FORT MYERS, Fla. - The pairing of 2014 outfield prospect Gerrio Rahming with this weekend's Perfect Game National Academic Showcase appears to be just what PG officials envisioned when the showcase was created nine years ago.
Rahming was at the Player Development 5-Plex this weekend as one of more than 80 young prospects competing at the National Academic Showcase. The National Academic was organized to help put prospects who hope to attend universities and colleges with highly regarded academic reputations in front of the coaches and recruiters from those schools.
Another 160-plus prospects were also here this weekend for the PG Sunshine East Showcase.
The National Academic seemed to be the perfect fit for Rahming. He is a native of The Bahamas who just experienced his first year in the United States, and who attends Rabun Gap (Ga.) Nocoochee School. He became familiar with the prestigious college preparatory and boarding school through his friendships with teammates on the Bahamas National Baseball Team that also attended Nocoochee.
"I didn't think it was going to be as much fun (being in the United States) as I'm having right now," Gerrio said Sunday morning as he prepared to play in his second game at the showcase.
Rabun Gap Nocoochee School is a highly regarded academic boarding school with 350 students in grades 6 through 12 who come from 15 to 20 states and another 15 to 20 countries. On its website, the school boasts a 100-percent college acceptance rate among its graduating seniors.
Rahming just completed his sophomore year at the school with a 3.5 GPA and immediately headed for Fort Myers.
"I just wanted to expand my exposure to coaches and the baseball community in the United States, just to get my name out there and just put myself against the best competition," he said. "It was the closest one to my school's end of the year schedule. It was easy for me to leave my boarding school and come straight down the day afterwards.
"And being a student-athlete, I find it important to be just as good on the field as I am in the classroom, so I felt this was the right showcase to come to."
Gerrio is here with his father, Arlington, who like his son seemed to be enjoying his first PG showcase experience.
"Passion. Gerrio's passion for the game," Arlington said when asked what brought the father and son to the PG National Academic Showcase. "His focus has been on baseball for a number of years, and so this is one way of getting him seen by some persons who need to see him. He has approached some schools already by way of introduction, so this is the first step in the process, and we're enjoying it."
Gerrio performed well in Saturday morning's workout session. He threw 89 mph from the outfield, the second fastest throw among the participants from the National Academic and the fastest throw of any 2014 prospect from either showcase. Afterward, a PG scout noted "Rahming has an arm that works, gets carry on his throws, has good feet work and good actions in the outfield."
He also ran the 60-yard dash in 6.97 seconds, one of only 13 National Academic participants to break 7.0 on a soggy track that had been soaked by an early morning rain.
Gerrio is still a member of the Bahamas National Baseball Team and plans to play with them throughout the summer. He is also going to try to attend a few more PG events, including the Southeast Underclass Showcase Aug. 25-26 in Marietta, Ga.
His father also said they are trying to get Gerrio hooked up with a U.S. travel team this summer to get him further exposure and experience.
"The idea is for him to keep active, both at home and here," Arlington said.
And if Gerrio can keep active in front of coaches and recruiting coordinators from some of the country's most prestigious academic schools, that's all for the better.
"Academics are important, so that is another reason why we chose this (showcase)," Arlington said. "We had the opportunity to go to another showcase this same weekend in Orlando, but of course we chose the Perfect Game because of its reputation and its record for success in getting students placed in good schools and colleges. It was a natural thing for him to come here."
Arlington said he and Gerrio are looking forward to what the next two years of Gerrio's high school experiences bring.
"It's with great expectations," he said. "We don't know what lies ahead but from all indications I think it's a good start for a bright future, and we're looking forward to it."