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Showcase | Story | 12/27/2020

Ft. Myers braces for Main Event influx

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: PG Main Event Showcases (Perfect Game)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A 2020 Perfect Game showcase schedule that persevered through months-long restrictions brought on by the still raging covid-19 pandemic will reach its conclusion in record-breaking fashion this week under what is forecast to be nearly perfect baseball conditions in Southwest Florida.

More than 1,200 young prospects from five high school graduating classes should be able to enjoy sunshine and temperatures in the 70s while performing at the 19th annual PG National Underclass Showcase-Main Event, the 3rd annual PG Uncommitted Showcase-Main Event, the 3rd annual PG 14u Showcase-Main Event and the inaugural PG 13u Showcase-Main Event.

The Underclass-Main runs from Monday through Wednesday (Dec. 28-30) while the other three enjoy their three-day runs from Tuesday through Thursday (Dec. 29-31). MLB spring training fields at the jetBlue Park Player Development Complex, the Lee County Player Development 5-Plex, the Terry Park Sports Complex and City of Palms Park will all be utilized.

There is really nothing quite like the PG National Underclass-Main Event, an assertion made based on both the quality and the quantity of the participants involved.

It’s an event that counts 131 players who eventually reached the big leagues among its alumni – including former MLB MVP’s Josh Donaldson (2003) and Andrew McCutchen (2002) – and more than 820 who were later drafted – 46 in the first round.

With covid-19 protocols and protections firmly in place and strictly enforced, more than 860 prospects from across the country from the prep classes of 2022, 2023 and 2024 will be at this week’s Under-Main, having fun and making new friends among their peer-groups during the last week of December.

All three classes will be ably represented by dozens of the country’s top prospects, many of whom are coming from states west of the Mississippi River. The 2022 class, in fact, is led by catcher Karson Bowen, a TCU commit ranked No. 51 nationally.

Another top 2022, middle-infielder JeanPierre Ortiz, is an FIU commit from Carolina, PR, who comes in ranked No. 53 nationally; Ortiz is one of at least 51 Puerto Rican prospects rostered for the event.

Davie, Fla., first baseman Yoel Tejeda Jr. (No. 58-ranked, Florida commit); D’lberville, Miss., righthander Logan Forsythe (No. 101, Mississippi St.); Oakdale, Pa., third baseman Gavin Miller (No. 145, Auburn) and Wall, N.J. third baseman Andrew Fischer (No. 156, Duke) are among the other top 2022s expected to be on hand.

A pair of Georgia shortstop prospects headline the entrants from the class of 2023: Dylan Cupp from Cedartown (No. 17, Duke) and Antonio Anderson out of Atlanta (No. 19, uncommitted); Anderson was the MVP at the prestigious PG 14u Select Baseball Festival in September.

Other top ‘23s include Hoover, Ala., third baseman Walter Ford (No. 21, Alabama); Pace, Fla., first baseman Jackson McKenzie (No. 43, Mississippi St.) and Canton, Ga., righthander Chase Meyer (No. 85, Georgia).

The class of 2024 joins the party with five freshman prospects ranked in the top-70 nationally: Canton, Ga., outfielder Michael Mullinax (No. 13, uncommitted); Hiawassee, Ga., lefthander Drew Sofield (No. 54, uncommitted); Hudson, Wis., outfielder Sam Erickson (No. 56, uncommitted); Milton, Ga., third baseman Jax Phillips (No. 68, Georgia) and Miami righthander Lazaro Collera (No. 70, Miami).

With more than 120 signups through the middle of last week, the PG 14u Showcase-Main Event also promises to provide PG scouts with plenty of note-taking opportunities, and it’s a contingent headlined by Youngsville, N.C., 2025 outfielder Everett Johnson, ranked No. 7 nationally in his class.

Nearly 100 prospects – all from the class of 2021 – will be on hand for the PG Uncommitted Showcase-Main Event and more than 150 for the inaugural PG 13u Showcase-Main Event.

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