to work. The following week, on the School World Collection, Tim parked himself away from a lot of the group, in a set of stands within the outfield, in order that he may see Dominic play proper in entrance of him. On the identical time, he streamed the Angels recreation on his cellphone.

Arkansas' Dominic Fletcher hits a home run against Mississippi during an NCAA super regional tournament on June 9, 2019.

Dominic Fletcher helped Arkansas attain the School World Collection in 2019. He hopes to play within the majors this season.

(Michael Woods / Related Press)

When the boys have been kids, they’d wait for his or her father to return dwelling from work in order that he may pitch to them.

It was a every day routine that included taking part in makeshift baseball video games with among the different kids from across the Aliso Viejo townhouse they lived in. The household moved to Cypress when David and Dominic have been 8 and 5, respectively.

“They just loved to play all the time,” Tim stated.

Between the brothers — who’ve a youthful sister, Daviana, who’s a cheerleader at Arkansas — baseball began with David. Dominic picked it up from him. But it surely wasn’t a sport they realized from their dad.

“I think my dad wanted us to play football and my mom was against us playing football,” Dominic stated.

David grew into the game on his personal, a easy pleasure of throwing and catching baseballs, tennis balls, even balloons, and studying how you can use a glove when he was a toddler.

“I didn’t know then, but I know now that not a lot of people can do that,” Tim stated.

When David was 5 he requested his dad and mom to ship him to a summer season camp on the Mark Cresse Faculty of Baseball — which has three areas in Southern California and whose alumni embrace Piazza and former Angels All-Star Mark Trumbo. Fernanda would carry Dominic along with her when she introduced David to camp and by the following yr, Dominic was asking to take part, as nicely.

“Throughout both of our careers, he got to do everything first,” Dominic stated. “Not only advice he told me, but just being able to watch him and learn and pick up on things that he did throughout his journey has really helped me.”

David stated that though he provides recommendation to Dominic, his youthful brother does nicely on his personal. “I think he sets a good example of how to work hard,” David added.

The Fletcher brothers performed collectively on the identical group simply as soon as, at Cypress Excessive. That was in 2013, when David was a senior and Dominic was a freshman, an prevalence which may not have occurred as Tim and Fernanda contemplated sending Dominic to a special college. They helped the Centurions to their second CIF Division 2 championship in program historical past.

“Those two boys were incredibly tireless workers,” Cypress coach John Weber stated.

The Fletchers don’t all stay in the identical place anymore. Dominic lives in Arkansas within the offseason and David lives in South Orange County.

David nonetheless goes again to the fields at Cypress Excessive — a particular place for the Fletchers, who’ve run round and performed on these fields even earlier than they have been youngsters — to look at video games and even work out in his offseason. He additionally lends his time and assets to help his outdated group. Weber stated one among his gamers had his baseball bag and cleats stolen from him. Weber known as David, who despatched over a brand new pair of cleats for the participant.

“He does things like that, he donates time to our poker fundraiser, he donates things, he comes to our events,” Weber stated. Previously, David has additionally gotten Angels teammates, like Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, to donate a few of their gear to his outdated highschool group’s fundraisers.

When Dominic is on the town, he works out with David and helps a few of his neighborhood outreach efforts, like David’s charity poker match. The following version of that occasion, proceeds for which go towards Summer season Harvest Meals 4 Youngsters, is Jan. 20 on the Previous Ranch Membership in Seal Seashore.

“I’m awful proud of them and I’m not just talking about baseball,” Tim stated. “I said, ‘You gotta give back in some way when you get the opportunity.’ ”