Greenbrier's Nolan Belcher has nothing to prove to local baseball fans. The southpaw has posted a career mark of 35-1 on the mound with three state titles in his stellar prep career. Also, he is regarded as the No. 48 rising senior in the country according to Baseball America.
Despite his outstanding resume he seemed to still take a back seat to many pitchers in the class of 2008, and some scouts (most that have not seen him) still had their doubts.
Well, the doubters are few and far between following his recent performance at the 15th Annual Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C. Team USA Baseball uses this event to choose the players that will be invited to play for the U.S. Junior National Team.
Belcher did not let this golden opportunity pass him by.
He was one of the more dominant pitchers in attendance. He struck out 11 batters in five innings of work in his first start, and at one point he struck out the side on just 11 pitches. All this came while facing the premier young hitters in the nation.
More importantly, Belcher did something he has never done before - he hit 92 miles per hour on the radar gun.
He was consistently in the 89-90 mph range and showcased his outstanding curveball. He did this in front of scouts representing nearly every Major League Baseball team.
Following the Tournament of Stars, USA Baseball had to narrow their list of prospective players from more than 150 of the very best players in the nation. That list was trimmed to 32 finalists and 11 alternates this week.
Belcher was somehow left off the top 32 list, but he was among the 11 alternates who still have a shot to make the final U.S. Junior National Team roster.
Also, based on his performance in North Carolina, college teams have wasted little time in contacting Belcher. He has fielded calls from SEC, ACC and Southern Conference programs in the past few days.
Belcher is the only player from Georgia to make the list, which is an impressive accomplishment when you consider that the Peach State is annually among the top five or six states in the country in terms of top baseball prospects.
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