Showcase | Story | 2/13/2020

Indoor Showcase Season Starts Up

Blake Dowson        
Photo: John Malcom (Perfect Game)

Towns in New Jersey and Ohio are hosting Perfect Game showcases this weekend, and although the temperature in those towns will barely get above freezing, the prospects at those showcases are certainly heating up for the season.

Wayne, New Jersey will host the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Indoor Showcase from Feb. 15-16 at the PS2 Athletics complex, with Saturday and Sunday serving as separate events. The Mid-Atlantic version of the indoor showcase circuit is just the latest addition, along with the existing Great Lakes, Northeast, Pitcher/Catcher, Midwest, and of course the National Indoor Showcase in Lake St. Louis, Missouri.

The Great Lakes Indoor Showcase, also running from Feb. 15-16, is in its fourth year of existence.

The benefits of participating in Perfect Game showcases has been well-stated. The national exposure prospects receive is top-notch, and it is the only way to guarantee a full scouting report from the scouting staff and receive a PG grade.

Indoor showcases come at a pivotal time of year, with high school seasons beginning and offseason workouts winding down. Perfect Game Vice President of Player Personnel David Rawnsley said the indoor showcases are an exciting opportunity to evaluate prospects.

“I think Indoor showcases are a great benchmark for players to see where they are physically and with their skills at the beginning of the baseball year, especially if they have either grown physically or worked hard during the offseason,” he said. “There are few things as satisfying to a scout as going to a February indoor showcase and seeing that player who has taken a major jump during the offseason, whether it be a pitcher who has added 4-6 mph on his fastball or a hitter who has gained 10-15 pounds of strength through hard work during the winter.”

The Great Lakes Indoor Showcase has seen it in the past, with a number of highly-talented players in attendance, showing off their winter work in front of scouts.

Drew Rom, a Fort Thomas, Kentucky native, attended the inaugural Great Lakes Indoor Showcase in 2017 and was named to the Top Prospect List at the event. In just his second appearance in front of PG scouts, Rom put himself squarely on the draft map as a lefthanded pitcher, and cemented his spot there with All-Tournament Team performances at the 2017 WWBA 17U National Championship and 2017 WWBA World Championship.

Rom became a fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2018 draft and is currently pitching in its minor league system.

2017 Perfect Game All-American John Malcom is another alumnus of the inaugural Great Lakes Indoor Showcase. Malcom was well-established with PG scouts before he attended the event, with 15 PG events, including a pair of showcases, already under his belt.

Malcom used the 2017 Great Lakes Indoor as another data point on his mission to make the National Showcase at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, which he then used in turn to prove himself worthy of the All-American Game in San Diego.

The big lefthanded first baseman is currently at the State College of Florida after spending a year at Vanderbilt, where he was part of the national title team a year ago.

“Players can take four basic types of jumps at an indoor showcase,” Rawnsley said. “A player, especially a younger player, can take that jump onto the recruiting radar for the colleges he's interested in attending. A junior can take that jump to where the Perfect Game sees that he's ready for a National Showcase invitation and a bump in the rankings. And a senior can tell the professional scouting community that he's going to have to be accounted for over the next four months before the June Draft.  All those things happen and happen every year.

“And, of course, there's always the player who we simply haven't seen before who catches your attention and makes you think, ‘Hey, we need to find out more about this guy, he's got some tools.’"

That last point Rawnsley makes applies to Jordan Nwogu, who showed up out of nowhere at the 2017 Great Lakes Indoor Showcase and left as a member of the Top Prospect List and Top Prospect Team. It was the first PG event Nwogu had attended, and he made a lasting impression on the scouts who watched him hit.

Nwogu, now at the University of Michigan, is a Third-Team Preseason Perfect Game All-American this year after hitting .321 last season for the Wolverines during their run to a winner-take-all Game Three of the College World Series against Vanderbilt.

Rom, Malcom, and Nwogu certainly aren’t the only success stories coming out of the Great Lakes Indoor Showcase, either. A number of other Division I commitments have come out of the event, to schools such as Michigan State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Indiana, Duke, Ohio State, and Clemson.

The Mid-Atlantic Indoor Showcase is sure to create a Division I hit-list of its own in its first year, with a talent-rich New Jersey area that always produces top prospects.

For more information on all of the upcoming indoor events, click on the following event pages:

2020 Mid-Atlantic Indoor Showcase (Saturday)
2020 Mid-Atlantic Indoor Showcase (Sunday)
2020 Great Lakes Indoor Showcase (Saturday)
2020 Great Lakes Indoor Showcase (Sunday)
2020 National Indoor Showcase (Saturday)
2020 National Indoor Showcase (Sunday)
2020 Northeast Indoor Showcase (Saturday)
2020 Northeast Indoor Showcase (Sunday)
2020 Pitcher/Catcher Showcase
2020 Midwest Indoor Showcase

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