The inaugural CSRA Prospect Showcase Baseball Game was called in the eighth inning because of rain, and at the time, the score was 0-0 That did not stop scouts from leaving Lake Olmstead Stadium on July 30 impressed by several county players.
The star of the day might have been Rafael Parks. Parks did not put up big numbers as a junior at Greenbrier, but the 6-foot-4 outfielder/pitcher oozes potential.
This event was meant for players like Parks, and he seized the opportunity. He ran a sizzling 6.56 seconds time in the 60-yard dash. The time is all the more impressive when you consider that the players ran on wet grass. His time blew away the other runners.
Matt Key, of Silver Bluff, had the next best time at 7 seconds.
Parks also demonstrated tremendous arm strength from the outfield. He was on the mound warming up to pitch when the sky opened in the top of the eighth inning, flooding the field in a matter of minutes.
While warming up, Parks was clocked at 86 mph, another prime reason many scouts left the stadium with the belief that Parks has an outside chance to be selected in the Major League Baseball draft next June. All in all, I'd say Parks had a pretty good day.
Parks was not the only athlete to make an impression on the scouts. Evans star Shawn Ward won the Home Run Derby. Ward already was a highly thought of prospect, but it never hurts to perform well in front of college and pro scouts.
Ward needs to improve his speed, but his baseball instincts, solid glove and bat make him a hot commodity.
As far as the game itself, it is hard to find superlatives in offense in a 0-0 tie. Chris Johnson, however, was impressive.
He roped a double early in the game for the only hit for Team Georgia. Johnson is rebounding from a knee injury that forced him to miss his junior season at Greenbrier. He showed no ill effects from the injury, and surprisingly seemed to already have his timing back.
All three of these players should be primed for a big senior season in 2006.
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