Some individuals are just born to do things.Michael Jordan was born to dunk a basketball; Shawn Carter was born to rap; and Denzel Washington was born to act.
In this sense, Roy pitcher Chase Gurule was born to play baseball, and the game has guided his life from a very young age.
"Baseball is life," said the 5-foot-8-inch Gurule, who idolizes Chipper Jones and Nolan Ryan. "Baseball is all I ever do, and all I've ever done. When I'm playing, nothing else matters to me at the time. I can always get my mind off everything, even if I'm having a bad day."
Gurule's love for America's pastime began early. Gurule was a natural fit for the game, and made his mother, Susan, quickly realize he could have a legitimate talent -- especially after throwing a no-hitter in his first-ever start on the mound, and consistently playing above his age level.
"He was playing second base in a league for older kids, and he made some amazing plays, with like this speed-of-light arm, and it was like, 'Wow, I think we should try and turn this kid into a pitcher,' " Susan Gurule said.
As Chase Gurule pushed forward with his career, he consistently strove to be considered as not just a pitcher or an overall athlete, but as a baseball player -- a quest which continues to this day.
That mentality and work ethic has pushed Gurule to heights which are impressive for a 16-year-old junior in high school. Recently, he was selected to pitch for Team USA in the Latin American Baseball Classic-one of only 15 players across the country selected to the 16U team.
USA Baseball won the competition in 2012, and the pressure of defending the title, while playing with other talented players, has Gurule ecstatic.
"At first, I didn't quite understand all of it," said Gurule. "But after learning more, I was just so thrilled, and proud of myself. And it's made me want to practice more, and do everything I could."
Of all of the accomplishments, Susan Gurule stated this opportunity may be the greatest honor of his young career.
"I was overwhelmed with it when he told me," Susan Gurule said, with tears in her eyes. "I was really proud of him."
Generally, when the public hears of a young athlete with so many accomplishments, thoughts of selfishness, arrogance, or laziness outside of sports may enter their minds.
However, when it comes to Chase Gurule, those words couldn't be farther from the truth.
For instance, Gurule lists his role models as his parents; is a doting brother to his two sisters; and stated music is an intense passion. Also, Gurule is looked upon as a team leader for the Royals, and a supportive teammate.
"Chase is a popular kid on the team, and he's extremely approachable," Roy coach Travis Flint said. "You seem him work with the sophomores, and talk with them. He's always trying to help everyone get better."
Gurule is also a newly-dedicated student, mixing his academics between Roy and Mountain Heights Academy, an online public charter school which allows students to complete their education in a non-traditional way.
Susan Gurule said the school has made a world of difference for Chase and his interest in academics.
"The personal touch and the flexibility are way more fitting for what Chase needs," Susan Gurule said. "It has been amazing. He became a student who loves to go to school, and I would have never categorized him as that before."
In fact, the stronger emphasis on academics in Chase's life has made him more seriously consider post-secondary education, and he wants to use his born talents to help him achieve the goal of being a college student.
However, with the talent and accolades he has already gathered, a professional career isn't outside the minds of those who are around Gurule.
"If he keeps working hard, and if he keeps putting the time into the game, he's got a bright future," Flint said. "As long as he keeps doing the right things, he's got a chance in the game."
For now, Gurule is focused on being the best player he can be, and on helping Roy improve its baseball program for the 2013 season.
"I just try to take every day, one at a time," Gurule said. "I don't try to think too big of myself. I just want to be one of the better pitchers for Roy, and I want to go to the playoffs."