All American Game : : Story
Here Comes the Aflac Classic
Monday, August 01, 2005
In just three year's the Aflac Classic has become the most prestigious event in high school baseball. This year 38 of the nation's top high school prospects will compete at Cal Ripken Stadium. The 4 day event starts with the players arrival and players dinner Aug 9th.
Aug 10th the players will workout at Towson University.
Aug 11th the Aflac teams will hold a scrimmage at Towson in the morning. Then in the afternoon some 50 to 60 more top ranked prospects will workout for the highest level scouts in baseball at the Perfect Game Showcase at Towson.
Aug 12th the Aflac players will workout in the morning and the Perfect Game players will play a double header that afternoon.
Aug 13th the Aflac game will start with the homerun derby at noon followed by the 9 inning game televised nationally by Fox Sports.
The First Two Years Produced Many 1st Rounders
The Aflac Classic has produced 18 first round picks in the first two years. Including the #1 pick in the draft both years. Several others were selected in rounds 2 through 5. A few Aflac players who were projected to go very early in the draft slipped down due to injury and/or signability issues. Players like Nick Adenhart, Dexter Fowler, and others were not drafted early, but ended up signing for early round money.
2nd Year for the PG Showcase
The PG Showcase was established last year because of the huge number of highest level scouts who attended. The scouts and college coaches requested holding a PG event so they could see even more top players. The Aflac players worked out in the mornings, but this left scouts with nothing to do in the afternoons and evenings leading up to the Aflac game. The PG workout and game was very successful for the players who attended and the 22 Scouting Directors and large number of recruiters and other scouts on hand. Several of the PG Showcase players were drafted ahead of some of the Aflac players due in large part to their performance in Baltimore.
It is hard to select only 38 players a year before the actual draft. We must go by position and often top players are left out. The PG Showcase allows these top players the opportunity to perform in front of the same highest level scouts and recruiters.
Matt Bush Chris Nelson Greg Golson Trevor Plouffe
Justin Upton Cameron Maybin Christopher Volstad Andrew McCutchen
Just a few of the 18 first round picks from the first two years of the Aflac Classic
Highest Level Scouting
This year we understand there are 28 of the 30 Scouting Directors who have confirmed they will attend. We would expect all 30 to be there. This gives the Aflac Classic and the PG Showcase at Towson the most influential scouting crowd in all of high school baseball. The PG/Baseball America October Tournament would be the only rival. The October tournament is recognized as the biggest scouting event in all of baseball with 600 to 700 scouts and recruiters attending each year. However, nothing can rival the Aflac for number of Scouting Directors and highest level scouts.
The Top High School Talent in the Nation
This year the Aflac rosters once again will provide viewers with a look at the top ranked high school players in America. Led by #1 ranked 6-5 RHP Jordan Walden who is one of the many great arms from Texas. Walden projects off the charts and throws with mid to upper 90 mph velocity. Florida prep and Aflac player is #2 ranked Cody Johnson. Johnson a 6-4/190 OF has outstanding tools and ranks as the top position player and hitter in America. He is also one of the youngest in his class at only 16 years old. #3 ranked Matt Latos 6-6 RHP from Florida has been throwing in the mid 90s all year. Latos has been up as high as 97 on several occasions. Another Texas RHP who also has been throwing mid 90s is Kyle Drabek. Kyle's father is former Cy Young winner Doug Drabek. Jeremy Jeffress RHP from Virginia is yet another hard throwing prep who has been up as high as 96 mph. 6-9 RHP Dellin Betances could be the best of all by next year's draft. We have seen him as high as 94 mph and he will throw better yet. Colton Willems Florida 6-5 RHP is yet another we have seen throw in the 94 mph range. New Jersey's Gerald Sullivan surprised everyone by throwing 94 mph early this summer. There is no shortage of quality lefties this year either. Oklahoma's Brett Anderson is the highest ranked lefty in America. Not far behind are Alabama's Kasey Kiker and Texas southpaws Taylor Hammack and Aaron Miller. There are many 06 LHPs in the country that are very good. California lefty Gavin Brooks was maybe the best as a junior, but has been injured this year.
Top California prospects Grant Green, Chris Pamelee, Hank Conger, and other west coast high profile players will be on the West roster. Florida has a loaded 06 class. Top national level prospects like INF Chris Marrero, C Max Sapp, OF Derrick Robinson, and several others will dot the East roster.
The homerun contest should be very interesting because several the most powerful long ball hitters will be in Maryland. Sapp, Marrero, Johnson, Conger, Parmelee, California's Devin Shepard and Indiana's Andrew Clark will be among the favorites to win the trophy.
The athletes that will perform in Maryland include World Class types. Derrick Robinson is undoubtedly the fastest player in high school baseball. In fact, he might be the fastest player in high school history. Not far behind Robinson is super athlete Brent Brewer from Georgia, Jeff Rapoport from California and a couple others.
