Diego Espinosa, 18, of Long Branch, has climbed his way from from being a backup catcher to a starter and one of the best hitters for the Long Branch High School varisty baseball team.
Now, Espinosa has chosen to continue his athletic career at Bloomfield College where he will be play Division 2 baseball for the Deacons in the fall.
Espinosa chose Bloomfield College because it offered his major, he was able to receive financial aid and the school's baseball team is graduating a lot of seniors this year.
Espinosa's father Herminio Espinosa said his son "felt that he will be part of a team that is building for the future, this meant a lot to him knowing he's part of the programs future."
"He also has a good relationship with (Bloomfield College) head coach Jeff Watson and assistant coach Andrew Mees," Herminio said.
Espinosa has been on the fast track to greatness since he arrived at Long Branch High School.
He played junior varsity his freshman year and was a backup varsity catcher his sophomore year. Espinosa took over as the starting catcher in 2011.
Espinosa batted .326 last year and helped bring Long Branch to it's first appearance to a Central Jersey Group III State Tournament in 11 years. The Green Wave lost to No. 2 seed Robinsville in the first round, but Espinosa continued to showcase his talents.
After playing summer ball for the The New Jersey 9ers, schools began to recruit and reach out to him.
Espinosa will resume his role as the starting catcher for the Green Wave this spring and will spend his senior season playing for new head coach John Perri and new assistant coach Jim McConville.
Espinosa and ace pitcher/outfielder Aaron McCue were both named captains of the team for the 2012 season.
Long Branch's opening game will be March 30 at 4 p.m. against Matawan.
Espinosa will be there to showcase his talent behind the plate and provide some thunder when it is his turn to bat.