Perfect Game World Showcase - History Speaks for Itself

Draft : : Story
Perfect Game Staff        
Published: Monday, December 19, 2005

Well, it is that time of year again. The weather is turning much colder in most of the U.S., and many of us have significant snow on the ground. This is the time of year when everyone around the country starts counting down the days until....the 2006 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

For many of the 2006 class, their college decisions have been made
2006 College Commitments and they can relax and enjoy their last winter of high school. However, on January 7-8, many of the top players from around the country, Puerto Rico, and Canada will converge on Ft. Myers, Florida, to participate in the Perfect Game World Showcase, the last major showcase before the Perfect Game pre-draft in May.

Each Perfect Game World Showcase has been very productive for the large number of Major League scouts, cross-checkers, and scouting directors in attendance, as well as the participating players. This single event claims the highest percentage of players drafted out of all the showcases Perfect Game is involved with, with the exception of the PG National Showcase and AFLAC All-American game.

PG is aware that several players who have been invited to the 2006 PG World Showcase are still contemplating the advantages/disadvantages of attending. We also understand that this event may not be for everyone, but the results of past participants speak for themselves.

The following is a short list of players who have attended the Perfect Game World Showcase in prior years and some information on their professional careers and 2005 stats.

PG World Showcase Alumni with ML experience:
Carl Crawford-OF-Tampa Bay Devil Rays- Crawford was a 2nd round pick and turned down a football scholarship to Nebraska and a basketball scholarship from UCLA. The All-Star was 12th in the AL in batting average in 2005 and was 5th in stolen bases.

Zach Greinke-RHP-Kansas City Royals-Drafted in the 1st Rd (6th overall)- He was the youngest active player in the major leagues upon making his debut. Greinke has already made 57 career starts.

Zach Duke-LHP-Pittsburgh Pirates-Drafted in the 20th Rd- He finished 5th for NL Rookie of the Year in 2005. He went 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 14 starts. Led NL rookies in ERA and was named Rookie of the Month in July and August.

Victor Diaz-OF-New York Mets- Drafted in the 37th Rd. Diaz played in 100 games for the Mets in 2005, and is in position to start in RF for the new-look Mets in 2006. He hit .300 last year in AAA with 10 HR.

Dewon Brazelton-RHP-San Diego Padres- Drafted in the 1st Rd and has pitched in 54 career ML games with 41 starts totaling 253 IP.

Dustin McGowan-RHP-Toronto Blue Jays- Drafted in the 1st Rd and pitched in 13 games last year for TOR. In his ML debut he threw 5 innings while allowing only 1 run. He had a 3.70 ERA in the minors.

Dana Eveland-LHP-Milwaukee Brewers-Drafted in the 16th Rd- He pitched in 27 games for Milwaukee in 2005. Before being called up he had a 2.72 ERA at AA Huntsville with a 10-4 record. Eveland started 18 games with 98 K in 109 IP while walking only 38 and opponents hit .237.

Robert Andino-OF-Florida Marlins- Drafted in the 2nd Rd- He had 44 at bats for the Marlins in 2005. Before being called up, Andino hit .269 in AA with 22 SB and 30 doubles.

Cody Ross-OF-Los Angeles Dodgers- Drafted in the 4th Rd and has had 44 career at bats in the ML. Hit 22 HR last year at AAA.

David Aardsma-RHP-Chicago Cubs- Drafted in the 1st Rd and has pitched in 11 ML games with the SF Giants. Threw at AA last year after returning from an injury and ended the season with a 3.44 ERA.

Michael Morse-SS-Seattle Mariners- Drafted in the 3rd rd and played 72 games at SS for the Mariners before being suspended.

PG World Showcase Alumni-- Top Minor League Prospects:

Lastings Milledge-OF-New York Mets-Drafted in the 1st Rd is the #1 prospect in the Mets system. Hit .318 last year with 29 SB and 8 HR between High A and AA. Hit .330 in the Arizona Fall League with a .976 OPS, 5 HR, 7 SB, and was 7th in the AFL with 23 RBI.

Chris Lubanski-OF-Kansas City Royals- Drafted in the 1st Rd (5th overall) and hit .301 at High A with 28 HR and a .903 OPS. Was second in the minors with 116 RBI, and was 4th in the minors with 72 extra base hits.

Miguel Negron-OF-Toronto Blue Jays- Drafted in the 1st rd hit .258 in AA last year.

Landon Powell - C - Oakland A's- Drafted in the 1st rd- Injured last season.

Adam Jones-OF-Seattle Mariners- Drafted in the 1st Rd and hit .297 between High A and AA in 2005. Jones also played in the AFL to work on making the transition from SS to CF.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia-C-Atlanta Braves-Drafted in the 1st Rd- Hit .314 at High A Myrtle Beach with 19 HR, 81 RBI, and a .912 OPS. Also played in the AFL and hit .288.

Corey Smith-3B/OF-San Diego Padres- Drafted in the 1st Rd- Hit 18 HR at AA Mobile with 73 RBI. Followed that up with a great season in the AFL where he hit .330 with 7 HR, and a 1016 OPS.

