The Perfect Game National Showcase is loaded with some of the country's best players. The event does a great job of getting many of the top high school players under one roof, and they're not afraid to flaunt it. In fact, the cover of this year's program features the photos of 19 players drafted in the first or supplemental first round this year that were at the 2009 National Showcase.
It's been a bit of a blur trying to soak it all in, which is why most teams have small armies of scouts camped out at the event. Many players have stood out so far and a more in-depth recap of the event will come later.
Yesterday's grueling 14-hour day doesn't leave much time for blogging, but I did catch up with one of today's standouts, righthander Joe Ross, whose brother, Tyson, is a rookie for the Oakland Athletics.
Joe doesn't have Tyson's 6-foot-6 frame, but he's an athletic 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. Ross started the final game of the night and sat at 91-93 mph during his two innings of work. His adrenaline was pumping, but he was cool under pressure and mowed through the opposing lineup.
"The first couple warmup pitches, I was kind of rushing because I felt like everyone was watching me and I was on a Major League mound for the first time," Ross said. "So, it was pretty cool with all the scouts in the stands. But, after that, I was fine."
Ross also featured a 78-80 mph curveball with 11-5 break. It showed flashes of being a good offering, but Ross said he wasn't completely satisfied with the pitch tonight.
"I felt pretty good," Ross said. "The curveball was a little shaky. I had a hard time spotting it, but it moved a little bit. I left it up a couple times, but I felt pretty good besides that."
If he needs advice, he doesn't have to go far. Ross said he and his brother talk nearly every day.
"He stays at home," Ross said. "So, when they're at home, I see him at home everyday. But when they're not, I text him and tell him how I do. I ask him how he does when he pitches. I talk to him a lot."
Ross, who attends Bishop O'Dowd High in Oakland, will also pitch at the Tournament of Stars next week.
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