2019 Under Armour All-America Game Showcases Deep Prep Class
The 12th annual Under Armour All-America Game takes place Monday, July 22 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The game, put on by Baseball Factory, brings together 40 of the nation’s elite high school players for a showcase that routinely includes many players who go on to become first round picks.
In the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game, eight players who took part in the event went on to be selected in the first round of the 2019 draft: Bobby Witt Jr., Riley Greene, CJ Abrams, Corbin Carroll, Quinn Priester, Daniel Espino, Anthony Volpe and Brennan Malone. Two others—Hunter Bishop and Alek Manoah—took part in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.
The 2019 game will take place on the exact 25th anniversary of Baseball Factory, and as such founders Steve Sclafani and Rob Naddelman will be in the dugout for the teams, assisting managers Bill Ripken and Sean Casey.
While it’s a special year for the event, Baseball Factory’s Chief Baseball Officer Steve Bernhardt talked about how this year was tougher than most to put together complete rosters, thanks to the depth of the 2020 high school class.
“Maybe not as many kind of no-brainer first round guys as we thought at the same stretch last year, but the depth is pretty impressive in this class,” Bernhardt said. “It actually made choosing 40 players to perform at Wrigley Field in the game very, very difficult this year. Just so many guys who are talented players who were in the mix and made for those final decisions to be really tough this time around…
“I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of this year’s class and I feel like there’s a lot of depth in this year’s class. I like it a lot.”
Nine of Baseball America’s top 10 high school players will be at the event, including a trio of outfielders in Pete Crow-Armstrong, Dylan Crews and Austin Hendrick. Power arms will also be on display, such as righthanders Jared Kelley, Jared Jones, Carson Montgomery and the top lefthander in the class, Nate Savino.
“You like all of them, that’s why we picked them,” Bernhardt said. “With every class early on there are some guys who can do some special things… I’m excited to see (Jared Jones) throw again. He came out as an underclassmen last year and had a pretty dominant inning and certainly it’s well-documented what he’s done throughout his high school career and already this summer. I’m excited to see him throw. There’s another Jared—Jared Kelley—kind of that prototypical power arm out of Texas who I’m excited to see him throw as well.
“As far as the position players go, you got a taste of watching Austin Hendrick take BP down at (the PDP League) so we’re all looking forward to that. It’s loose, it’s easy, it’s strong and a natural looking swing. The ball really jumps. Obviously I’m excited to see him.”
While the game brings standout players from all over the country, there’s some local flavor as well with shortstop Ed Howard and righthander Ben Hernandez being Chicago-area products. Howard is arguably the top shortstop in the class at this point, while Hernandez is another exciting arm who impressed a few weeks ago at the PDP League.
The game will also feature looks at former 2021 high school standouts who recently reclassified to become draft-eligible in 2020: infielder Blaze Jordan, who recently won the All-Star Game’s High School Home Run Derby and flamethrowing righthander Alejandro Rosario.
Every year the game also selects two underclass players and the 2019 game will feature righthanders Christian Little (Christian Brothers College, St. Louis) and Andy Painter (Calvary Christian HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Righthanders Jared Jones and Victor Mederos return to the 2019 Under Armour All-America game after attending the 2018 edition as underclassmen.
The biggest hope for Bernhardt is that no player in the game leaves the event without having shown off his talents to the many major league scouts who will be in attendance.
“We would like all of them to show great and display their talents well at Wrigley Field,” Bernhardt said. “We’re always hoping that they do well and obviously in this sport that’s a difficult thing. For Bobby Witt to hit a home run last year, someone had to be on the mound for that to happen. So it’s a little bit of give and take, but you like that everyone leaves having shown the scouts and decision makers in attendance some of the really positive things that they can do.
“The way Under Armour takes care of these guys and the fact that they play at Wrigley Field, it gives them the major league experience. They are treated like big leaguers for the three or four days they are there. The hope is that might motivate them as well, that they get a taste of what this game can provide and they’re motivated to work even harder to go back to the high school level and know that they have to work their way all the way up to get a chance to play at the big league level some day and we hope that by getting that little taste that gets the fire going a little bit more with these guys.”
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The complete rosters for the Under Armour All-America Game can be found below:
Werner Blakely, INF, Southfield (Mich.) HS
Jace Bohrofen, OF, Westmoore HS, Oklahoma City
Alek Boychuk, C, Mill Creek HS, Hoschton, Ga.
Jack Bulger, C, DeMatha HS, Hyattsville, Md.
Corey Collins, C, North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, Ga.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.
Joseph Gonzalez, RHP, Petra Mercado Bougart, Humacao, P.R.
Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS, Imperial, Pa.
Kyle Karros, INF, Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Jared Kelley, RHP, Regufio (Texas) HS
Coby Mayo, INF, Stoneman Douglas HS, Parkland, Fla.
Victor Mederos, RHP, Monsignor Pace HS, Miami
Theo Millas, RHP, Alpha SS, Burnaby, B.C.
Steven Ondina, INF, International Baseball Academy, Ceiba, P.R.
Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Max Rajcic, RHP, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
Nate Savino, LHP, Potomac Falls HS, Sterling, Va.
Blake Shapen, INF, Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, La.
Kevin Sim, INF, Torrey Pines HS, San Diego
Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS, Port Orange, Fla.
Mario Zabala, OF, International Baseball Academy, Ceiba, P.R.
Robby Ashford, OF, Hoover (Ala.) HS
Cam Brown, RHP, Flower Mound (Texas) HS
Dylan Crews, OF, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS
Robert Hassell, OF, Independence HS, Thompson's Station, Tenn.
Ben Hernandez, RHP, De La Salle HS, Concord, Calif.
Ed Howard, INF, Mount Carmel (Ill.) HS
Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada (Calif.) HS
Blaze Jordan, INF, DeSoto Central HS, Southaven, Miss.
Chrisitan Little, RHP, Christian Brothers College, St. Louis
Nolan McLean, RHP/INF, Garner (N.C.) Magnet HS
Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere (Fla.) HS
Robert Moore, INF, Shawnee Mission (Kan.) East HS
Yohandy Morales, INF, Braddock HS, Miami
Drew Romo, C, The Woodlands (Texas) HS
Alejandro Rosario, RHP, Miami Christian HS
Will Sanders, RHP, Woodward Academy, College Park, Ga.
Daniel Susac, C, Jesuit HS, Carmichael, Calif.
Cayden Wallace, INF, Greenbrier (Ark.) HS
Slade Wilks, OF, Columbia (Miss.) Academy
Tanner Witt, INF, Episcopal HS, Bellaire, Texas