Be sure to check back early and often
over the next several days, as this page will provide a running blog
of notes, features and highlights from all of the events that are
part of the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings. You can also follow updates via Twitter and Facebook and view photos of the event on Flickr.
Patrick Ebert -- Monday, August 15, 2011 -- 8:57 PM PDT
This was actually posted much earlier today, but for those still following the blog, I wanted to make sure everyone was aware that the box score was added to the game recap:
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 10:22 PM PDT
The game recap for the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings has been posted here. Congratulations to all of the players that participated in this year's event, as well as the family members, friends and fans that helped make this year's event another ringing success.
The box score should be posted at some point on Monday. Overall, we hope you have enjoyed the coverage of this year's Classic. If you have any suggestions, comments or concerns, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 7:56 PM PDT
Peak pitching velocities
The collection of
pitchers on hand for the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic was
simply outstanding. The slowest peak velocity by any pitcher was 91
mph. Here are the peak fastball velocities for the pitchers in the
order in which they threw (as well as the length of their outings and
how many strikeouts they recorded):
Lance McCullers –
96 (1 IP, 1 K)
Lucas Sims – 94
(1 IP, 1 K)
Duane Underwood –
96 (1 IP, 2 K)
Taylore Cherry –
92 (1 IP)
Clate Schmidt –
94 (1 IP, 2 K)
Walker Weickel –
94 (.2 IP, 1 K)
Matthew Smoral –
92 (.1 IP)
Carson Fulmer –
94 (.2 IP)
Tucker Simpson –
93 (.2 IP)
- 91 (.2 IP, 2 K)
Lucas Giolito –
97 (1 IP)
Cody Poteet – 96
(1 IP, 1 K)
Kayden Porter –
91 (1 IP, 1 K)
Max Fried – 94
(1 IP, 3 K)
Austin Fairchild –
93 (1 IP, 2 K)
Ryan Burr – 93
(1 IP, 1 K)
Ryan McNeil – 92
(1 IP, 2 K)
Hunter Virant –
91 (1 IP, 2 K)
Mitchell Traver –
94 (1 IP, 1 K)
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 7:51 PM PDT
Congratulations to Joey Gallo for winning the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings MVP award. Gallo of course had the big home run, and also drew a walk in this game.
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 7:48 PM PDT
Thanks to an outstanding diving stab by third baseman Trey Williams, snaring a rocket off the bat of Carlos Correa, the West secured a 6-2 win over the East. The win allows the West to pull back within a tie in the all-time series at 4-4-1. Congratulations to all of the players that took the field.
Stay tuned to this site for more updates, including the game MVP, peak pitching velocities and a game recap.
Jeff Dahn -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 7:27 PM PDT
Tonight's official attendance is 7,953.
Jeff Dahn -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 7:00 PM PDT
isn’t celebrating quite yet
played five at PETCO, and even though the home team West has built a
6-1 lead thanks to a four-run third, it’s easy to get the feeling
nothing has been decided yet. No one is celebrating in the West
dugout quite yet, and no one is hanging their head in East dugout. A
lot can happen in four innings.
Ryan Burr from Highland Ranch, Colo., has come out to pitch the sixth
for the West. He follows Lucas Giolito, Cody Poteet, Kayden Porter,
Max Fried and Austin Fairchild, who limited the East to just one hit.
righty Walker Weickel from Orlando, Fla., will pitch the sixth for
the East. He follows Lance McCullers, Lucas Sims, Duane Underwood,
Taylore Cherry and Clate Schmidt.
beautiful afternoon in downtown San Diego has turned into a simply
delightful night for baseball. According to one educated estimate,
there are in excess of 8,700 fans – and more than 100 scouts – in
attendance at PETCO.
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 6:31 PM PDT
Joey Gallo's solo home run in the the bottom of the 2nd was off of a 93 mph Lucas Sims' fastball. The ball travelled 442 feet, which not only was the longest in the history of the All-American Classic, but was also the 10th longest in the history of PETCO Park.
Jeff Dahn -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 5:51 PM PDT
heroes, one and all
was certainly to be expected, West fans greatly out-numbered those in
attendance pulling for the East. But even the West fans had their
biggest ovation during pre-game introductions was for hometown boy
Corey Oswalt, an infielder who attends James Madison High School in
San Diego. His supporters were wearing red t-shirts with Oswalt’s
photo on the front and his name and No. 3 on the back. They also
hosted homemade signs cheering him on.
were also big cheers for Covina’s Rio Ruiz and West Covina’s
C.J. Saylor, both of whom had dozens of friends and family members in
as scripted, the first pitch left West starter Lucas Giolito’s hand
at 5:08 p.m. sharp.
Jeff Dahn -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 4:53 PM PDT
bombs lift Rodriguez to title
turns out the Bronx Bomber had some bombs in his bat after all.
Rodriguez, a 6-2, 230-pound slugging catcher/first baseman from New
York City, knocked four long home runs out of the San Diego Padres’
PETCO Park late Saturday afternoon, and won the Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings Home Run Derby.
Friday’s first round, held at Cunningham Stadium on the University
of San Diego campus, Rodriguez failed to hit a home run in his 10
allotted outs. He was added to Saturday’s finals as a wild card
right-handed hitter smacked all four of his home runs to left field,
and two reached PETCO’s short porch in left, more than 400 feet
from home plate.
I felt different and I felt very good with my swing,” Rodriguez
said. “Today was a different day, and I woke up feeling very good.
