Kyle Kraus returned to Massachusetts almost one year to the day of his first visit, but this time he was headed north.
The Oregon native - seventh round selection of the Boston Red Sox in the 2012 MLB entry draft - stood proud in his Lowell Spinners uniform and reflected fondly on his 2011 summer with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape League.
"It's the premier league out here," said Kraus, a right-handed pitcher who went 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA in Hyannis. "It gave me the confidence to improve myself and know that I can compete with anybody."
"It gave me the confidence that my stuff is good enough anywhere. As long as you believe in that, you can go as far as you want."
Although Kraus' slate will be filled with the Spinners, who open their season on Monday, he is looking forward to making the trek down to Hyannis to catch up with old friends.
"I'll be pretty busy up here, but I do have some off days and I'm still good friends with my host family," said Kraus. "I'm trying to get down there at some point [this season], but I don't know when."
The Cape Cod Baseball League season kicked off on Thursday night and heads into the first weekend of action with 43 games still remaining on each team's regular season calendar.
We'll have more from Kraus, and other 2012 Sox draftees later today.
In the meantime you can get a head start on your weekend by checking out this Cape League preview.
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