BRADENTON --Tyler Pastornicky is extremely familiar with professional baseball. He practically grew up around it. His dad, Cliff, is a former Major League Baseball player with the Kansas City Royals.
At age 4, Pastornicky was a batboy in the Royals organization, when Cliff became a minor league scout.
Now, the one-time batboy is a professional baseball player.
On Thursday, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Pastornicky, an IMG Academy IMG Academy School student, in the fifth round (159th pick overall) of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft.
Pastornicky said hearing his name announced on MLB.com was a dream come true.
"It probably won't sink in until I wake up in the morning," said Pastornicky, 18. "I didn't have expectations of where I would get drafted. I just knew I'd done my part."
He's correct about doing his part.
A shortstop with the Panthers this season, Pastornicky, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, batted .513 with six home runs, 40 RBIs and 24 stolen bases.
Pastornicky signed a letter-of-intent to play at Florida State next season, though he may never play an inning for the Seminoles.
The soft-spoken right hander has been eyeing the professional ranks for a long time.
Last summer as a member of the Florida Bombers of the Connie Mack League, he hit .433 with five home runs and 10 doubles. Pastornicky had 26 RBIs and successfully stole 25 out of 27 bases.
The youngster is aware of what it takes to be prosperous on the professional level.
The demands will be taxing. The hours of work will be a grind, and doing what it takes to be an elite player will be difficult. He's ready, though. Those days of following his father step-for-step in those isolated minor league parks, and his four years at the IMG Academy School helped him.
"Being around my father was a really good experience," Pastornicky said. "I got to grow up around the game, and it bettered me, and got me ready for everything.
"Playing for the (IMG Academy School), I grew a lot of discipline. They don't force you to do anything. They guide you. They don't force you to go to the weight room. It's kind of like a mini college atmosphere. It's kind of getting you started for what's going to happen next."
What happens next is Pastornicky will meet with Blue Jays officials in the coming days to discuss a contract and his path in the minors.
Cliff is still a scout with the Royals, so there's little doubt his son will receive the best advice.
"We are very excited for him, and he's a lot more prepared than most kids for the pros," Cliff said. " He's a little bit more acclimated to it. He knows what it's going to take in the minors leagues, the rigors and sacrifices he's going to make to be successful."