My lower back wasn’t hurting and my swing felt great, and it felt
great hitting home runs today.”
said he didn’t feel intimidated by PETCO’s dimensions, which
measure in the 320-335 range down the lines, 400 in the power alleys
and 396 to straight away center.
had a little bit of butterflies in my stomach, but after about 5
minutes they went away and it was like it was a normal game,” he
Porter, an impressive 6-5, 255-pound right-hander and first baseman
from Spanish Fork, Utah, smacked two bombs and finished second in the
competition. Nick Williams from LaMarque, Texas, hit one home run.
David Dahl (Birmingham, Ala.), Alex Bregman (Albuquerque, N.M.) and
Joey Gallo (Henderson, Nev.) failed to homer Saturday.
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 4:02 PM PDT
Perfect Game All-American Classic
presented by Rawlings starting lineups
Here are the
starting lineups for each tea. The West will serve as the home team,
with both teams going 11 batters deep due to the number of talented
hitters in attendance.
1. David Dahl –
2. Skye Bolt –
3. Carlos Correa
4. Jesse Winker
Russell – 3B
6. Keon Barnum –
7. Corey Seager
Rodriguez – C
McCullers – P
Wiseman – XH
Winston – XH
Harvey, Josh Henderson, Duane Underwood (pitcher)
1. Nick Williams
2. C.J. Hinojosa
3. Trey Williams
4. Joey Gallo –
5. Rio Ruiz –
Hawkins – RF
7. Alex Bregman
8. Tanner Rahier
9. Corey Oswalt
10. C.J. Saylor –
11. Andrew Pullin
Goldstein, Kayden Porter (pitcher), Steven Golden, Daniel Robertson
And here is the
order in which the pitchers will appear (subject to change).
Matthew Smoral (expected to throw to only one batter)
Jeff Dahn -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 3:04 PM PDT
host pre-Classic tailgate party
quote an old Jimmy Buffett tune, “There’s no place like home when
you’re this far away.”
to 60 family members and friends of West Team catcher C.J. Saylor
made the 120-mile trip from West Covina, Calif., to PETCO Park to
watch C.J. play in Sunday night’s Perfect Game All-American Classic
presented by Rawlings, and quickly set up camp in one of PETCO’s
parking lots out in front of the downtown stadium.
tailgate party was organized by C.J.’s father, Cameron Saylor, who
was inside the stadium watching BP about three hours before game time
when I visited the tailgate site.
being able to talk to Cameron, I sought out Candice Saylor, one of
C.J.’s sisters, who was already enjoying a plate full of
wanted to come out and support my brother,” Candice said of the
family’s motivation to make the two-hour drive to San Diego. “This
is a televised event and I think it’s one of the biggest things for
him, and the family wanted to come out and support him.”
said the gathering consisted of family and friends and other people
they had met through C.J.’s involvement in baseball. The reason I
felt confident calling the food being served “home-cooked” is
because a catering van with the business name “The Buckboard
Catering Company” on its side was dispensing the table fare.
Buckboard Catering Company is the Saylor’s family business in West
is everything straight out of our restaurant, and we do ‘just from
scratch’ catering, too,” Candice said.
in the Saylor party seemed to be enjoying themselves and Sunday
afternoon’s beautiful San Diego weather.
seems like it’s really cool,” Candice said of the event. “It’s
definitely a good place for kids to get publicized as far as playing
baseball college-wise or even pro-wise. It seems like it’s a great
opportunity for (C.J.) to get scouted.”
Jeff Dahn -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 1:36 PM PDT
have arrived at PETCO
is an absolutely gorgeous afternoon in downtown San Diego – a
cloudless sky and plenty of sunshine pouring down on beautiful PETCO
Park, with a light breeze and an air temperature that can’t be more
than 75 degrees.
players and coaches participating in tonight’s Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings just jogged in from
PETCO’s outfield where they had their team pictures taken. The
teams will take a little BP and infield here shortly, and the finals
of the Rawlings Home Run Derby are slated for 4 p.m. (PDT).
set up shop in a corner of the West Team’s dugout (the Padres home
dugout down the first base line) and am eagerly awaiting the
Classic’s first pitch at 5:08 p.m.
now, I’m heading out to the PETCO parking lot to check out reports
of a huge tailgate party organized by one of the West player’s
family. I’ll report back as necessary.
Jeff Dahn -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 11:17 AM PDT
conversation with Trevor Hoffman
Saturday afternoon, about an hour before the Perfect Game
All-Americans boarded their team bus to leave the San Diego Marriott
Mission Hills hotel and head for the San Diego Hall of Champions and
the All-American Classic Awards Banquet, I had the opportunity to
spend a few minutes chatting with Trevor Hoffman.
an elite right-handed closer, retired after the 2010 season as Major
League Baseball’s all-time career saves leader (601). He pitched 18
seasons in the big leagues, 16 of those with the San Diego Padres.
was named the Honorary Chairman of this year’s Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings. He accompanied the 46
All-Americans on visits to Rady’s Children Hospital and the Marine
Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego on Friday, autographed
baseballs and addressed the players and their families at the banquet
follows is a portion of the conversation Perfect Game had with
Hoffman late Saturday afternoon:
Game: We saw you in attendance with the players at the
children’s hospital and out at the air station Friday afternoon.
Are you enjoying the time you’re getting to spend with these young
players this weekend?
Hoffman: I’ve had a nice time being part of the Perfect Game
(All-American Classic) and seeing how the young kids have kind of
interacted with the two events we just spoke about. They’re such
integral parts of what “Padre Life” is about; my whole time here
in San Diego was rallied around the children’s hospital at Rady’s.
being the “team of the military” that we call ourselves and
wearing cammo jerseys on Sunday, having the opportunity to go out to
Miramar and some of the other places we go to and the other
installations here in San Diego, it was great to see the kids get an
opportunity to be around that stuff.
Have you always made San Diego your home?
