DIEGO – It seems reasonable to assume that television viewers who
tune into the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings
on Sunday night will be seeing a sizeable collection of first round
selections in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
could be as many as 20. Or, thinking even bigger, perhaps more than
Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings, known as the
Aflac All-American Classic during its first eight years of existence,
will be played Sunday, Aug. 14, at beautiful PETCO Park, the downtown
home of the San Diego Padres.
of the nation’s top prospects in the class of 2012 will be out on
PETCO’s field most of the day Sunday in anticipation of the
all-star game’s 5:08 p.m. (PDT) first pitch. The game, which is
expected to attract thousands of fans and hundreds of members of the
MLB scouting community and an assortment of college coaches, will be
televised live on the CBS Sports Network.
PG All-American Classic is nothing if not a scouting gold mine.
record 18 All-American Classic alumni were first round or first round
compensation selections in the 2011 draft and 13 of those 18 played
in the 2010 game. A total of 98 All-American Classic alumni have been
first round or first round compensation selections since 2004.
Cole became the fifth All-American Classic alum to be taken with the
No. 1 overall selection in the draft, joining Matthew Bush (2004),
Justin Upton (2005), Tim Beckham (2008) and Bryce Harper (2010).
All-American Classic alumni have already landed on major league
Aflac decided to discontinue its title sponsorship of the event over
the winter, Perfect Game decided to take control. The event was too
important to abandon.
after year I am impressed with the extraordinary high school talent
this All-American Classic brings to the forefront of the baseball
world,” PG President Jerry Ford said in a June 6 news release.
“These young athletes have the ability to become major league stars
of the next generation.”
Gardiner, president of Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc.,
which is coordinating the event with PG, agreed it is significant.
event is the best high school baseball All-American game in the
country, which is evident when you look at the celebrated alumni that
have played in it,” he said in the same release. “This event
provides a unique opportunity for the players to learn on and off the
field through various community events and the baseball activities.”
year’s Classic lineup is star-studded beyond even the 46 players
who will play for either the East or West squads.
League Baseball all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, who spent 16 of
his 18 MLB seasons with the Padres, will serve as the Classic’s
Honorary Chairman. He follows Hall-of-Famers Ozzie Smith (2007, ’08,
’09), Reggie Jackson (2006), Cal Ripken Jr. (2004, ’05) and Stan
Musial (2003) in the role of Honorary Chairman.
part of his responsibilities, Hoffman will present the 2011 Jackie
Robinson Player of the Year Award to one of eight deserving nominees
for the honor.
John, a standout left-handed pitcher who played 26 seasons in the big
leagues, will present the coveted Perfect Game Nick Adenhart Award,
an award that recognizes character, sportsmanship and citizenship.
of Perfect Game’s top-25 nationally ranked prospects (2012) dot the
two rosters, including 14 on the East Team. No. 1-ranked
right-hander/infielder Lance McCullers from Tampa, Fla., will suit up
for the East, and No. 2-ranked right-hander Lucas Giolito from Santa
Monica, Calif., will go for the West.
East Team boasts right-handers Taylore Cherry from Dayton, Ohio, and
Walker Weickel from Orlando, Fla., (ranked Nos. 3 and 7,
respectively) in addition to McCullers, and the West counters with
right-handers Joey Gallo from Henderson, Nev. (No. 4) and Rio Ruiz
from Covina, Calif. (No. 9) and lefty Hunter Virant from Camarillo,
Calif. (No. 10).
Chester, the long-time head coach at Cartersville (Ga.) High School,
will serve as the East Team’s head coach, and Bishop Amat High
School (La Puente, Calif.) head coach Andy Nieto will be the head
coach of the West Team. Chester will be assisted by Kevin Maris and
Omar Washington, and Nieto by Cecil Espy and Manny Hermosillo.
players at this year’s Classic will start checking in and getting
fitted for uniforms for the event on Thursday at the San Diego
Marriott Mission Valley hotel to begin a full three days of
activities leading up to Sunday’s game.
busy schedule includes a morning practice session and scrimmage at
the University of San Diego’s Cunningham Field and lunch at the
Randy Jones All-American Sports Grill (owner Randy Jones won the 1976
Cy Young Award while pitching for the Padres).
day’s highlights come in the afternoon when the players and coaches
will stop by Rady Children’s Hospital – the event’s beneficiary
– where they will meet and visit with young cancer patients, then
head out for a tour of the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
practice session and the first round of the Home Run Derby will take
place Saturday morning at USD. The evening will be capped with the
Awards Dinner at the San Diego Hall of Champions, in which the
Pitcher of the Year, PG Nick Adenhart, SWAG, Reebok Offensive Player
of the Year, Rawlings Defensive Player and Jackie Robinson Player of
the Year awards will be presented.
on-field activities at PETCO begin at 1 p.m. with BP, and the finals
of the Home Run Derby are set to begin at 4 p.m.
Perfect Game All-American Classic