Since he was three years old, Adrián Bringas wanted to be a professional baseball player. This week he took the first major step toward making that dream a reality.
On Wednesday he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and leaves Saturday to join the Chukars of Idaho Falls, one of the team's minor league affiliates.
"When I read my name I couldn't believe it, I had to read it twice," said Bringas on Friday, speaking from his home in National City, where he was born and raised.
He played baseball for the Jaguars of Southwestern College, which he led to the California Community College Athletic Association state championship game in 2008.
For the last two years he has attended Chico State, where he was a team leader on the Wildcats. Last season, he batted .372, with 12 doubles, five home runs and 37 RBI.
Bringas, who turns 22 on July 18, was contacted by Kansas City scout, who apparently liked what he saw.
Bringas did a double-take when he saw his name on the MLB Draft Tracker at No. 46. Then he said he "started running around the house screaming."
At Chico, Bringas played third base but with the Chukars he will be playing second, the position he played at Hilltop High.
Baseball has been a passion in the Bringas household. Adrián grew up watching his father, Jesús, play in Tijuana's amateur leagues.
"The best lesson I learned from my father was discipline," Adrián said. "To work for what you want to achieve."
And he's worked hard to play baseball since he can remember.
As a child he practiced tireless hours, along with his brother Daniel, in the patio of his grandmother's house. He hung a sign there that read "Estadio de Adrián" when he was eight years old, a sign that's still there.
"Since he was a kid you could see he was born to play baseball," said Daniel Bringas. "He's earned this chance."
The eldest sibling, David, emphasized how hard Adrián has worked to achieve his goal.
"He's always faced his challenges," David said. "He showed his potential and now we're going to see what he's capable of doing."
Adrián, who once played minor league baseball in Tijuana, said he values his Mexican heritage.
"It would make me proud to represent my culture in this sport," he said. "We see many Latino baseball players but very few come specifically from Mexico."
For her part, his mother struggled to contain her emotions as she pondered her son's future.
"It makes us proud to know that as a child he used to say that he wanted to play in the major leagues," said Olga Bringas. "And now to see that he has taken that big first step."