All American Game : : Story
Friday, June 24, 2011

PG A-A Classic Selection Show

Jeff Dahn        

In a first-of-its-kind presentation, Perfect Game and the CBS Sports Network will present a special television program to announce the 40 top national prospects who will participate in the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings – formerly known as the Aflac All-American Classic – in mid-August.

The Perfect Game All-American Classic Selection Show will be televised Wednesday, July 13, at 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT) on the CBS Sports Network. The hour-long program will introduce the 40 outstanding high school seniors who will play for the East and West squads at the 9th annual PG All-American Classic presented by Rawlings on Aug. 14 at PETCO Park in San Diego.

The show will be hosted by the CBS Sports Network’s Brent Stover, with Perfect Game national director of scouting David Rawnsley offering commentary and analysis.

The Selection Show’s first segment will feature Stover and Rawnsley talking in general terms about the Classic, followed by a taped segment that provides a detailed history of the event and some of the outstanding players who have been involved with it through its eight-year run.

The rosters for each team will then be announced, beginning with the East pitchers, catchers and position players and eventually concluding with the West pitchers, catchers and position players. Short, pre-recorded interviews with each player will be shown upon his introduction.

There will be a piece featuring an array of professional scouting and Major League Baseball personnel and college coaches talking about the relevance and importance of the All-American Classic from their unique perspectives.

There will also be conversations discussing the process involved in selecting the players who will participate in the game.

The closing segment of the program will feature an explanation of how the proceeds from the game will benefit the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego – specifically pediatric cancer research through the Rady Children’s Hospital.

The names of five of the 40 elite prospects that will play in this summer’s Classic were announced during the press conference at PETCO Park on June 6 that officially recognized Perfect Game and Rawlings taking over sponsorship of the event.

The players, all from the Southern California area, are: infielders Corey Oswalt (San Diego), Tanner Rahier (Indian Wells, Calif.) and Rio Ruiz (Covina, Calif.); right-hander Cody Poteet (Bonita, Calif.) and catcher C.J. Saylor (West Covina, Calif.)

“This game means a lot to me,” Ruiz said at the press conference. “I grew up watching this game, and I’m really excited to get this opportunity to come and play in this park. It’s a once in a lifetime deal and I’m just looking forward to it.”

Ruiz was also thrilled with the opportunity to play in PETCO Park.

“It’s amazing. Not many kids you see in this country get to play in these types of stadiums and I’m one of the kids that get that chance,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for me and all these other kids over here, so we just have to take advantage of it and enjoy it.”

The Aflac All-American Classic established a rich history which the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings will look to build upon.

No fewer than 40 All-American Classic alumni have risen to the Major Leagues and 98 have been selected in the first round of the MLB draft. A record 18 former All-American Classic participants were first round or first round compensation selections in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft – which set a record – and 13 of those 18 played in last year’s game.

The Pittsburg Pirates made UCLA’s Gerrit Cole the No. 1 overall pick of the draft.

Cole, who played in the 2007 game, became the fifth All-American Classic alum to be taken with No. 1 overall selection in the draft, joining shortstop Matthew Bush (2004, Padres), shortstop Justin Upton (2005, Diamondbacks), shortstop Tim Beckham (2008, Rays) and outfielder Bryce Harper (2010, Nationals).

Some noteworthy All-American Classic participants include the Giants’ Buster Posey, the Mets’ Ike Davis, the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen, the Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton and the Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson, all of whom played in the 2004 game. The Braves’ Jason Heyward played in the 2006 Classic.

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