A total of 22 first-round draft picks have attended Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase events since the inaugural one was held in 2002.
That’s an impressive number, and it’s one of the reasons 75 players from 16 states and Puerto Rico are heading to Mesa, Ariz., this weekend for Session I of the popular National Underclass Showcase series.
It’s not too late to request an invitation if you’d like to attend and join the fun. Simply go to the Perfect Game home page at www.PerfectGame.org, scroll to the showcases, find National Underclass I and click on “Get Invite.” It’s as simple as that.
The showcase will be held at Fitch Park in Mesa this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 6-7).
There are three National Underclass Showcase events. Session 2, also called the Main Event, will be held Dec. 28-30 in Fort Myers, Fla., and Session 3 is scheduled for Fort Myers on Jan. 8-9 of 2011. You can request an invitation to those events as well.
There have been many impressive performances at these Underclass events. Daniel Marrs of Virginia uncorked a 94 mph fastball at one of these showcases in 2006, and Kaleb Cowart of Georgia matched Marrs in 2008. They share the record for fastest fastball.
Taylor Hightower of Georgia posted an impressive pop time of 1.73 seconds at one of the Underclass showcases in 2006.
The 22 first-round draft picks who attended one of the National Underclass Showcase events include Cowart (Angels), Bobby Borchering (Diamondbacks), Chevez Clarke (Angels), Jake Skole (Rangers), LeVon Washington (Rays), Karsten Whitson (Padres), Brett DeVall (Braves), Nick Franklin (Mariners), Eric Hosmer (Royals), Casey Kelly (Red Sox), Justin Jackson (Jays), Michael Main (Rangers), Kentrail Davis (Brewers), Cody Johnson (Braves), Jorge Sanchez (Pirates), Jeremy Bleich (Yankees), Adrian Cardenas (Phils), Christian Colon (Royals), Chris Marrero (Nationals), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), Aaron Miller (Dodgers) and Max Sapp (Astros).
Forty-three of the 75 players who have registered for this weekend’s event are high school juniors and members of the Class of 2012. There are also 23 high school sophomores (Class of 2013), seven high school freshmen (Class of 2014)
Jake Thompson, a pitcher/first baseman/third baseman from Rockwall, Texas, is ranked 11th in Texas by Perfect Game USA and 86th in the country. He played for the Dallas Patriots this year.
Tony DiMartino, a first baseman/left-handed pitcher/outfielder from Alamo, Calif., is ranked 44th in California and 282nd in the country. He played for the Mariners Scout Team.
There are many other “Follow” and “High Follow” players who are headed to Mesa , young players who are just starting to make a name for themselves.
The players are coming from California, Utah, Washington, Texas, Arizona, Michigan, Alabama, New Mexico, Nevada, Missouri, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, New York, Louisiana, Ohio, Indiana and Puerto Rico.
The National Underclass I Showcase will be held in conjunction with the West Uncommitted Showcase this weekend in Mesa.