Tournaments : : Story
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chain keeps on moving

Matthew Stokes        
Photo: Perfect Game

CANTON, Ga. – Led by one offensive outburst and flawless defense, Chain Baseball 16u (6-0) won 7-2 over the St. Louis Gamers 16u Blue (4-2) in a Tuesday evening pool F matchup at the 2012 WWBA 16u National Championship.

Zack Bullard (2014, Tift County H.S., Ga.), Josh Day (2014, Lowndes H.S., Ga.) and Trevor Wood (2014, Dublin H.S., Ga.) each drove in runs for the Chain. Day is a verbal commitment to University of Georgia.

Tyler Brown (2013, Statesboro H.S., Ga.) led the Chain on the bump, going six frames and striking out five.

Chain Baseball, which Buddy Meyer founded in 1985, originally was based in Savannah, Ga., but now operates with its headquarters in Warner Robins, Ga. In addition to its presence there, Chain has a facility in Columbus, Ga.

The organization’s current president Andy Burress, who coached the 16u team on Tuesday night, said the goal remains the same as when Meyer ran it.

Our goal is to help gentlemen earn scholarships by playing baseball,” said Burress after the team’s victory. Burress himself played for the Chain in 1993.

Some notable players to have come through the Chain include St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright and Kansas City Royals reliever Jonathan Broxton.

One player that did not pitch on Tuesday is right-hander Robert Tyler (2013, Crisp County H.S., Ga.).

He throws hard,” laughed Burress when asked to describe the six-foot-five, 210-pound righty. “He throws it hard and harder. His changeup is his plus offspeed pitch.”

Tyler participated in last month’s National Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoyed it.

It’s just crazy to think that the top players in the country were all at that one place,” Tyler said. “It was good playing in the Metrodome.”

Tyler touched 92 mph with his fastball at that event while also mixing in a 74-mph curveball and 82-mph changeup. Later this summer, Tyler bumped his fastball velocity up a notch to 94 mph at the 16u BCS Finals and did it again this past Friday against the Dirtbags 16s Black.

For some players, attending an event as big as the National Showcase would be the highlight of their summer, but Tyler earned an even bigger honor within a month: an invite to the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings.

I was excited,” said Tyler of his reaction to that news. “Everybody told me that this summer was going to be the biggest one, but it’s worked out pretty well so far.”

Listed as Perfect Game’s number 52 prospect in the high school class of 2013 as well as number five player in the state of Georgia, Tyler said he is considering Florida State University, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Middle Georgia College.

I want to be in a good academic school because if baseball doesn’t work out I need a solid education,” said Tyler of what he is seeking in his college of choice.

Before the Perfect Game All-American Classic in August, Tyler will travel to Syracuse, N.Y. for the East Coast Professional Showcase. As far as the future goes, Tyler said he aims to be a high draft pick out of high school next June.

If I hit 100 mph, that would be good,” joked Tyler about his other goals.

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