CHICAGO—The first annual Under Armour All-American High School
Gaseball Game will make its grand entrance into the summer showcase
scene on Sunday in one of Major League Baseball’s most endeared
ballparks. Formerly held in Wareham, Mass. and known as the Cape Cod
Classic, Baseball Factory and Team One have teamed up with a major
sponsor to bring 36 of the nation’s top rising high school seniors
together to play in an All-Star game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The
game is slated to be played at 2:35 EST and will be aired nationally on
The talent at the game on Sunday is an exciting group of 36 players
that will undoubtedly impact the 2009 draft in the early rounds. The
prospects will be split into two teams—Team One and Baseball
Factory—not based on geographical location. Names amongst the rosters
are BA’s number one prospect from the PG National Showcase, USA
Baseball’s Tournament of Stars and the Aflac All-American Game
lefthanded pitcher Tyler Matzek (Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo, Calif.), BA’s No. 1 overall position player prospect center fielder Donovan Tate (Cartersville (Ga.) HS), BA’s No. 1 pitching prospect from the East Coast Pro Showcase righthander Zack Wheeler (East Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga.), BA’s No. 1 hitting prospect from the Area Code Games outfielder Jacob Marisnick (Riverside (Calif.) Poly HS) and MVP of the Aflac All-American Game outfielder Brian Goodwin (Rocky Mount (N.C.) HS).
Here is an in-depth guide for what else to watch for on Sunday afternoon:
Watch out Waveland
Bobby Borchering (Bishop Verot HS, Alva, Fla.) was the
most powerful hitter at the East Coast Pro Showcase and has the best
chance of going deep in the game Sunday. He is a 6-feet-4, 187-pound
switch-hitting corner infielder with pop from both sides of the plate
and will be playing on the Baseball Factory team. Cade Kreuter
(Hart HS, Newhall, Calif.) also packs some serious raw power and will
suit up for the Team One squad. Kreuter is an imposing physical
specimen at 6-feet-5, 185-pounds and batting righthanded, uses the
leverage from his long limbs to drive balls long and far.
Running Like the Wind-y City
The aforementioned Goodwin and Tate have serious game changing
speed as they both run the 60-yard dash in under 6.6 seconds. A
lefthanded hitter, Goodwin was clocked at 3.94 seconds from home to
first base and Tate 4.15 seconds. Both players are capable of stealing
bases on command and also use their speed to track down fly balls in
center field. Goodwin will play for the Baseball Factory team and Tate
the Team One squad.
Defense on Display
Two of the nation’s top defensive shortstops will be on display in Chicago in Deven Marrero (American Heritage HS, Davie, Fla.) and Stephen Perez (Gulliver
Prep HS, Miami, Fla.). Marrero is a close relative of the Nationals
2006 first round pick Chris Marrero and started at shortstop for BA’s
2008 national high school champions American Heritage HS. Perez was the
best consensus best defender at the East Coast Pro Showcase and, like
Marrero, combines smooth actions and a strong arm to make tough plays
look easy at the one of the game’s most premium positions. Also, have
your kids keep on eye on catcher Max Stassi (Yuba
City (Calif.) HS) from the Baseball Factory team. A third-generation
backstop, Stassi puts on a defensive clinic game in and game out.
Also at the catching position, you’ll find the game’s most impressive throwing arm in Austin Maddox
(Eagle’s View Academy, Jacksonvile, Fla.), playing for Team One. Also a
pitcher and seen up to 94 mph off the mound, Maddox slings balls around
the infield in a manner that makes even the fastest basestealers
nervous. Opposing Maddox on the Baseball Factory team will be fellow
two-way prospect Mychal Givens (Plant HS, Tampa).
Givens has been clocked up to 97 mph off the mound—arm strength that
comes in handy when he’s not pitching but playing shortstop. Borchering
and Tate are also blessed with above-average major league arm strength.
Tate, Goodwin and Givens are the easy answers in this category. Tate
might be the best athlete in the country and is a legitimate two-sport
prospect, excelling in both baseball and football. You’ll also find
another gifted athlete playing in the Baseball Factory outfield. Jacob Morris
(Coppell (Texas) HS) is physical specimen with a combination of speed,
strength and agility. Also a standout high school football player,
Morris took up switch-hitting just over a year ago.
Tate and Givens are capable of affecting the game in almost every
aspect and are the front-runners for the honor. However, Borchering
being a legitimate home run threat makes him a logical candidate. Last
but not least, Goodwin must be mentioned here as it would be silly to
leave him out after his performance at the Aflac All-American Game.
Dominance on the Mound
Top Righthanders: Jacob Turner (Westminster
Christian Academy, St. Charles, Missou.) has been the top righthander
all summer and has even drawn steep comparisons to a young John Smoltz.
He may have a ways to go to reach that level of performance, but Turner
does have a full arsenal of plus-pitches, including a fastball up to 94
mph and a hard slider in the low-80s. He is tall and strong, possessing
the perfect pitcher’s frame at 6-feet-4, 220-pounds. While Turner
pitches for the Team One squad, Wheeler will be oppose him and pitch
for Baseball Factory. Listed at 6-feet-4, 170-pounds, Wheeler is tall,
projectable and powerful on the mound. His fastball can get up to 94
mph and is complemented by an upper-70s slider.
Top Lefthanders: Matthew Purke (Klein HS, Spring,
Texas) and Matzek are both very polished pitchers with low-90s
fastballs, above-average breaking balls and advanced pitchability.
Purke’s low three-quarters arm slot is especially tough on lefthanded hitters and
Matzek’s mechanics are already professional. Currently, they are the
favorites to be the first two high school pitchers drafted in 2009.