The top two ranked catchers in high school baseball are on the East roster. Sapp is an outstanding defensive catcher with a strong arm. His best tool is his bat which is one of the most powerful in the country. Georgia's Torre Langley is unquestionably the top defensive receiver in high school baseball. He is both very quick and possesses one of the strongest arms in the country. Langley can hit as well. The West catchers include power hitting, strong armed Conger and Robbie Alcombrack both from California.
The number of high profile athletes and players in this year's Aflac are astounding. Several are highest national level football prospects. Here are the rosters.
Name Pos. Ht/Wt High School, Home Town, St
Dellin Betances RHP 6-9/205 Grand Street HS, New York, NY
Jeremy Jeffress RHP 6-1/180 Haifax County, South Boston, VA
Kasey Kiker LHP 5-11/180 Russell County, Phenix, AL
Matt Latos RHP 6-6/200 Coconut Creek, Margate, FL
Cory Rasmus RHP 6-0/198 Russell County, Phenix, AL
Gerald Sullivan RHP 6-4/200 Mt Olive, Budd Lake, NJ
Chris Walden RHP 6-3/185 Bellefontaine, Bellfontaine, OH C
olton Willems RHP 6-4/185 John Carroll, Fort Pierce, FL
Torre Langley C 5-10/180 Alexander, Winston, GA
Max Sapp C 6-2/210 Bishop Moore, Windemere, FL
Andrew Clark 1B 6-2/195 New Palastine, New Palastine, IN
Brent Brewer INF 6-2/190 Sandy Creek, Fairburn, GA
Ryan Jackson INF 6-2/170 Gulliver Prep, Miami Springs, FL
Chris Marrero INF 6-3/195 Pace, Miami, FL
Billy Rowell INF 6-4/195 Bishop Eustace Prep, Sewell, NJ
David Christensen OF 6-3/200 Stoneman Douglas, Parkland, FL
Cedric Hunter OF 6-0/175 King HS, Decatur, GA
Cody Johnson OF 6-4/195 Mosley, Panama City, FL
Derrick Robinson OF 5-11/170 PK Yonge, Archer, FL
Name Pos. Ht/Wt High School, Home Town, St
Brett Anderson LHP 6-4/210 Stillwater, Stillwater, OK
Gavin Brooks LHP 6-3/190 Rancho Buena Vista, Vista, CA
Kyle Drabek RHP 6-0/180 The Woodlands, The Woodlands, TX
Taylor Hammack LHP 6-2/210 Angleton, Angleton, TX
Ryan Jenkins RHP 6-5/205 Cy Falls, Houston, TX
Aaron Miller LHP 6-3/200 Channelview, Channelview, TX
Chad Robinson RHP 6-4/190 Silverado, Las Vegas, NV
Chris Tillman RHP 6-5/190 Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley, CA
Jordan Walden RHP 6-5/200 Mansfield, Mansfield, TX
Robbie Alcombrack C 6-1/200 Bear Valley, Grass Valley, CA
Hank Conger C/3B 6-0/210 Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, CA
Chris Parmelee 1B 6-1/195 Chino Hills, Chino Hills, CA
Ryan Adams INF 6-0/180 Jesuit, Mandeville, LA
Nathan Bridges INF 6-2/180 Villa Park, Yorba Linda, CA
Grant Green INF 6-3/175 Canyon, Anaheim, CA
Jared Mitchell OF 6-0/195 Westgate, New Iberia, LA
Jeff Rapoport OF 5-11/175 Westlake, Westlake, CA
Drew Rundle OF 6-3/175 Bend HS, Bend, OR
Devin Shephard OF 6-4/220 Wren HS, Oxnard, CA
PG Showcase at the Aflac Classic
Each year, as the Aflac Classic approaches we come to realize there are some outstanding players and pitchers who deserve to be Aflac players, but were not selected. Some of these players could be first round picks in next year's draft. So this year's Perfect Game rosters are nearly as impressive as the Aflac rosters. Maybe the #1 prospect in America by next June will be on the PG Showcase rosters. The pitchers included on these rosters, as a group might be better than last year's Aflac pitching.
Watchout for Jason Stoffel California RHP who can really pitch and was up to 93 mph at the PG National. Nathan Karns is another highest level RHP from Texas. He was 92 at the PG National, but has been throwing in the mid 90s lately. Every pitcher in the PG Showcase has and is capable of throwing 90 mph or better. Some of the very best players in high school baseball will be on the field. Jonathan Merritt is not big, but he has big tools and can really use them. Jet Butler, Gabby Saade, and others are among the best middle infielders in the nation. And there is going to be some big surprises. Every player in both events next week is a high level Division I or draft prospect. Scouts and recruiters will have a field day.
When it's all said and done there is going to be some scouts mentioning why was this guy not in the Aflac game. Afterall, that's what happened last year and this years group is much stronger. Last year, players like Pedro Alvarez, Brandon Erbe, Matthew Olson, David Adams, Kieron Pope and many other star caliber players were in the PG Showcase. You might say, it came down to a "coin flip" as to why some are Aflac players and others are in the PG Showcase. It's good that the draft isn't next week.
The Perfect Game Showcase rosters will be finalized and posted by the end of the week.