JUPITER, Fla. — Perfect Game's annual World Wood Bat Association World Championship takes place in Jupiter, Fla. Oct. 21-25. This has become an annual scouting convention, of sorts, as a majority of the top high school players in this year's draft class will be in attendance, and scouts can also get a peek at some of the best rising juniors and sophomores, as well.
To put things in perspective, 61 of the 116 high school players taken in the top 10 rounds this year played at the event last year. With so many prospects at the event, there's a good reason to watch every team, but here are five teams that stand out from the pack. . .
The powerhouse program in Southern California, the ABD Bulldogs are a perennial contender in Jupiter. This year’s roster features outfielder/lefthander Daniel Camarena (2011, Cathedral Catholic High, San Diego), infielder Austin Davidson (2011, Oxnard, Calif., High), third baseman/outfielder Travis Harrison (2011, Tustin, Calif., High), righthander Ryan Keller (2011, West Ranch High, Valencia, Calif.) and righthander Kieran Lovegrove (2012, Mission Viejo, Calif., High).
Royals Scout Team
The Royals Scout Team is a national team that is always jam-packed with some of the best players in the country. This year’s team includes lefthander Daniel Norris (2011, Science Hill High, Johnson City, Tenn.), righthander Michael Kelly (2011, West Boca High, Boca Raton, Fla.), shortstop Julius Gaines (2011, Luella High, Locust Grove, Ga.), outfielder Derek Fisher (2011, Cedar Crest High, Lebanon, Pa.) and shortstop/outfielder Roman Quinn (2011, Port St. Joe, Fla., High).
The Redskins team this year features a significant amount of talented underclassmen, but they have plenty of rising seniors, as well. The standouts include righthander Lance McCullers (2012, Jesuit High, Tampa), righthander Dillon Howard (2011, Searcy, Ark., High), shortstop Patrick Leonard (2011, St. Thomas High, Houston), catcher/first baseman Brandon Sedell (2011, American Heritage High, Plantation, Fla.) and righthander Ryan Burr (2012, Highlands Ranch, Colo., High).
Florida is always one of the best baseball states and FTB Mizuno traditionally features many of the state’s best players. This year’s squad includes: shortstop Francisco Lindor (2011, Montverde, Fla., High), lefthander Henry Owens (2011, Edison High, Huntington Beach, Calif.), righthander Jose Fernandez (2011, Alonso High, Tampa), righthander Hudson Boyd (2011, South Fort Myers High, Fort Myers, Fla.), infielder Javier Baez (2011, Arlington Country Day High, Jacksonville), infielder Dante Bichette (2011, Orangewood Christian High, Maitland, Fla.) and catcher Tyler Marlette (2011, Hagerty High, Oviedo, Fla.).
Canes & Dirtbags
Yes, this is actually two teams, but they are both loaded and show the great depth throughout the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic region for this year and next. The Canes team features outfielder/lefthander Jake Cave (2011, Kecoughton High, Hampton, Va.), infielder Josh Tobias (2011, Southeast Guilford High, Greensboro, N.C.), righthander/first baseman Curt Britt (2012, Scotland High, Laurinburg, N.C.) and shortstop Landon Lassiter (2012, North Davidson High, Lexington, N.C.). The Dirtbags have righthander Benton Moss (2011, Rocky Mount, N.C. High), catcher Brett Austin (2011, Providence High, Charlotte), infielder Corey Seager (2012, Northwest Cabarrus High, Concord, N.C.) and shortstop D.C. Arendas (2012, Forsyth Country Day High, Lewisville, N.C.).
The main exception for players that don’t attend the event are those athletes that play both baseball and football. This year’s rosters are missing big names like outfielder/righthander/quarterback Bubba Starling from Gardner-Edgerton High in Gardner, Kan., righthander/quarterback Archie Bradley from Broken Arrow (Okla.) High, righthander/kicker Dillon Maples from Pinecrest High in Southern Pines, N.C., outfielder/quarterback Michael Conforto from Redmond (Wash.) High, outfielder/quarterback Jeff Driskel from Hagerty High in Oviedo, Fla., outfielder/defensive back Billy Flamion from Central Catholic High in Modesto, Calif. and outfielder/running back Shon Carson from Lake City (S.C.) High.
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