I grew up in Anaheim, but as you know, once you sign your name on
the dotted line and you go off to play ball, you’re kind of going
off to where ever, so home was on the road for a long time. We
actually bought our first home in Dallas, then I signed a long-term
deal here, and we’ve been here since 1997.
Well, it must be kind of cool to be involved in an event
like this that’s right here in the city where you live and enjoyed
so much success.
It’s really a perfect fit – Perfect Game, perfect fit. That
being said, being able to go to all the places that are a big part of
San Diego baseball, and having the game played at PETCO and the Hall
of Champions banquet. It really is – it’s really kind of a
perfect fit to be a part of this game.
We know you’re not old by any means, but when you were
coming of age and playing high school baseball, was there anything
like this out there for you?
No. The biggest thing for us was getting to go and play somewhere
outside our school’s facility like the local park and rec field
(laughs). If you had the good fortune of making it to the postseason
– and it seems like everybody does now in the CIF – you might get
out a little, but as far as these showcase games, there was nothing
of that sort.
graduated high school at 5-4, 140 pounds and I would have never
sniffed a game like this. Keeping things in perspective is a big
deal; you might be a big fish in a little pond now, and you haven’t
faced much adversity and you probably won’t for a little while, and
you have to figure out how you’re going to handle that.
In your case, then, how were you “discovered,” for
lack of a better word?
I was lucky in that I had two older brothers that grinded on me a
little bit, I grew the following summer out of high school and went
to the local JC, and that helped me get into the University of
Arizona. I kept things alive by keeping my grades up so I could
participate in baseball, and I kept going and kept learning about the
game, and it kept my dream alive, really. I kept grinding it out, and
after you knock down so many doors, sooner or later good things
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 10:54 AM PDT
Home Run Derby finalists
It has been determined that Alex Bregman, Joey Gallo and Nelson Rodriguez have been selected as the wild cards (three instead of just two as indicated yesterday), and will join David Dahl, Kayden Porter and Nick Williams in the final round of the home run derby at PETCO Park set to begin at 4:00 PM PDT.
Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 14, 2011 -- 10:49 AM PDT
Game Day checklist
with the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings have
enough people in San Diego telling them where to be at what time for
which event. And while we at Perfect Game have done our best to tell
those that aren't able to be a part of the event live and in person,
here is one last reminder of how you can be a part of this year's
4:00 PM PDT: The
Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings Selection
Show. One hour prior to game-time, CBS Sports will replay the show
in which the players participating in this event were publicly
announced. Originally aired on July 13, CBS Sports' Brent Stover and
Perfect Game's David Rawnsley break down the 46-man roster.
5:00 PM PDT: The
Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings. Gametime.
As wonderful and important as all of the events leading up to the
game have been, the 46 players, coaches, family members, friends,
personnel, scouts and fans will be on hand to witness the best
players from the class of 2012 take the field. Perfect Game's David
Rawnsley joins play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton (son of Hall of
Fame pitcher Don Sutton) in the booth for the live, televised broadcast (again on CBS Sports).
I received an
email earlier this weekend from a concerned fan that the events would
not be available for viewers that don't have DirecTV. I need to
emphasize that the only reason DirecTV was brought up (channel 613)
is because that it is the only carrier in which the channel will be
the same for any viewer with that satellite service wishing to watch
the event. The Classic does not have an exclusive deal with DirecTV,
as anyone that has access to CBS Sports, whether it be satellite or
cable television, will be able to watch the game from the comforts of
their own home.
To see how you can
access CBS Sports from your local provider(s), please visit this
For those that are
unable to take in the game on TV, tune into ESPN Radio 1700 in San
And of course,
stay tuned to this site, PGAllAmerican.com, and the event's Twitter
and Facebook feeds as linked above, for game updates.
Jeff Dahn -- Saturday, August 13, 2011 -- 11:01 PM PDT
receives Jackie Robinson Award
McCullers, a flame-throwing right-handed pitcher, consistent
offensive threat from the left side of the plate and a slick
fielding, strong-armed infielder, has been named the recipient of the
2011 Jackie Robinson Award as the nation’s top high school prospect
in the class of 2012.
who will enter his senior year at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla.,
this fall, received the award Saturday night at the Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings Awards Banquet held at the
San Diego Hall of Champions.
prestigious award capped a year in which McCullers has been ranked
the nation’s No. 1 top prospect in his graduating class (2012)
since the beginning of his junior year.
lived up to the high ranking by hitting .422 with seven home runs and
24 RBI during his junior season at Jesuit, and used a fastball
consistently clocked in the high 90s – and reportedly gunned at 100
mph at the recently completed East Coast Pro Showcase – to finish
with 79 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched with a 2.02 ERA.
and foremost I’d like to thank my family … they’re my biggest
support system,” McCullers told the gathering that included the
other 45 PG All-Americans, coaches, friends and families, and other
dignitaries. “I’d like to thank Perfect Game for all they do and
for bringing me here; this week has been one of the best weeks of my
beat out a field of seven other finalists for the Jackie Robinson
Award. They were:
Cherry (Dayton, Ohio), Joey Gallo (Henderson, Nev.), Lucas Giolito
(Santa Monica, Calif.), C.J. Hinojosa (Spring, Texas), Duane
Underwood (Marietta, Ga.), Nick Williams (LaMarque, Texas) and Trey
Williams (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
really can’t put into words what it means to win this award,”
McCullers said in a separate interview. “Jackie Robinson was such a
great person on the field – he was a great player – but off the
field he was a great person who broke through barriers.”
other awards were handed out Saturday night:
was named the Baseball American Pitching Prospect of the Year; Gallo
received the Reebok Offensive Player of the Year; Clate Schmidt
(Acworth, Ga.) took home the Nick Adenhart Award; Alex Bregman
(Albuquerque, N.M.) won the Evoshield SWAG Award; and Carlos Correa
(Santa Isabel, P.R.) won the Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year
any awards were handed out, MLB career saves leader and future Hall
of Famer Trevor Hoffman, the PG All-American Classic Honorary
Chairman, briefly addressed the young prospects in attendance.
really appreciate the opportunity to gather with you guys and
celebrate the great talents in this room,” he said, as he continued
to talk about San Diego Padre Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.
was never too young or too old to learn something in this game, and I
think that’s the lesson I’d like to say to you guys: You’re
embarking on a tremendous career and keep your eyes and ears open.
