Baseball America partner Student Sports, which operates the Area Code Games presented by New Balance, has made a series of Day in the Life videos featuring players from the high school Class of 2014 who participated in last summer’s Area Code Games. We’re happy to present them to you here. You can visit the Student Sports website for more on the 2014 Area Code Games.
Jacob Gatewood’s high-profile summer was punctuated by winning two home run derbies in major league ballparks. The righthanded slugger from Clovis (Calif.) High moved into the awareness of the national baseball audience by hitting 14 home runs in Citi Field during the Junior Select Home Run Derby that was during with the All-Star Game festivities in July. For an encore in August, Gatewood hit three home runs out of Wrigley Field and onto Waveland Avenue during the final round of the Under Armour All-American Game Home Run Derby.
Between these two events, Gatewood had one of the best power displays during batting practice of any player at the Area Code Games, the event that put him on the prospect radar one year earlier by hitting a home run more than 400 feet as an underclassman.
Gatewood’s quick hands and easy swing produce plus bat speed and plus-plus raw power capable of driving the ball out of any part of the ballpark. His prodigious power rivals any player in the high school class. He generates leverage with his loose, lanky and lean 6-foot-4, 191-pound body with long extremities, a high, trim waist and further room to accommodate strength gains on his large frame. The hard-working Gatewood has put on more than 10 pounds of muscle since the summer began, a testament to his hard work at The Bod-e2 Shop with renowned trainer Art Correa.
Gatewood was one of only two players to make TrackMan’s top 10 leaderboards from Jupiter for top exit velocity and farthest hit ball.
The live-bodied Gatewood, currently a shortstop, is a plus athlete who shows defensive prowess. With first-step quickness, good lateral range and agility, Gatewood could be an above-average defender on the left side of the infield. He has soft hands, a loose arm capable of throwing from angles and above-average arm strength that profile at third base.
After his speed development training with Correa, Gatewood is running better and has at least average speed that is better underway with his long strides. The 18-year-old Gatewood posted multiple home-to-first times in the 4.20-4.25 range this fall.
The Southern California commit has baseball bloodlines, as his father, Henry, was a first-round pick in the January phase of the 1982 draft and played seven years in the minors.
Gatewood’s first showcase event this summer was Tournament Of Stars at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C., a site he will revisit in March for the third-annual National High School Invitational.