It didn’t take long after the end of the high school season for Columbia County baseball players to start competing against each other.
There were no teams involved, just individuals vying for a spot in the Georgia Dugout Club’s Georgia Underclassmen Top 100 Showcase June 25-28 at Georgia Gwinnett College.
At Westside High School on Monday, 38 rising 10th- through 12th-graders, 26 hailing from the county, spent the middle of the day at the regional showcase in hopes of being selected for the main event.
The top 100 rising seniors and 60 sophomores and juniors will be parsed from 12 different regional tryouts, and the players were being scrutinized in all aspects of the game.
“There’s a pro scout and a college coach evaluating, looking at defensive skills, arm strength, arm control, offensive skills, running ability, just pretty much the whole gamut,” said Loganville High School baseball assistant coach Bran Mills, adding that 100 college and pro scouts routinely attend the main showcase, which has been held since 2003.
Players ran 20-, 40- and 60-foot sprints, threw from their position, hit batting practice and off a tee before playing a simulated game.
Greenbrier High School senior shortstop Connor Hoover wanted to be selected for the exposure.
“I hope to make it to the Top 100 team. I want to be looked at by as many people as I can.”
For Evans’ junior pitcher Kyle Anderson, who has already committed to the University of South Carolina, the day also was about recognition.
“It’s to get in front of pro scouts, get my name out there,” he said. “Just to keep playing, to get more time on the mound. It felt good, comfortable. I came out last year and made it, so I knew what to expect.”
At the conclusion of the day, Roger Wilkinson, of BaseballScoutz.com, who was attending the regional showcase in Statesboro on Tuesday, was impressed with the local talent pool.
“Today I thought we had some real good players,” Wilkinson said. “We’ve seen them throughout the season and they came out today and did a good job... I think there will definitely be some guys who make the Top 100.”