Whether you apply it to your craft is one thing, but always be a good
listener and you’ll always have a little more knowledge to take
with you in your next step.”
is the eighth player to receive the Jackie Robinson Award, joining
the company of Justin Upton and Bryce Harper. Like all the other
players who received the honor before him and like all the other
young players who were with him Saturday night, McCullers can’t
afford to think small.
short-term baseball goal is to next season win a high school
championship. We’ve been real close the last few years and I think
next year is going to be our year,” he said. “My long-term goal
is to ultimately play in the major leagues. How I get there is yet to
be seen, but my goal since I’ve been playing baseball is to be a
Patrick Ebert -- Saturday, August 13, 2011 -- 10:02 PM PDT
takes home Jackie Robinson Player of the Year Award
star Lance McCullers, son of the former big-leaguer of the same name,
was awarded with the Jackie Robinson Player of the Year award at
tonight's awards dinner and banquet.
shines on both the mound and at the plate, with a rare combination of
a power arm and a powerful bat. He can flirt with triple digits with
his fastball, routinely sitting in the 94-96 range, hitting 98
multiple times at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers in
mid-June. He also can spin a power breaking ball and a polished
changeup, giving him incredible upside on the mound.
addition to his pitching prowess, he set the record at a Perfect Game
event with his 98 mph throw across the infield, and continually shows
incredible power potential at the plate as a left-handed hitter. As
Jeff Dahn noted in a previous story listed below as part of the
All-Americans visit to the Rady Children's Hospital, McCullers also
invests a considerable amount of time into community service.
of that makes McCullers a very deserving recipient, as the award is
annual presented to the player that 'exhibits outstanding character,
leadership, is involved in his community and embodies the values of
being a student-athlete.'
are the other award winners:
America Pitching Prospect of the Year: Lucas Giolito
Defensive Player of the Year: Carlos Correa
Offensive Player of the Year: Joey Gallo
SWAG Award: Alex Bregman
Game Nick Adenhart Award: Clate Schmidt
to all of the award winners, all 46 players in attendance, as well as
the family members that took part in tonight's banquet.
Patrick Ebert -- Saturday, August 13, 2011 -- 6:40 PM PDT
Awards banquet anticipation
nearly three full days full of on and off-the-field activities in the
books, the Perfect Game All-Americans, as well as their family
members and other event personnel, have assembled at the San Diego
Hall of Champions for the annual Awards Dinner.
several notable awards (Pitcher of the Year, PG
Nick Adenhart, SWAG, Reebok Offensive Player of the Year, Rawlings
Defensive Player) will be handed out to deserving
participants, the Jackie Robinson Player of the Year Award is the
award winners include two eventual first overall picks in the MLB
Draft: Justin Upton (2004 award recipient, 2005 draft) and Bryce
Harper (2009/2010). Upton has already been named to two Major League
All-Star teams playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, whereas Harper,
at 18 years of age, is already at the AA level in the minor leagues
of the Washington Nationals system.
eight finalists for this year's award have already been determined:
Taylor Cherry, Joey Gallo, Lucas Giolito, C.J. Hinojosa, Lance
McCullers, Duane Underwood, Nick Williams and Trey Williams.
tuned to PGAllAmerican.com and this blog to learn of all of the award
Patrick Ebert -- Saturday, August 13, 2011 -- 6:13 PM PDT
Glimpse of the future?
Since 2004, Perfect Game has conducted an
event in conjunction with the Perfect Game All-American Classic
presented by Rawlings to showcase some of the top players that won't be
draft eligible until at least two years from the time of the event.
The 2011 PG National Games, formerly
known as the PG at Aflac event, was conducted on Thursday and Friday,
with the final two games being played on Friday afternoon at
Cunningham Stadium after the Perfect Game All-Americans finished up
Several players that have attended this
event have gone on to participate in the Classic in subsequent years,
including 2010 game MVP Tyler Marlette, 2010 first overall pick Bryce
Harper and 2011 SEC Player of the Year Mike Zunino.
David Rawnsley, who will be providing
valuable insight from the booth during the televised broadcast on CBS
Sports, came up with how he viewed the top 25 prospects from this
year's event. This may serve as a nice preview for some of the
players that may grace the 2012 (and beyond) Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings roster.
Patrick Ebert -- Saturday, August 13, 2011 -- 3:03 PM PDT
Saturday practice and Home Run Derby (first round) notes
The Perfect Game All-Americans took the
field on Friday morning and enjoyed a light, laid-back practice
leading up to the first round of the home run derby. They players
were clearly excited to have the opportunity to show off their power.
Prior to the start of the home run
derby, several hitters took BP to prepare their swings for the
Nick Williams and Joey Gallo quickly
got those in attendance to perk up hitting bombs off of the roof of
the building past the right field wall as part of the campus for the
University of San Diego.
Kayden Porter, a promising right-handed
pitcher that also excels at the plate, had arguably the most
impressive round of BP, hitting almost everything out, with most of
those shots leaving the ballpark by a wide margin.
