Two PGAAC players selected

Photo: Perfect Game

Steven Walters
Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017

SAN DIEGO – Perfect Game CEO Brad Clement was on hand at Petco Park on Friday, June 23 to announce that two players have been selected to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park; Brice Turang and Blake Burzell.

Many other representatives were present for the announcement including Carly Rickard and Kourtney King, Corporate and Community Development Officers for Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation, Tony Gwynn Jr. of the San Diego Padres, and Dave Gallegos, the head coach of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Calif., who was announced as the head coach of the West squad.

Turang and Burzell will be joined by the top 50 high school players in the country, who will come together and play on high school baseball’s biggest stage at Petco Park on Sunday, August 13. It will be the ninth straight year the event will be hosted at Petco Park, and the game will be televised on the MLB Network. In addition to the game, an awards banquet, a home run derby and lunch with Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman are just some of the other baseball related activities that the players in attendance will partake in.

Not only is the event an opportunity for players to gain exposure and meet other top prospects, it is a way to give back and make a difference in the lives of others. Players from the Classic visit with children from Rady Children’s Hospital, playing games, hanging out and doing other activities with the children, while learning what Rady does for these children around the country.

In its 15th season, the Perfect Game All-American Classic has produced 188 first round picks, 139 Major Leaguers and nine No. 1 overall picks, including the 2017 No. 1 overall pick, Royce Lewis. Last year, Nick Allen and Kyle Hurt were in the shoes of Turang and Burzell, who were both in attendance for the announcement on Friday. Both players have stood out with their respective talents, and are well deserving of the nominations.

Turang, the No. 2 ranked prospect in the class of 2018, has stood out for his talents in the field and at the plate. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound shortstop possesses a nice left-handed swing that projects well and is a top-notch athlete in all aspects of the game.

“It was about 2-3 weeks ago that I found out that I was actually going to play,” Turang said about being named to the Classic’s roster. “I’m very excited to play in this game that they hold. It will be a great experience, I’m very happy, and I’m very excited.”

Brianna Turang, Brice’s sister, is a nurse in a District of Columbia hospital and works with children with cancers similar to those in Rady. He said that visiting with the kids at Rady’s will mean a little more to him after seeing the work that his sister does.

“Some people can’t play,” Turang said. “There’s kids that are at the hospital that can’t play the game, and I’m going to play for them. I’m not just playing for myself, I’m playing for every kid who can’t and everybody who’s never had a chance. I really respect that Perfect Game does that.”

The 17-year-old attends Santiago High School in Corona, Calif., and has been named to the Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason All American 1st Team for two straight years. He is committed to Louisiana State University where he will have the opportunity to play under head coach Paul Mainieri. Turang said that he has friends who have played in the Classic in the past, and is excited for the opportunity to be around such great players.

“I’ve watched it before, I know a lot of people that did it last year, and so I know what it’s all about and I know how fun it is. I talked to some of the players and they liked it a lot, so I’m very excited,” Turang said. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people, I haven’t met a lot of the 2018 class, so I’m looking forward to meeting new people, competing against new people and just having fun, that’s really why I’m doing it, because it’s something that I’m going to enjoy and I’ll have a blast doing it.”

Burzell, on the other hand, has burst onto the scene over the past week due to his strong showing at the PG National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. He touched 94 mph with his fastball, while sitting in the low-90s the whole event. Although he came into the event ranked as the No. 118 overall player in the class of 2018, that is something that will likely change due to him finally gaining exposure in front of PG scouts.

“I went out there and just competed,” Burzell said of his performance at PG National. “I guess I caught people’s eyes. I didn’t know how hard I was throwing, but when I heard I threw 94 mph, I was pretty happy. I know I’m good enough to be in this All-American game, but I didn’t really have the opportunity to show people what I could do, so I’m glad I got that opportunity.”

He was named to the PG All-American Classic roster right after one of his starts at the showcase, something that surprised even Burzell himself, who would never have thought that he would be picked to represent his peers at the press conference.

“I found out right after I pitched in the PG [National Showcase] and I just felt like ‘Is this really happening to me?’” I didn’t even know if I was going to be selected or not. I was ecstatic. I had to get on a plane for a couple hours, but for that whole plane ride, I was pretty happy that I was selected out of all the kids there,” Burzell said.

