“In the fifth round of the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft, the Kansas City Royals choose Amalani Fukofuka, from James Logan High School in Union City, California.”
“What the Fukofuka?”
Yes, that’s the exchange I imagine a Royals fan having with their computer when the draft announcement was made this afternoon.
Here’s a little glimpse of Fukofuka’s athletic ability on the football field.
For those who don’t follow baseball, it’s common practice for teams to grab kids out of high school. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll take the offer, nor that a career will materialize. Many athletes choose to first play in college. Some opt for another sport as a career or scholarship focus.
From the perspective of an MLB franchise, the goal is to convince young players to work within their system, without the influence of other outside sources (in other words, universities). It’s pretty safe to assume MLB squads love the upside of this kid if one of them took him in the fifth round of a 40-round draft.
So, who exactly is Amalani Fukofuka? With a name like that, he’s an instant celebrity — that’s who he is. Kids probably made fun of his name once they discovered the F-bomb. Those same kids also probably learned that Amalani was supremely athletic and capable of squashing them. Now, he has an opportunity to get the last laugh — all the way to the bank. To set the record straight, his name is pronounced Foo-koo-foo-kah, but we know that no sports fan will be able to contain themselves from a reasonable modification of phonetics. Just ask Kosuke Fukudome.
The 6’1″, 180-pound Fukofuka served as a stud on two different James Logan High School fields of play: football and baseball. Whatever he chooses, many congrats are in order. I hope he continues to work hard, refine his skill set and, most importantly, trademark any catchphrases associated with his name.