Under Armour announced the game time and full list of 10 initial players for the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game, power by Baseball Factory. The seventh annual game will be held in historic Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Aug. 16 at 7:05 p.m. CST. This marks this first time it will be played at night. MLB Network will air the game live nationally.
Earlier this week, three of the initial 10 invites were announced, and each attended the Under Armour All-America Preseason Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. The three were third baseman/first baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes (Concordia Lutheran HS, Tomball, Texas), righthander Sati Santa Cruz from Sahuarita (Ariz.) High and middle infielder Nicholas Shumpert from Highlands Ranch (Colo.) High.
All 10 players are members of the 2015 class. But two players, outfielders Daz Cameron and Ryan Johnson, played in the game last year as rising juniors. The history of the five underclassmen prior to Cameron and Johnson to play in the Under Armour Game is elite, with shortstop Addison Russell and righthander Lance McCullers Jr. from the 2010 game and two potential first-round picks for the 2014 draft, catcher Alex Jackson and lefthander Brady Aiken.
Players are selected by a committee of Baseball Factory scouts, who will announce additional players throughout the spring and summer to complete the 36-player roster. Since 2011, the game has also hosted a few players annually from Latin America.
The seven additional initial invites:
Daz Cameron, of, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, McDonough, Ga.
A plus athlete with loud tools, Cameron wowed evaluators last August as one of two underclassmen at the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game. He had the best rounds of batting practice of any player, and showed explosive bat speed, very quick hands and feel for the barrel. The righthanded hitting Cameron created tons of loud contact and also showed pull-side power, hitting more batting practice home runs than any player.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Cameron has an athletic build and natural strength throughout his build, especially his forearms and wrists. The 17-year-old Cameron has arm strength and above-average speed. Cameron, who is uncommitted, is the son of former all-star and Gold Glove winner Mike Cameron.
Wyatt Cross, c, Legacy HS, Broomfield, Colo.
The Colorado catcher is a defensive standout at a premium up-the-middle position. Cross has a quick release and the arm strength to consistently post plus pop times in both showcase and game situations. He also receives well and has quick feet. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Cross offers offensive potential from the left side of the plate and is committed to North Carolina.
Ryan Johnson, of, College Station (Texas) HS
There had been just five underclassmen to play in the Under Armour Game until last August, when Johnson received that honor. The lefthanded-hitting Johnson offers hitting ability, bat speed and power potential. At 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, Johnson has a strong build and could develop plus raw power as he matures. A teammate of fellow Under Armour All-American Hayes at the Area Code Games as an underclassman, Johnson crushed one of the hardest hit balls of the event and hit .300/.461/.500 in 13 plate appearances with more walks than strikeouts. Johnson, a corner outfielder who is committed to Texas Christian, has average present arm strength.
Alonzo Jones Jr., if/of, Columbus (Ga.) HS
The athletic Jones has a carrying tool in his plus-plus speed. He has posted 60-yard-dash times below 6.40 seconds, according to scouts. Jones has good range, lateral quickness and arm strength in the infield to go with soft hands. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Vanderbilt commit is also a switch-hitter and hails from a powerhouse program that has produced 18 draft picks since 1990.
Kyle Molnar, rhp, Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Molnar competed well against older competition throughout the summer at the Tournament of Stars and Area Code Games as an underclassman. The lean, athletically-built righthander pitched at 88-92 mph throughout the summer and touched 93 this fall. The two-sport athlete who is committed to UCLA had the highest slider spin rate at the World Wood Bat Championships in October, according to TrackMan. He has feel for a changeup that could become an average offering, and his athleticism portends the ability to throws strikes consistently. Molnar’s high school, Aliso Niguel, will compete in the National High School Invitational, which will be March 26-29 at the USA Baseball national complex.
Ryan Mountcastle, inf, Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.
A big, 6-foot-3, 180-pound infielder who plays on the left side of the infield, Mountcastle is a sure-handed defender with arm strength. The righthanded hitter has leverage in his swing that creates pull-side power, natural loft and bat speed. Mountcastle, a Central Florida commit, attends Hagerty High, which has produced two top-five round picks in the last three drafts in Padres righthander Zach Eflin and Mariners catcher Tyler Marlette.
Brendan Rodgers, ss, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS
Rodgers is a natural, fluid athlete with the ability to excel offensively and defensively. The rangy 6-foot, 170-pound Rodgers plays the game with ease and has quickness, good hands and body control at shortstop. He has at least an average arm and the ability to throw from many angles accurately. A righthanded hitter, Rodgers has bat speed that produces surprising power and loud contact. He has the ability to consistently drive the ball out of the ballpark in batting practice. Rodgers is committed to Florida State.