Showcase | Story | 6/14/2013

Arm, legs lift 'two-way guy'

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Perfect Game

MINNEAPOLIS -- Hours before top Georgia two-way prospect Michael Gettys was to begin performing at the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase on Thursday morning, his father, Mark Gettys, had a feeling his 17-year-old son might be on the verge of doing something special.

"This gives us the opportunity to compete with the best players in the country, and we are both so excited about being here," Mark Gettys said Thursday night, speaking from the Metrodome. "Michael was so excited, he set the alarm for 6:45 (a.m.) to get here early, but he was already up at 6 loosening up and doing his arm drills and everything else that he does. He was very excited at the opportunity to be here and compete with these guys and showcase his skills."

Was he simply excited or just downright amped? Gettys jumped feet-first into the morning workout session by running a 6.43-second 60-yard dash, the third best clocking among the group of players from showcase teams 1-6 (six more teams will take part in workouts Friday night) that ran the 60.

He then sprinted out to right field and threw 100 mph to home plate, a PG National Showcase event record. It topped the previous outfield velocity mark of 99 mph set by 2009 Perfect Game All-American Michael Lorenzen at the 2009 PG National.

A batting practice session came next, during which a PG scout noted that Gettys "generates premier bat speed and the ball just jumps off his bat to all fields." In game action later in the day, a PG report stated that "Gettys continues to impress" and that after he smacked a single to the right side he "showed heads-up by taking second base on the throw from the outfielder, never once slowing up."

"I had heard this was the big showcase with a lot of scouts here, along with the best players in the country," Gettys said. "It's great to get out here and show what you can do; it's just a blessing to be out here. I've never participated in a showcase before; I've just played in the (PG) tournaments. I came in here and I set my goals very high -- be the fastest runner, throw the hardest from the outfield (and) be the best hitter."

The 100 mph outfield throw and 6.43-second 60 may not have necessarily been planned or even expected, but they didn't happen by accident.

"It was a great experience to be able to do that; I've worked really hard in the offseason and I was training for this. I guess I was feeling pretty good today so, yeah, everything was pretty good," he said as a grin passed over his face.

"I had hit 98 before throwing from the outfield but I didn't know I was going to throw 100," he continued. "I did tell some of teammates before I came up here, 'I'm going to try to touch 100' but I was just kidding around. But then again, I guess I wasn't."

Michael's father vouched for his strong work ethic leading up to the PG National

"He's been training very hard with those two things," Mark Gettys said. "He's been doing a lot of sprints and a lot of the speed drills and other things to increase his speed. And also, he's been working hard with his arm strength with the long (toss) and the rubber-band training and lifting the right kind of weights to strengthen his arm.

"It's been about a six-month to a year goal that he set," Mark continued. "We planned on coming here for about the last year, so there has been a precise, scheduled training and preparation for this. I'm so pleased he did the 100 mph from the outfield and ran fast, but he's been training and working hard and we're so thankful that he was able to do that here."

Gettys is also a highly regarded right-handed pitcher -- he will pitch in Columbia Blue's final PG National Showcase game on Saturday -- and said his fastball has reached 96 mph; his top recorded velocity at a PG event is 92 mph at the 2012 PG WWBA Underclass World Championship. He has committed to the University of Georgia and if he does indeed land in Athens in the fall of 2014, he hopes to continue as a two-way player.

"I've always been a Bulldogs fan and they offered me (a scholarship) as a two-way guy," Gettys said. "If I don't go in the draft anywhere I want to continue to be a two-way guy for as long as I can. I'm going to get my school paid for and I can keep being a two-way guy, so that was a big bonus and I really wanted to go there.

"I'm pushing hard to do both as long as I can," he said. "I love to hit, I love to play in the outfield and I love to pitch; I just love to do both. I love to play every day, and that's the good thing about being both a position player and a pitcher."

Gettys played football, soccer and basketball as a middle-schooler but became serious about baseball once he got into high school. After he began focusing on baseball "24-7" he also started hanging around with some pretty elite company.

He counts among his good friends fellow Georgia school-boy standout Clint Frazier, the winner of the 2012 Jackie Robinson Award as Perfect Game's National Player of the Year who last week was taken with the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians. That's called choosing your friends wisely.

"Clint Frazier is one of my good friends -- he lives right around me and we played in the same (Georgia high school) region," Gettys said. "I like to compete with him because of how good and how successful he is, and he's helped me a lot. We hit BP together and we do a lot of stuff together, and it's helped me because he's just really good. It makes me want to be as good as him."

Gettys sits at No. 14 in Perfect Game's class of 2014 national prospects rankings (No. 2 in the state of Georgia) and has played in past summers with teams from both East Cobb Baseball and Team Elite Baseball. He said he will spend most of this summer with Tiger Baseball, an organization based in his hometown of Gainesville.

He was named to the all-tournament team at the 2012 PG WWBA Underclass World Championship after hitting 7-for-18 (.389) with a double, two triples, seven RBI and seven runs scored while playing with Team Elite Chain. In October, 2012, Perfect Game ranked him as the 184th top draft prospect in the class of 2014, a ranking that should rise as the list is updated over the next 12 months.

"We've had our ups and downs in baseball, just like any other parent-player-son," Mark Gettys said. "Even when he's had a down moment he's used that as more motivation to improve his game, and the progression that he's made has been so awesome to watch. I'm very excited and happy for him; it's awesome."

Gettys has a younger brother, Jonathan Gettys, a 2016 left-handed pitcher who had his fastball gunned at 88 mph while playing with the Team DeMarini Roadrunners at last week's 17u/18u Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational in Marietta, Ga. "You'll be hearing about my brother soon," Gettys said with a smile

"He's a left-handed pitcher and he's got the nickname 'Rooster'," Mark Gettys said, also smiling at the thought of his youngest son. "He's got some good stuff and he just turned 15 so we've got a lot of time to set goals for him, like we did with Michael. Michael has goals even beyond this but up until this point he's accomplished some of his goals, and we can still accomplish some of them here this weekend.

"Overall, we're just thankful for the opportunity that Perfect Game has given us to showcase his talents and we know the Lord has to bless it all to hold it all together."

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