Showcase : : Story
Friday, May 14, 2010

National Pre-Draft Showcase Set for Monday

Jim Ecker        
Players from 14 states, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic plan to be in Cedar Rapids (Iowa) this Monday for the National Pre-Draft Showcase, a premier event that attracts scouts from all 30 Major League teams.

The National Pre-Draft Showcase, hosted annually by Perfect Game USA, will be held on Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Registration begins at 9 a.m., followed by individual workouts at 10 a.m. and the game at approximately 12:30 p.m.

At least 36 ranked players have committed to the Showcase, including such top-100 high school players as Kellen Sweeney, Jordan Shipers, Jon Keller and Michael Arencibia. Sweeney, a shortstop from Cedar Rapids, is currently ranked 20th in the Class of 2010. Shipers, a left-handed pitcher from Bethany, Mo., is ranked 34th. Keller, a pitcher from Cedar Rapids, is ranked 60th.  Arencibia, an outfielder from Key West, Fla., is ranked 71st.

The pro scouts also will get a look at Lucas O’Rear, a two-sport athlete who helped the University of Northern Iowa upset Kansas and reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA basketball tournament this year. O’Rear pitched for UNI last year as a sophomore, but the school dropped its baseball program after the 2009 season and O’Rear was left without a team. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound right-hander threw in the low 90s and had a nasty slider last year.

O’Rear is eligible for the baseball draft this June. He could have the option of playing pro baseball this summer, then returning to UNI for the 2010-11 school year and his final season with the basketball team.

The other ranked players who have committed to the Showcase are Chris Bates (Ossining, N.Y.), John Bivens (Disputanta, Va.), Michael Bradshaw (Crestwood, N.Y.), Travis Brewster (Mesquite, Texas), Quinten Davis (Houston), Jacques de Gruy (Dallas), Tyler Dial (Phenix City, Ala.), Jose Dore (Kissimmee, Fla.), Tyler Ervine (Fort Worth, Texas), Zane Evans (Roswell, Ga.), Conor Fisk (Brown Deer, Wis.), Craig Hayes (Sachse, Texas), Shane Henderson (Flower Mound, Texas), JeLaney Johnson (Johns Creek, Ga.), Trevor Kenyon (Davenport, Iowa), Brett Lee (Pensacola, Fla.), James Mahler (Sandy, Utah), Jonathan Mejia (Manvel, Texas), Trent Miller (Kansas City), Tito Nava (Englewood, Colo.), Spencer Navin (Des Moines, Iowa), Preston Packrall (Tampa, Fla.), Gary Perinar (Shorewood, Ill.), Taylor Petersen (Atlantic, Iowa), Brandon Rainford (Rapid City, S.D.), Andrew Redman (Dubuque, Iowa), Damek Tomscha (Sioux City, Iowa), Chase Underhill (Fort Worth, Texas), JaDamion Williams (Odessa, Fla.), Josh Wright (Murrayville, Ga.) and Taylor Zeutenhorst (Sheldon, Iowa).

The players in Monday’s showcase have committed to such Division I colleges as Arkansas, Auburn, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri State, Nebraska, Richmond, Tulane, UNLV and Vanderbilt.

The individual workouts at 10 a.m. will include the 60-yard dash, outfield throw, infield throw, catcher pop times and batting practice.

The draft is scheduled for June 7-9. 


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