SEBRING, Fla.–The 29th annual Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Baseball Classic began in earnest Friday in Sebring, Fla.
There are four teams of approximately 20 high school seniors, broken into regions, participating in this event. The players were chosen, based not only on their performance this season, but also their prospect status, making it a must-see event for scouts.
And there are more than 75, including five scouting directors and dozens of crosscheckers, who are here to watch.
Most of these players have been scouted all spring and, in most cases, last summer and fall, as well. So this isn’t an orientation, but rather a final exam.
This event carries a certain amount of added weight in a year where there is such little certainty about which players fit where in the draft. As we wrote in our Florida draft preview, the state has lots of good but not excellent players–players with second- to fifth-round potential–but there is a lot of parity in these players outside of the top prep talent in the state, Michael Main (Deland High).
“This year I would say more than ever, Sebring is huge because there are going to be a lot of top-end scouts who will be there who are looking to figure out who has stepped up and who has not made progress from the last time they saw them,” an NL area scout said earlier this week. “They’re looking for a lot of certain guys to step up, and it’s going to make or break certain guys.”
Make one strong final showing, and you might find yourself with a little bit of an edge on draft day in the minds of the scouts who are here.
This theory holds especially true for players who might have performed inconsistently during the season. Guys like Main aren’t going to play their way out of the first round with a bad performance, and a player that arrived with a fifth-round tag won’t leave as a first-rounder, even if he tears it up.
But there are a number of players on the cusp of making a move into the third or fourth round, and we’ll be watching to see which ones are on the move.