Courtney Hawkins was showing off his
impressive bat speed by drilling several balls over the fence in
As the first round of the home run
derby began, the East took to the plate first followed by the West.
Here are the total number of home runs during the first round of the
event, starting with the East team:
David Dahl: 3
Carlos Correa: 2
Lance McCullers: 2
Keon Barnum: 1
Corey Seager: 1
Rhett Wiseman: 1
Skye Bolt, Chris Harvey, Nelson
Rodriguez, Addison Russell, Jesse Winker and Jameis Winston were
unable to record a home run.
All players are given the opportunity
to take part of the derby competition, as primary pitchers (although
most of which also have promise as hitters) Matthew Crownover, Carson
Fulmer, Clate Schmidt, Tucker Simpson, Lucas Sims, Duane Underwood,
and Walker Weickel all participated but were unable to put their
names on the board.
Alex Bregman: 2
C.J. Hinojosa: 2
Kayden Porter: 2
Rio Ruiz: 2
Nick Williams: 2
Joey Gallo: 1
Jason Goldstein: 1
Courtney Hawkins: 1
Corey Oswalt: 1
Trey Williams: 1
Steven Golden, Andrew Pullin, Tanner
Rahier, Daniel Robertson and C.J. Saylor were among the West
positional prospects that didn't hit a home run.
Max Fried, Mitchell Traver and Hunter
Virant were among the primary pitchers that also were unable to hit
Six sluggers from the first round (from
both teams) moved onto a second round of the derby. Here are those
Kayden Porter: 4
Nick Williams: 3
Alex Bregman: 0
Carlos Correa: 0
Lance McCullers: 0
Rio Ruiz: 0
Porter and Nick Williams, along with
David Dahl, who led all hitters in the first round of the derby, move
onto the finals which will be conducted tomorrow afternoon at PETCO
Park at 4:00 pm PDT, one hour prior to gametime.
Two wild cards, to be determined by the
Perfect Game staff, will also be asked to participate in the final
round. Once those two players have been determined, we will be sure
to share those names within this blog.
Jeff Dahn -- Saturday, August 13, 2011 -- 2:32 PM PDT
So Cal pitchers keep things loose
one light-hearted moment during Friday morning’s Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings practice session, West
Team PG All-American outfielder Nick Williams came running into the
dugout, laughing all the way.
those UCLA pitchers are the comedians,” Williams said while
escaping some unspoken gag or practical joke. “All of them, they’re
This hard-throwing, seemingly serious-minded, even scholarly foursome
who have all committed to Coach John Savage at UCLA are just a bunch
of laid-back, Southern California surfer-dudes that are quick with a
decided to ask left-handers Max Fried from Van Nuys and Hunter Virant
from Camarillo, and right-handers Lucas Giolito from Santa Monica and
Cody Poteet from Bonita about it before Saturday morning’s practice
session at Cunningham Stadium at the University of San Diego.
having a good time being around all these guys and all this talent,”
Virant said. “We try to keep them loose so they’re not as tense
when they go out there and hit and everything. We just try to lighten
up the mood.”
of the four pitchers – all ranked among the top 33 national
prospects in their class – knew each other particularly well when
they made their commitments to UCLA, but they’re getting to know
each other pretty well now. While warming up before the start of
Saturday’s practice, the foursome was secluded in right-field for a
session of long-toss.
been great. It’s a great opportunity; I feel real blessed,”
Poteet said. “I’ve known some of them from playing baseball
throughout the youth years but I’ve met a lot of new guys too.”
they’re not spending all their time in seclusion.
having a great time. Anytime you get to play with all the best
players from around the country, what’s not like about it?” Fried
again, what about this new-found reputation as team comedians?
would say that this group right here, we’re a little loose,” said
Giolito, the nation’s No. 2-ranked overall prospect in 2012. “We
are a bunch of little comedians, I guess. Hunter’s a funny kid,
Cody is hilarious – I’m not so much myself but I think it’s
even rubbed off on me a little bit.
a bunch of real good kids who are serious about the sport but at the
same time they like having a good time and relaxing.”
Jeff Dahn -- Saturday, August 13, 2011 -- 2:29 PM PDT
takes in practice session
MLB three-time All-Star Tommy John has maintained a constant presence
at all the activities surrounding the Perfect Game All-American
Classic presented by Rawlings, and appears to be having a great time.
the PG All-Americans began a two-hour practice session Saturday
morning at Cunningham Stadium at the University of San Diego, John
was spotted in the outfield talking to a small group of young
pitchers, and it got me wondering what kind of sage wisdom the crafty
left-hander was passing on to the prospects.
were just talking about Tommy John surgery and we were talking about
(the possibility of) Florida State and Clemson going into the SEC,
just stuff like that,” John told me shortly after signing some
autographs for some older fans in the stands.
who is 68 years old, won 288 games during a long 26-year big league
career, but is best known for being the first athlete to undergo an
elbow ligament surgical procedure that bears his name. The young
prospects at Cunningham Saturday morning may not be aware of what
John accomplished during his playing career but they probably know
someone who has underwent the procedure.
is a definite connect between John and the youngsters.
love being around young kids,” he said. “One of the best
experiences I ever had in baseball was when for 2 ½ years I coached
high school baseball down in Florida, and I absolutely loved it. It
was a non-paying job, but I put more time and effort into that
because I love being around young kids playing baseball.”
finds the talent level of these All-Americans particularly
just trying to think about how the kids were when I played ball in
high school and these guys are 2,000 percent better,” he said. “We
played baseball in the spring and summer and we played football and
basketball during the fall and winter. These kids, most of them
probably, are one sport players where they just play baseball the
are as many as 20 pitchers on the two All-American Classic rosters
who can unleash their fastballs at better than 90 mph, and several
who reach the mid- and even upper-90s. John said velocities weren’t
recorded when he was in high school in Terre Haute, Ind., in the late
had no idea how hard they were throwing,” he said. “All we knew
is we threw harder than what the other team could hit. And that’s
all that mattered.”