Matt Moses-3B-Minnesota Twins- Drafted in the 1st Rd. Hit .306 at high A before being called up to AA for 100 plus at bats. Moses also played in the AFL and hit .275.

Ryan Sweeney-OF-Chicago White Sox- Drafted in the 2nd Rd and hit .298 at AA Birmingham as one of the youngest players in AA. He is ranked as one of the top prospects for the World Champion White Sox.

David Purcey-LHP-Toronto Blue Jays- Drafted in the 1st Rd- Purcey struck out 161 hitters in 137 1/3 innings between High A and AA. He went 9-7 with a 3.41 ERA and held opponents to a .221 avg.

Sean Rodriguez-SS/OF-Anaheim Angels- Drafted in the 1st Rd. Had 27 stolen bases and hit 14 HR for Low A Cedar Rapids.

Adam Donachie-C-Kansas City Royals- Drafted in the 1st Rd. Hit .294 at High A with 12 HR.

Gaby Sanchez-C-Florida Marlins-Drafted in the 4th Rd- Hit .355 with an .888 OPS and 5 HR in 234 at bats at short season Jamestown.

Elijah Dukes-OF-Tampa Bay Devil Rays- Drafted in the 3rd Rd. Hit .287 at AA with 18 HR.

Lance Broadway-RHP-Chicago White Sox- Drafted in the 1st Rd. Started 11 games with a 4.55 ERA for High A Winston-Salem after being drafted in the 2005 draft.

Christian Garcia-RHP-New York Yankees- Drafted in the 3rd Rd. He pitched in 23 games between Rookie ball and Low A. Garcia had a 3.94 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 112 IP.

And there are many many more 1st round picks including Joe Torres, David Espinosa, and others!

PG World Showcase Alumni - Top professional performers from last year's draft:

Josh Wall-RHP-Los Angeles Dodgers- Drafted in the 2nd Rd. Pitched 5 games in Rookie ball with a 3.86 ERA.

Thomas Mendoza-RHP-Anaheim Angles- Drafted in the 5th Rd.-1.30 ERA between AZL and Hi A. He had 68 strikeouts in 62 1/3 IP.

Ryan DeLaughter-OF-Washington Nationals- Drafted in the 5th Rd. He had 6 HR and 21 RBI in 125 AB in GCL.

RJ Anderson-OF-Texas Rangers- Drafted in the 9th Rd.- He hit .286 in AZL with 18 SB in 185 AB.

Other Exceptional PG World Showcase Alum:

Justin Upton-SS-Chesapeake, VA- Drafted #1 overall this past year by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Andrew Miller-LHP-University of North Carolina- Drafted in the 3rd Rd, but chose to attend school. He was named the Summer Collegiate Player of the Year by Baseball America in 2005 and might be the early leader for top pick in the 2006 draft.

The list of players that have attended the Perfect Game World Showcase, been drafted, and gone on to successful professional or college careers could go on and on. We thought it would be fun to review the success of some of our past participants as we wait for this year's World Showcase and wonder which player attending the 2006 PG World Showcase might be a future Major League All-Star.

Josh Wall was the highest drafted participant in last year's PG World Showcase and was drafted in the 2nd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wall had already signed with LSU, but he still chose to attend the World Showcase because he wanted to show the large number of scouts what he was capable of and that he was deserving of consideration as a top round draft pick. Wall was a projectable RHP who was on every scout's follow list, but he jumped to the top of many lists after his performance at the World Showcase.

Here is the Perfect Game report on Josh Wall from the 2005 PG World Showcase:

Josh Wall is a 2005 RHP/SS/3B from Walker, Louisiana, with a tall and lean frame at 6'6", 190 lbs. Wall had the best performance at the event, and showed why he has the potential to be a high draft pick. He has a pro pitcher's body, and a pro caliber arm with quick arm speed. His fastball topped out at 95 mph with an easy and loose arm action, and he worked at 91-93. The amazing thing about Wall is that he might throw even harder in the future. His curveball is very projectable with good rotation, and he set up the pitch very well. Wall overpowered hitters at the showcase, and will do the same this spring. Wall is also a solid defender who doesn't get cheated at the plate when he swings. Josh is a very athletic big guy who is a very good shortstop. However, we think his future is on the mound, and his future is bright. Josh is a good student who has signed with LSU.

Josh Wall not only performed well on a major stage, but also showed high ranking scouts that he wanted to play. The Perfect Game staff heard from several cross-checkers and scouting directors that they were obviously impressed with his live arm, but were really impressed that he believed enough in himself to attend this event and show scouts what he was capable of doing. The same thing happened with Carl Crawford. Scouts weren't sure how much he wanted to play baseball with his scholarship offers from top Division I programs in both football and basketball. However, his attendance at the World Showcase gave scouts a much better feeling, and the rest is history.

Several top players in the 2006 class have already committed to attend this year's event, and we will see who will hold the distinction of being the highest drafted player from the 2006 Perfect Game World Showcase. This will be the first PG World Showcase that will have video footage of the entire event on Scouts, coaches, parents, relatives, and fans of amateur baseball can see all of the top talent in Ft. Myers from their computer screens. We are looking forward to a great event.
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