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All American Game  | Story  | 8/11/2022

Rosario Speaks PGAAC Honor Into Existence

Blake Dowson     
Photo: Alfonsin Rosario (Perfect Game)
The paths prospects take to the Perfect Game All-American Classic can look a little different. Alfonsin Rosario’s path is one less traveled.

His includes too many home runs in New Jersey, a pool house in Georgia, and an exploding radar gun in Florida.

Growing up in Newark, Rosario simply outshined his competition. He wasn’t being pushed, and knew that if he wanted to become the best version of himself, New Jersey wasn’t where he should be.

“I was hitting bombs, because they weren’t throwing that hard," Rosario said. "So I wanted to play against really good competition.”

Rosario transferred to P27 Academy, a prep school and performance center created in 2018 in Lexington, South Carolina to further develop his skills.

He made the All-Tournament Team playing for P27 at the Perfect Game High School Showdown in March, hitting .538 over five games with four runs scored, five driven in, and four stolen bases on top of that. His team won the Academies portion of the event, and it served as a great jumping-off point to a productive summer.

Over the summer, he played for Andy Burress and his 5 Star National 17u Black squad, a consistent winner at PG events. Rosario was All-Tournament at the first two events he played with 5 Star – the Southeast Memorial Day Classic and Southeast Elite Championship.

He played in five events with 5 Star over the summer months, which wouldn’t have been possible if he was flying back up to Newark between each one. Coach Burress stepped in to take care of that.

“I didn’t have a place to stay,” Rosario said. “If I stay with my parents, I’ll be in New Jersey. And all of the tournaments are down here in Florida, Georgia. I would be flying to every single game. So [Coach Burress] put me in his house, his pool house. I had it to myself. I say thank you every single day to him. Every time I see him, I say thank you for everything you have done for me.”

Burress was also the person to reach out a few weeks before Perfect Game’s National Showcase to say Rosario is a prospect who should be in attendance.

Not on the original list of attendees, Rosario did get that highly sought-after invite eventually, and made his way to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida knowing he needed to perform well, with his travel ball coach and summer host sticking his neck out for him.

The thing is, Rosario knew all he needed was a shot. Once he got the invite, he knew he would play well.

“Everybody I was talking to before PG National, I was saying that I’m going to do what I did,” Rosario said. “I was saying, ‘I’m going to be a PG All-American, you’ll see.’ So it feels like I made it. I wasn’t lying, you know?”

Rosario opened eyes and made a lot of scouts put pen to paper and tweets into the Twittersphere.

During outfield drills, he popped off a throw at 101 mph. During batting practice, he hit a ball 102 mph. Since Perfect Game started recording exit velocity in 2017, not one prospect besides Rosario has posted a 100+ mph exit velocity and 100+ mph throw from either the outfield or infield.

He had a feeling he would do it, too.

“I talked to my agent right before the throw,” Rosario said. “I told him, ‘If I don’t throw 100 mph, I cut my arm off.’”

It’s a good thing he did.

The throw + hit combination Rosario showed at PG National moved him way up the 2023 class rankings, from a top-500 ranked prospect to the No. 50 overall prospect in the class, and a top-10 outfielder.

It’s validation for him, for all the work and sacrifices he had made to get to this point.

“I always wanted to be in the top-100,” Rosario said. “When I went to National, I was like, ‘I’m going to be in the top-100 after National.’ That’s what I was thinking. I just wanted to be top-100, no matter if I was 90 or 99. It’s like, everything has come through. I wasn’t lying. It feels good.”

And now that he is a Perfect Game All-American, what else might Rosario speak into existence?

“I would love to hit some doubles,” he said. “Or maybe a home run. I would be so happy. I’m looking for a single in my first at-bat, that’s for sure.”

Pitchers, you’ve been warned. It’s proven silly to doubt Alfonsin Rosario when he puts his mind to something.