Jeff Dahn -- Friday, August 12, 2011 -- 9:44 PM PDT
solo at Miramar
nation’s top prospects that are here in San Diego this weekend for
Sunday’s Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings
enjoyed one of the most enlightening days in the nine-year history of
the event on Friday.
in the morning, lunch at a former Cy Young Award winner’s
restaurant over the noon hour, and afternoon visits to Rady’s
Children Hospital and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
final stop was the Air Station, a visit organized by retired Marine
Corps Colonel Dwight Schmidt – he remains active in the Marine
Corps reserves and is a pilot for Delta Air Lines – who is the
father of Perfect Game All-American Clate Schmidt.
Schmidt was at Miramar in his fatigues Friday afternoon, and offered
the visiting ballplayers a rousing welcome to the air base. While
almost everyone else split into groups for a tour of the various
aircraft and the control tower at the base, I chose to follow a
select group led by the Schmidts.
was in the company of Dwight Schmidt, Clate Schmidt, his fellow PG
All-Americans Carson Fulmer and Andrew Pullin, Perfect Game director
of business affairs Betty Ford, Sherry Glasscock, an important cog in
the Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment operation, and Clark
Schmidt, Clate’s 15-year-old brother.
were off to the base’s F-18 flight simulator.
who made the trip down to the simulator was given the opportunity to
fly the F-18, land on and take off from an aircraft carrier, do
360-degree rolls and fire missiles. I was given the opportunity but
declined, deciding instead to observe the operation with an unbiased
had a blast, but no one more so than the two women. They gushed about
the experience for a good hour after they had climbed out of the
“cockpit.” That’s not to say the All-American ballplayers
didn’t enjoy it as well.
kind of weird, man, it really is,” Fulmer said, adding he did feel
a sense of control. “Especially when you had a target on something
and you pushed the throttle – it was cool, it really was.
expected a lot coming into (the Classic) but this has been great,”
he continued. “It’s a great opportunity and I’m enjoying
Schmidt organized the trip to Miramar after Clate was selected for
the game. He thought it was important the young players got a glimpse
of the Marines who are only a year or two older and who are flying
war planes and helicopters, servicing them and guiding them home
guys have a great chance, especially where they’re going in their
lives … but when these guys make it to the big leagues, if they
ever sit back and think, ‘You know, there’s a reason people go to
the USO and meet a Marine’ or they meet somebody that serves our
country, it’s a great chance for them to reach out and say they
know what other people do for us so we can play this wonderful game,”
Jeff Dahn -- Friday, August 12, 2011 -- 9:26 PM PDT
to children’s hospital brings smiles
the young wheelchair-bound patient was reluctant to smile. Truth be
told, the youngster seemed frightened, even on the verge of tears.
Perfect Game All-American Carlos Correa, a top shortstop prospect out
of Puerto Rico who is all of 16-years-old himself, but shows a level
of maturity far beyond those 16 years.
spent the early part of Friday afternoon at the Rady Children’s
Hospital in San Diego, along with the other 45 players and six
coaches in town for Sunday’s Perfect Game All-American Classic
presented by Rawlings. Proceeds from the Classic benefit Rady’s.
players were given a tour of the hospital’s new cancer wing and
were given the opportunity to meet and interact with several young
patients at new outdoor patio area/playground.
of the first youngsters brought out was a boy of about 5, in a
wheelchair, who was accompanied by his mother. Neither mother nor son
approached the young patient, and using Spanish tried to engage him
in conversation and provoke a smile. He wasn’t making much progress
until a ball and bat appeared. The youngster was soon smacking balls
tossed to him by Correa – New York City’s Nelson Rodriguez soon
joined the party – and after a while, the kid’s eyes were bright
and he was clearly smiling.
have always enjoyed being around little kids. I have a sister that is
2-years-old,” Correa said. “I love kids, man. I love to be with
them and play with them, and if I can do something that makes them
happy, I will do it.”
stop at Rady’s has become a focal point of the All-American
Classic, and as Perfect Game President Jerry Ford said at the event’s
Welcome Dinner Thursday night: “First of all, this game is all
about the players, but more importantly it’s about the cause. If
you guys don’t know that already, you’ll figure it out over the
next few days.”
figured it out early Friday afternoon.
Lance McCullers, the nation’s top-ranked prospect in 2012, was like
all the other players in outwardly showing how much they enjoyed
making this appearance.
has done a lot of community service work while attending Jesuit High
School in Tampa, and took to the kids with an experienced flair. He
played catch, threw pitches to youngsters with oversized inflated
bats and even sat down at a table and did some painting with a young
patient who was hooked up to numerous IVs.
don’t really realize how blessed you are and how fortunate you are
until you come in and you see people in other situations,”
McCullers said. “For me to be able to be out here with these little
kids, painting with them, playing baseball with them, it adds a
different feel to the trip.
almost feel like we’re here and we’re helping people, and then
we’re playing the game for them and not for us.”
smiles on the faces of the young patients were matched only by the
smiles on the faces of the young prospects who will display their
considerable talent in front of a national television audience on
Sunday (5 p.m. PDT, CBS Sports Network).
never forget Friday’s visit to Rady’s.
is a great experience. Seeing those kids having fun and smiling, it’s
amazing,” Correa said.
nothing more rewarding than when you’re playing with a kid and you
say something and you see that smile – that million dollar smile,”
McCullers added. “It’s a blessing to be out here in the first
place and to be a Perfect Game All-American, but to be out here and
help these kids is something totally different.”
