JUPITER, Fla.- Marvin Gorgas had always been a winner on the baseball field, starting at a young age in the Little League World Series and continuing with a State Championship title at East Hampton High School in East Hampton, Conn., but the summer of 2013 brought him more recognition and attention than he’d ever had, not to mention his first gold medal.
Gorgas stole the attention of scouts when he stepped on the mound at Perfect Game’s Northeast Top Prospect Showcase at the beginning of August. The 5-foot-10 right-hander blew radar guns away with a 93 mph fastball and dazzled scouts with exceptional off-speed stuff. Gorgas left the showcase, his first ever Perfect Game event, with a perfect 10 on the PG scouting scale, leaving everyone wondering where this kid had been.
Gorgas caught the attention of scouts and managed to keep the spotlight by making the 18u National Team for Team USA a few weeks later, outplaying 124 of the best high school players in the country for a spot on the roster of 20.
“I was fortunate enough and humble enough to be part of the team and it’s just an honor to be part of Team USA,” Gorgas said.
Being part of Team USA meant what was in store for Gorgas and his 19 teammates was a summer of cultural discovery, a newfound appreciation for baseball on the international level, and more than a few memories to last a lifetime.
After a few exhibition games in Los Angeles, Calif., it was off to Taichung, Taiwan for two weeks to play against kids their age from all corners of the world, all with the common goal to bring home the gold.
For Gorgas, the memories made away from the game were just as lasting as the ones made on the diamond.
“Being all over and representing our country was really awesome,” recalled Gorgas. “It was lots of fun because I got to be around different people with different languages. It was awesome being with all those great kids.”
Team USA faced eight different countries in an eight-day span. Gorgas made relief appearances against Italy, Australia, and Venezuela, where he earned the win in 2.2 innings of work out of the bullpen, his main role in the tournament. Gorgas also saw some playing time at second base and got a start at third against Korea. The hard-throwing righty finished the IBAF AAA/18u World Cup without giving up a run in 6.1 innings of relief, collecting six strikeouts.
When asked if his game plan ever changed depending on the international competition, Gorgas replied, “My game plan is to try and get ahead of the hitters, get in their heads, and get them off-balance so they’re not expecting one pitch. I always try to stay ahead of them.”
Although Gorgas did not make an appearance in the Gold Medal Game against Japan, in which Team USA won 3-2 to earn first place, he still insists it’s a memory he will hold onto forever.
Gorgas managed to grab attention once more this weekend during the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship at the Roger Dean Complex in Jupiter, Fla., amateur baseball’s most scouted event in the world. He took the mound Friday afternoon for Baseball U and didn’t disappoint the scouts in attendance, most of which were lined up along the left field and right field lines in golf carts and ten people deep behind the backstop.
The prospect shook off an uncharacteristic first inning to electrify the crowd with six shutout innings to follow. He finished a complete game with nine strikeouts and topped off the winning effort with a 94 mph fastball, the highest-recorded fastball Perfect game has seen Gorgas throw.
“It’s awesome,” Gorgas said about pitching in front of a large number of scouts. “It shows how many good kids are here and being able to compete against every single one of them is awesome. You can’t see this anywhere else.”
The University of Connecticut verbal commit was ranked the 96th prospect for the 2014 class coming into the PG WWBA World Championship. After a complete game effort with a 94 mph fastball and promising secondary pitches, it should come as no surprise if Gorgas’ ranking improves once the next set of rankings is released.
From a scouting perspective, Gorgas displayed a consistent low-90s fastball, a late-breaking slider with tight rotation, and an excellent 83 mph changeup. He also showed the ability to throw each pitch in his arsenal for a strike.
“My fastball and slider are my main pitches with two strikes. I usually just go fastball, but the slider works well too,” Gorgas said when asked what he throws with two strikes.
Performing at such a high level in an international setting, as well as in the elite national spotlight, the once well-kept secret from Connecticut may be faced with the fortunate situation of deciding between beginning his journey to Major League Baseball in June or suiting up for the UConn Huskies.
“Right now, I’m trying to focus on school and graduate first and whatever happens, happens,” Gorgas said when asked which path he would likely choose if presented the option. “If somebody sees something good in me and they want to take me I’d be happy to go (professional).”
Gorgas walked off the mound this Friday, most likely for the last time at a Perfect Game event, putting an exclamation point on a short-lived, but wildly successful run with Perfect Game.
“It was fun,” said Gorgas. “I definitely liked it, especially with all of the scouts and being able to show your ability.”
Gorgas stuck with his mindset to “always think positive and just go out there and let it fly.”
He did just that in his first and only appearance at the PG WWBA World Championship this Friday, leaving the scouts with a 94 mph fastball to think about come draft time in June.