Baseball home run for rising teen star

The blazing bat of Jake Turnbull has swung the Perth teenager's life dreams into a Major League Baseball reality.

Turnbull signed a contract yesterday, believed to offer a six-figure sum, to join the Cincinnati Reds - a move that also triggered a deal to play this season with reigning Australian Baseball League champions Perth Heat.

It will pitch the Koondoola 16-year-old, rated by Perth Heat coach Steve Fish as having the best batting swing he had ever seen in an Australian junior, to the brink of stardom in the sport he has loved since he was nine.

He will join Heat's senior squad for the new season that starts on Friday week and will also play for his local Wanneroo club before heading to the Reds in March.

"It's an awesome opportunity and I just can't wait to get over there and start a career in what I love doing," Turnbull said, suggesting Year 12 studies and any thoughts of plying a trade as an electrician were now finished.

"Baseball became the choice when I really didn't like anything else and I seemed to be pretty good at it. Apparently, Cincinnati is an awesome place to be and I'm super excited."

Turnbull said a positional move, changing from being a middle-infielder to catcher in the past two years, had been instrumental in his fielding offers from six MLB clubs before deciding on the Reds deal.

Fish, who first started grooming Turnbull when he was a "pee-wee", said his protege was a serious talent.