Jeff Dahn -- Friday, August 12, 2011 -- 9:21 PM PDT
with TJ and RJ
is strictly a personal note, but one of Friday’s highlights for me
was our lunch of outstanding barbecue pork and chicken at the Randy
Jones All-American Sports Grill, which followed a morning practice
session and scrimmage at the University of San Diego.
was a special lunch for me because I got to sit at the same table
with former MLB stars Tommy John – of elbow surgery fame – and
the restaurant’s owner, Randy Jones, who won the 1976 National
League Cy Young Award while pitching for the San Diego Padres.
two told stories about similar experiences and mutual friends and
teammates, and laughed easily. It was a real treat for a fan in his
mid-50s who used to greatly value each of those left-handers’
Strat-O-Matic cards. If you have to ask about Strat-O-Matic, don’t
Patrick Ebert -- Friday, August 12, 2011 -- 1:06 PM PDT
As noted below, Mitchell Traver took
the mound for the West team in the first inning of the five inning
scrimmage. Traver was 88-91 with a nasty 81 slider and also showed
an 84 mph changeup. Third baseman Rio Ruiz helped Traver by making a
nice diving stop of a line drive off the bat of Duane Underwood.
Lefty Matthew Crownover took the mound
for the East in the first inning and made quick work of the West with
a crisp 1-2-3 inning. Crownover struck out two batters using a 88-90
fastball, a mid-70s curve and an upper-70s changeup showing his usual
mastery of the strikezone. Alex Bregman continues to establish
himself as one of the best hitters in the 2012 class by hitting a
rope straight at the shortstop that was clocked at 96 mph off the
Ryan McNeil was up next for the West,
throwing 88-91 with a 75 mph curveball. Josh Henderson hit a bloop
single to left off of McNeil, but was quickly retired when catcher
C.J. Saylor threw out Henderson on a stolen base attempt with a rocket
of a throw. Saylor wasn't done with just one caught stealing, as he
also gunned down Jesse Winker, who reached base via a base on balls.
Right-hander Walker Weickel tossed the
second inning for the East, throwing what was described by David
Rawnsley as a "typical easy Weickel inning." He was 89-91 with a
big, slow 71 curve. Corey Seager made a nice throw across the
infield in the inning to retire Nick Williams.
Two-way talent Courtney Hawkins was up
next, working the top of the third for the West. As impressive as
Hawkins bat was earlier in the day during batting practice, he also
shows easy arm strength, working at 88-90 with a sharp 75 mph curve
while also flashing a change. The first run of the scrimmage came
after Carlos Correa reach on an error, advanced to second on a passed
ball and scored on a single by Seager.
As Hawkins continues to improve at the
plate, Duane Underwood continues to establish himself as one of the
top rising right-handers in the 2012 class. He throws incredibly
easy, touching 95 in the scrimmage while sitting at 93-94 with a 76
mph curveball and a low-80s changeup.
Andrew Pullin, primarily an outfielder,
fooled the East hitters in the top of the fourth with a big, slow
tantalizing curveball. He showed good arm strength as well, topping
out at 88.
Also a primary outfielder, Skye Bolt
stepped to the mound for the bottom of the fourth, although didn't
fare as well as Pullin. Hawkins and Steven Golden both had an RBI
single as the West jumped ahead of the East, 2-1.
The East re-claimed the lead in the top
of the fifth. After an error and a wild pitch, with Rio Ruiz on the
mound, Jesse Winker hit a booming double high off the top of the
batters eye in centerfield to put his team back on top 3-2. Ruiz,
another talented two-way prospect, was 88-90 with a 76 curve.
Primary infielder Corey Oswalt finished
off the game pitching for the East team in the bottom of the fifth.
He showed very good arm strength, running his fastball up to 88-90
with a very sharp 77 curveball. Addison Russell made a handful of
plays at third base and has looked solid at the position.
Jeff Dahn -- Friday, August 12, 2011 -- 12:14 PM PDT
procession, then a practice
bus ride from the hotel to the University of San Diego took a little
longer than anticipated after we encountered the periphery of a long,
formal funeral procession that forced the closure of long stretches
of streets and interstate highway.
procession was for a fallen San Diego police officer who was shot and
killed while on patrol earlier in the week. Hundreds of law
enforcement officers, other public servants and California Governor
Jerry Brown were part of the procession, and thousands of mourners
lined streets and overpasses.
we arrived at Cunningham Stadium only about 15 minutes behind
schedule, the sun was burning through the early morning clouds and
the players from the East and West teams on hand for the Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings prepared to practice and
prospects, already exhibiting team bonding within their own squads,
took infield and batting practice, and then played a short five
inning scrimmage. More than 100 scouts and coaches filled the steep
bleachers behind home plate.
of the last groups to take batting practice came from the East Team
and included standout hitters Keon Barnum from Temple Terrace, Fla.,
Jesse Winker from Windermere, Fla., Nelson Rodriguez from New York
City and Addison Russell from Pace, Fla.
foursome took their whacks and basically pounded the ball in their
short BP session, but it was the temperate southern California
weather that seemed to most impress Russell.
really like this weather. It’s different from in Florida,” he
said. “The sun will be out here but it’s just cool air, so I kind
of like that.”
was more to like, of course.
to be surrounded by a whole bunch of group of guys that are pretty
good, and they have good personalities and they’re good people, and
we’re playing the game we love. It’s just good to be out here.”
Patrick Ebert -- Friday, August 12, 2011 -- 11:31 AM PDT
Team practice notes
The Perfect Game All-Americans took the
field on Friday morning with the usual round of infield and outfield
drills to kick off the day's activities before stepping into the
David Dahl showed the best arm from the
outfield, not surprising considering he threw 95 from the outfield
two months ago at the Perfect Game National Showcase.
