FORT MYERS, Fla. – Many of the top high school underclass prospects from across North America are prepared to take over the five fields at the Boston Red Sox Player Development 5-Plex and at least one at Terry Park Wednesday through Friday (Dec. 28-30) for the 10th annual Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase-Main Event.
Throughout its history, this showcase has hosted the top underclass prospects from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and five foreign countries, all of whom were given the opportunity to perform in front of Major League Baseball’s extensive scouting community. This year’s event welcomes the top players from the high school classes of 2013 and 2014, and even some select 2015s.
Among the more high-profile 2013s that will be attending are left-handed hitting third baseman Justin Williams from Houma, La., Josh Hart from Lilburn, GA and infielder and right-hander Wesley Jones from Lithonia, Ga.
Williams is the No. 18 nationally ranked prospect in the 2013 class and has verbally committed to LSU. At 6-feet-2, 207 pounds, he was on the Top Prospect List at the 2011 Perfect Game Junior National Showcase.
Jones and Hart are returning to the PG National Underclass Showcase-Main Event for the second straight year and were put on the Top Prospect List last year as a sophomore.
Florida right-hander Ethan Walker, Louisiana infielder Greg Deichmann and Georgia outfielder/first baseman Kel Johnson are among the top 2014 prospects who have committed to the event.
Walker, a 6-4, 205-pounder, is ranked 35th nationally in his class. Deichmann (6-0, 175), named to the Top Prospect List at the 2011 South Underclass Showcase and an LSU commit, is right behind Walker at No. 36 in the rankings.
Johnson (6-4, 200) is ranked No. 41 nationally and will be attending his 11th Perfect Game event in just two years.
These are some of the current well known players, but the National Underclass Main Event always is where many top prospect make their initial mark on the prospect scene.
A lot of eyes will be trained on Dazmon Cameron, a class of 2015 outfielder from McDonough, Ga., who won’t celebrate his 15th birthday until Jan. 15, 2012. Cameron, a part of the prestigious East Cobb Baseball organization, is the son of 17-year Major League Baseball veteran Mike Cameron.
The Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase-Main Event – the showcase held annually on Dec. 28-30 – boasts an impressive group of prominent alumni. Since its inception in 2002, the event provided a stage for 23 prospects who went on to become first round MLB draft picks. Nine of the first-rounders graduated to the big leagues, as have 20 other alumni selected in lower rounds.
Counted among those alumni are Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who participated in the event three times (2004, ’05 and ’06); Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (2006); Cincinnati Reds right-handed starter Mat Latos (2004); Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (2002); Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2002); and Cleveland Indians right-handed closer Chris Perez (2002).