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Tournaments | Story | 6/29/2013

'A blessing' for Gatewood and Tellez

Sam Brazenas     
Photo: Perfect Game

MARIETTA, Ga. – Playing for the same coach that coached Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are two of the San Diego Show’s top prospects, Jacob Gatewood and Rowdy Tellez, who hope to follow in their footsteps.

The San Diego Show is a team loaded with great prospects on the mound, in the field and at the plate. They’re a team based out of California and is quite popular with Perfect Game. Typically they keep a roster of all Southern California kids, but this year is a little different.

As a general rule we stay pretty local, except for Bryce (Harper) and a couple kids in the past,” explained Head Coach Brian Cain. “This year we kind of ventured out a little more. We’ve gotten a lot more calls away from home from guys possible wanting to play with us. We (even) got a guy from Pennsylvania here. We’re expanding our reach and it’s a lot of fun.”

One of the non-local kids Cain talks about having this year is Gatewood. Gatewood is from Clovis, California and is playing with the Show for the first time this summer in the WWBA 18u National Championship.

He had played against us when (his teammates) were younger,” said Cain on Gatewood. “So basically this year when we started planning for the summer, we knew he was in the state, and not too far away. We started the dialogue and the possibility of him coming out and doing some stuff with us and just kind of went from there.”

Gatewood attends and plays baseball at Clovis High School and will graduate in 2014.

We had a really good season,” said Gatewood about his high school team, “We went 26-9. We came up short in the semi-finals, but we ended up playing really good.”

The 6-foot-5 shortstop is ranked No. 4 on the PG high school class of 2014 national rankings. He is ranked No. 2 in the state of California.

It’s awesome to be ranked that high, people think highly of you so it’s a blessing,” said Gatewood.

One would think having a father who played major league baseball would drive a kid to want to follow in his footsteps, but that wasn’t quite the case for Gatewood as a child.

I actually started out playing tennis, but then (my dad) kind-of forced me to (play baseball) and I liked it,” explained Gatewood.

His father, Henry Gatewood, played professional baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He’s been my hitting coach, my defense coach, my everything,” said Gatewood about his father.

Gatewood is committed to play baseball at USC, but he hopes to one day play major league baseball like his father.

(USC) has been my dream school since I was about eight watching Reggie Bush play,” said Gatewood.

However, he still has one more year of high school, and is getting interest from pro scouts, and he’s still unsure if he will play professional or college ball after high school.

(I will do) whatever feels like is the best opportunity for me to get to the MLB because my goal is to be an MLB shortstop,” added Gatewood.

I see that maturity of handling what’s around him and understanding the dynamic he’s facing this next week of June here,” said Cain about Gatewood, “I’m gonna say in all likelihood he’ll be signing a contract (at some point next year).”

Gatewood was recognized as a Perfect Game first team preseason high school underclassman all-American for 2013, and was recognized on the third team in 2012. He is batting .429 so far in the 2013 WWBA 18u National Championship. He hit a homerun in Saturday’s game helping beat the Home Plate Chili Dogs 17u Shelton 3-1.

Tellez, another great prospect for the Show, hit a 400-foot homerun in Friday’s game against the East Cobb Padres 17u. He also won the Rawlings Home Run Challenge at the 2012 National Showcase in Minneapolis.

That was crazy,” said Tellez about winning the home run derby, “That was awesome because you hit it up in the Metrodome.

2012 PG All-American Rowdy Tellez hit a 400-foot home run on Friday.

A lot of people had hype around Clint (Frazier), and I ended up beating Clint in the championship. We ended up being teammates here last year for the summer team and we’d just have our own homerun derby in the games,” explained Tellez. “It was a blast, it was a cool experience.”

Tellez is a big boy, towering at 6-foot-5 and weighing 220-pounds.

He’s a big body guy,” said Cain about Tellez, “He kind of reminds me of Hoss Cartwright from Bonanza back in the day. He’s just a big strong, country-fried kid.

I think at times people think he’s got this hard core, (but deep down inside he just wants to play baseball. (He’s) a lot of fun to be around.”

Tellez is from Elk Grove, California and graduated this past year from Elk Grove High School. He played first base and right field on the Elk Grove baseball team.

We won sections, (which) in California (is) the best you can do,” explained Tellez, “I had a good year, I would say.”

Tellez was recognized as a first team All-American in 2012 and was also selected to participate in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, where his two-run triple propelled his West team to a 7-6 victory over the East. He was also recognized this year as a first team Rawlings Preseason All-American.

That was awesome,” said Tellez about being a PG All-American in 2012. “The fans were coming (from) everywhere. It gives you the big league experience and you get to be around some of the best players in the country; guys who got drafted in the first round. It was just a blessing.”

Tellez is also committed to play at USC along with Gatewood. He was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 30
th round and has not made a decision on whether or not he should go pro or go to college. He said he’s “just waiting until the end of summer to see what happens.”


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