Despite growing up in San Diego, top infield prospect Corey Oswalt still seemed a bit in awe when he visited the San Diego Padres’ PETCO Park in early June.
“It just feels surreal. One day you know you want to get to a place like this, and this is the next step in getting there,” Oswalt said. “It’s just a great honor.”
The honor of which Oswalt spoke is his inclusion on the West Team roster for the upcoming Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings, which will be played at PETCO on Sunday, Aug. 14.
The first pitch for the ninth annual event (the first eight were known as the Aflac All-American Classic) is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PDT) and the all-star game for 46 of the nation’s top prospects in the class of 2012 will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network. Proceeds will benefit the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.
Activities for the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings actually stretch over three days, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 12-14. Practices, scrimmages and the early rounds of the Home Run Derby will be held Friday and Saturday at the University of San Diego’s Cunningham Stadium.
The East Team’s 23-man roster consists of top prospects from eight states and Puerto Rico. The West Team’s 23-man roster also includes players from eight states, but 12 are from California and most of them are from the southern part of the state, not far from PETCO Park. Oswalt, ranked the nation’s No. 41 top prospect, is the only player from San Diego (James Madison High School).
Rio Ruiz, a third baseman/outfielder/right-handed pitcher, is ranked No. 9 in PG’s national prospect rankings. He attends Bishop Amat High School in Covina, Calif., a small city that lies about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
Ruiz is looking forward to making the relatively short trip to San Diego.
“This game means a lot to me,” he said. “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 really looking forward to it.”
Ruiz was also thrilled by given the opportunity to play at 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.”
Tanner Rahier, the nation’s No. 16-ranked prospect, will start his senior year at Palm Desert (Calif.) High School in the fall. A shortstop and right-hander, Rahier is also looking forward to stepping on the PETCO field in front of the large contingent of scouts certain to be on hand.
“I’m honored to be able to be out here and do this. This is a huge opportunity,” he said. “I’m really privileged to be picked to do something like this. I know a lot of kids would love to; this is an amazing opportunity.”
A record 18 former All-American Classic participants were first round or first round compensation selections in this year’s MLB draft. Thirteen of the 18 played in last year’s game – No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole played in 2007 Classic.
Cole was drafted out of UCLA, a school at least five members of this year’s West Team – Max Fried, Lucas Giolito, Cody Poteet, Daniel Robertson and Hunter Virant – have verbally committed to.
CJ Saylor, a highly ranked (No. 39) catching prospect who attends South Hills High School in West Covina, Calif., is a San Diego State commit. Like his fellow southern Californians on the West roster, Saylor is looking forward to capping a busy summer at the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings.
“I’m very excited. Ever since I knew about this game when I was about 10 or 11 years old, I always wanted to play in it,” he said. “I worked hard and finally got selected to it, so I couldn’t be any happier.”
And there’s whole deal about playing at PETCO.
“This is a brand new stadium and it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to play in it,” Saylor said.
PG National Games
The second annual Perfect Game National Games will be held Aug. 11-12 at Cunningham Stadium on the University of San Diego campus.
This year’s two-day event, formerly known as Perfect Game at Aflac, showcases many of the top prospects in the high school class of 2013, as well as some of the very best from the class of 2014.
It is held in conjunction with the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings, the prestigious all-star game for the top 2012 prospects that will be played Sunday, Aug. 14.
The prospects participating in the PG National Games will be split up by region and placed on four teams, and each team will play two games. The two winners from the first day of play on Aug. 11 will meet in a championship game on the 12th, and the two first-day losers will meet in a consolation game on the second day.
The games on the second day will be played after the two PG All-American Classic teams conduct a scrimmage.
For more information and to request an invite follow the link below