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound righty took the next step last summer when he put on 15 pounds, which he said helped him increase his velocity. The Duke commit and Laguna Beach, Calif. native said that he is excited for the opportunity to play against top-level competition in addition to the other opportunities that the Classic presents.

“I’m excited for just everything,” Burzell said. “The whole weekend, just being able to spend time with all of the top kids in the country and being able to hang out with the kids in the children’s hospital, and just have a whole weekend of fun, and also the business part of being able to compete against these guys and go at it.”

With the completion of the 2017 Perfect Game National Showcase, conducted June 16-21 at JetBlue Ballpark in Fort Myers, Fla., below is a list of players that have been placed on the watch list for the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic. The rosters will be unveiled on Tuesday, July 11 at 11:00 a.m. ET as part of the Selection Show which will be streamed online at MLB.com. The show will be a part of the MLB All-Star Game FanFest in Miami, Fla.

Player ST Player ST
Randall Abshier CA Dexter Jordan Jr. MS
Cory Acton FL Jarred Kelenic WI
Franco Aleman FL Levi Kelly FL
Blaze Alexander FL Adam Kloffenstein TX
Kristofer Armstrong FL Paul Komistek TN
Braxton Ashcraft TX Grant Lavigne NH
Keyshawn Askew GA Matthew Liberatore AZ
Will Banfield GA Yeankrlos Lleras PR
Luke Bartnicki GA David Luethje FL
Austin Becker OH Ty Madden TX
Ian Bedell IA John Malcom MI
Andrew Benefield TN Justyn-Henry Malloy NJ
Bo Blessie TX Parker Meadows GA
Ryan Bliss GA Jake Moberg CA
Brandon Birdsell TX Cole Moore TX
Julian Bosnic FL Hueston Morrill FL
Grant Burton CA Noah Naylor CAN
Bryce Bush MI Brandon Neeck NY
Isaiah Byars GA Nicholas Northcut OH
Elijah Cabell FL Kameron Ojeda CA
Kendrick Calilao FL Connor Pavolony GA
Jack Carey NJ Roberto Pena FL
Triston Casas FL Marcelo Perez TX
Slade Cecconi FL Michael Perez CA
Johnathan Childress TX Jack Perkins IN
Chase Costello FL Dominic Pipkin CA
Ryan Cusick MA Jared Poland IN
Nander De Sedas FL Carter Raffield GA
Nick Decker NJ Tyler Ras NJ
Lency Delgado FL Bryce Reagan NH
Raynel Delgado FL Lyon Richardson FL
Mason Denaburg FL Erick Rivera PR
Chance Denson MS Kumar Rocker GA
Brandon Dieter CA Grayson Rodriguez TX
Xavier Edwards FL Emilio Rosas CA
Austin Elliot DE Alec Sanchez FL
Justin Fields GA Nicholas Schnell IN
Jack Filby CA Christian Scott FL
Lane Flamm OH Connor Scott FL
Jonathan Gates FL Anthony Seigler GA
Mateo Gil TX Kendall Simmons GA
Manny Gonzalez PR Ethan Smith TN
Nolan Gorman AZ Carter Stewart FL
Joe Gray Jr. MS Justin Stewart FL
Ryder Green TN Alek Thomas IL
Jordan Groshans TX Isaiah Thomas FL
Sean Guilbe PA Lineras Torres NY
Steve Hajjar MA Vinny Tosti CA
Seth Halvorsen MN Luca Tresh FL
Ethan Hankins GA Levi Usher IA
Trae Harmon KY Kevin Vargas PR
Ben Harris GA Devin Warner GA
Preston Hartsell CA Hunter Watson TX
Jack Herman NJ Cabrera Weaver GA
Jeffrey Holz WI Austin Wells NV
Brandon Howlett FL Patrick Wicklander CA
Albert Hsiao CA Cole Wilcox GA
Jeremiah Jackson AL Basiel Williams LA
Justin Jarvis NC Chris Willis LA
Osiris Johnson CA Justin Wrobleski GA
Hayden Jones IN

Copyright 1994-2019 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.