Also not surprising was how slick
Carlos Correa looked taking infield. At 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds,
he's built like a modern day shortstop, and moves extremely well to
both sides showing good quickness, soft hands and a strong, accurate
The West team took their swings in BP
first, with an incredible collection of offensive talent.
Nick Williams was hitting bombs in the
Alex Bregman, who put on a power
display during the home run derby at the Perfect Game National,
continues to hit everything extremely hard.
Like Bregman, Jason Goldstein also
squares up everything extremely well lacing line drives while hitting
the ball consistently hard.
Courtney Hawkins continues to build on
his promise, with a very impressive round of BP.
Tanner Rahier has easy power and bat
Speedster Steven Golden showed some
C.J. Hinojosa looks like a professional
hitter every time he takes the plate, and once again looked
impressive during his round of BP.
Trey Williams hit a blast to the side
of the scoreboard at Cunningham Field.
Joey Gallo just missed clearing the net
in right field as he continues to show his incredible power
The East was up next, with Lance
McCullers showing that the power in his left-handed swing matches his
powerful right arm.
Rhett Wiseman hit three straight off
the screen in right.
Carlos Correa proved that there is much
more to his game than just his glove by hitting a bomb to
Keon Barnum is one of the best BP
hitters there is, and looks like a man among boys even amidst this
group of players.
The team scrimmage is up next,
scheduled to go five innings. Right-hander Mitchell Traver has taken the mound to
open the game, with a few primary pitchers scheduled to toss one
Jeff Dahn -- Friday, August 12, 2011 -- 11:13 AM PDT
coaches enjoy experience, too
players, coaches and few other stragglers here for the Perfect Game
All-American Classic presented by Rawlings gathered for a sit-down
breakfast in a conference room at the San Diego Marriott Mission
Hills hotel early Friday morning.
was getting their fill from an impressive spread of breakfast fare,
when I finally got an opportunity to walk over to the table where the
teams’ coaches were seated, including head coaches Stuart Chester
and Andrew Nieto, and assistants Kevin Maris, Omar Washington, Cecil
Espy and Manny Hermosillo.
I told them I hoped to be able to ride with them and the players on
the team bus as they made their rounds over the next three days, Omar
shook his head, apologetically.
ruin you,” the big man from Texas said, grinning slightly while the
others laughed. “You better make a recording of yourself right now
so you’ll remember how you were before you got on that bus with
was joking, of course, and after spending about five minutes chatting
with Nieto, I knew the last thing I was going to be was ruined by my
associating with these men.
served on Mike Gillespie’s coaching staff at USC for 10 years and
is now coaching at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, Calif. Rio
Ruiz, one of Nieto’s players at Bishop Amat, is a member of the
All-American Classic West Team.
that I’m back at the high school level, it kind of brings back some
good old memories of scouting these games, when you’re looking at
the top players in the country,” Nieto said. “Times have changed
a little bit in that it’s turned into more of a pro thing now,
because so many of these student athletes are already committed to
said that as recently as six or seven years ago, the early
commitments were few and far between. Because so many of the players
have already committed and due to budget restraints, some college
coaches may not make the trip, but the MLB scouts will be out in
that you can get exposure on the national level and a professional
level, and most importantly to be able to play against the best
people in the country, it’s beneficial,” Nieto said. “Since
(the Classic’s) inception – and this is its ninth year – there
have been 98 first-rounders.
of these kids, they’re going to play against each other in college,
they’re going to play against each other in pro ball and some of
them are going to play against each other in the big leagues.”
Nieto and I spoke, we all boarded the bus and headed for the
University of San Diego’s Cunningham Stadium for a practice session
really enjoying this opportunity here and getting a chance to be
here,” Nieto said. “Even if you’re favorite player isn’t
here, I think anybody who really, truly appreciates baseball and has
a respect for the game will enjoy being here and watching these
got not argument from anyone on the bus.
Jeff Dahn -- Thursday, August 11, 2011 -- 9:20 PM PDT
PG All-Americans welcomed with
After a day spent getting acclimated to
their new hotel home for the next four days, the top prospects
invited to play in Sunday’s Perfect Game All-American Classic
presented by Rawlings were treated to a scrumptious Welcome Dinner
and brief orientation Thursday night at the San Diego Marriott
Mission Valley hotel.
The players partook in a buffet-style
dinner that included roasted steak, chicken and fish, rice, red
potatoes, mixed vegetables and carrot cake, then heard presentations
from Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment President David Gardiner,
San Diego Hall of Champions Communications & Strategic Planning
Director Jesse Lovejoy and Perfect Game President Jerry Ford.
The young prospects and their coaches
listened intently when Ford was at the podium. He spoke of the
success achieved by some of the event’s alumni - this is the
All-American Classic’s ninth year – and also about Rady
Children’s Hospital, which receives the event’s proceeds.
“First of all, this game is all about
the players,” Ford said, “but more importantly it’s about the
cause. If you guys don’t know that already, you’ll figure it out
over the next few days.”
The players will visit Rady and its
young cancer patients Friday afternoon, and will also tour the
Miramar Marine Corps Air Base.
Ford spoke of the number of first round
MLB draft picks who are All-American Classic alumni (98) and the
number who have reached the big leagues (42).
“We feel each and every year that
this game compiles the very best high school talent that can be
compiled,” he said. “We understand that we don’t get every
single player that we want, but we thank all of you guys for deciding
to play in this game, and I think you’re going to be real happy
that you did.”
Be sure to come back often on Friday
for more updates on the players and their experiences at the Perfect
Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings.