PEORIA, Ariz. — Two shortstops stood out on the final day of the Arizona Senior Fall Classic.
The first is Jake Hager, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound shortstop from Sierra Vista High in Las Vegas. Hager hit a home run for Team Vegas in his first at-bat of the showcase and continued his hot hitting today, going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple.
"The whole tournament, I saw the ball well," Hager said. "My swing felt good the whole weekend and I was confident through the whole weekend and just ready to play."
Hager has been on scouts' radar for a couple years now. He benefitted from playing on the same high school team as righthander Nick Kingham, who was selected by the Pirates in the fourth round this year.
"Yes, I would say it helped because scouts were there and I could show them what I could do and I'm here where I am now," Hager said. "Kingham helped a lot because they were always at the game and I just did what I had to do and helped the team out, also."
Hager said he's working to improve his speed and his fielding skills this fall and spring.
"I've had big time guys in the past like Jeff Malm, Marcus Littlewood and Kevin Gausman, but Hager is one of a kind," Team Vegas head coach Buck Thomas said. "Not only can he play the game with the top players in the country, but his character and makeup are off the charts. He's a great team guy and I don't know if I've ever had a guy play as hard as Jake every single play."
The second shortstop is Corey Oswalt, a rising junior from Madison High in San Diego, who was on the SoCal Rays Scout Team.
Oswalt stands out physically with his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. He generates good leverage in his swing and that was on display in his first at-bat today, as he hit a home run to left field.
"I just wanted to go up there with a quiet approach at the plate and barrel up on something and drive it," Oswalt said. "It was a good pitch to handle and I got it."
Oswalt usually spends his summers with the San Diego Show. But, before coming to the Arizona Senior Fall Classic, he was in Fort Myers, Fla. at the World Wood Bat Association Underclass World Championsihp with Marucci Elite, who won the event.
Oswalt played shortstop and center field today, but said he prefers shortstop because he likes being the leader on the field.
"I'm a good athlete and I'm pretty good intellectually," Oswalt said. "I like to be aggressive, play with intensity and just play the game the right way.
"I'm still working to improve my overall ability as a hitter and as a fielder. I'm just looking to get bigger and stronger and just progress and keep getting better."
Most players at the event participated in the SPARQ testing. Here are the results. . .
Top Overall Scores
Myles Richard, rhp/of, 2011, Baseball Northwest Oregon (85.40)
Rashad Harlin, of, 2011, San Diego Baseball (85.35)
Porter Clayton, lhp, 2011, MW Team Idaho (81.50)
Adam Manzer, c, 2011, Alaska Baseball Academy (81.10)
Grant Mocabe, of, 2011, Cherry Creek Baseball (80.52)
Top 60-Yard Dash Times
Adam Ferallo, of, 2011, Big Sky Baseball (6.50)
Brandon Nimmo, of, 2011, WYCO Braves (6.54)
Taylor Scott, rhp/ss, 2011, USA Select (6.54)
Jay Anderson, of, 2011, SoCal Rays Scout Team (6.56)
Kenny Peoples, ss, 2011, IBAC/WCCS (6.56)
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