Hank Aaron Invitational Offers Unique Showcase For Diverse Group Of Prep Prospects

Image credit: Christian Yelich, Hank Aaron and Rob Manfred (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Nearly 130 participants will have the opportunity to train with former MLB players and coaches at week two of the 5th annual Hank Aaron Invitational for Diverse High School Players, beginning Monday.

The event will take place in Vero Beach, Florida, featuring high school players from around America and Puerto Rico in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 classes. 

The top 44 players will travel to Atlanta to meet Hank Aaron and play in a showcase game at SunTrust Park, while also visiting notable civil rights movement landmarks. This will be part of an extensive “Hank Aaron Week” hosted by the Braves, which is scheduled to include a variety of diversity-and culture-focused initiatives focusing on business networking, nostalgic history connected to Aaron’s legacy, philanthropy, education and social justice. 

Participants were selected by a combination of the following programs: MLB Youth Academy network, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, MLB, the MLBPA, USA Baseball, the Buck O’Neil Scouts Association, MLB Scouts and individual active and former players. 

Throughout the week, Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Ken Griffey Jr., commissioner Rob Manfred and college coaches Tim Corbin (Vanderbilt) and Erik Bakich (Michigan) are all scheduled to make appearances. Similar to a Spring Training program, the players will have elite training and instruction opportunities from former MLB players and coaches such as Mike Scioscia, LaTroy Hawkins, and Tom “Flash” Gordon.

The Hank Aaron Invitational was created by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation that focuses on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and internationally. Twenty-one alumni of this event were selected in the June 2019 MLB Draft, including 2nd round picks Nasim Nun~ez (Miami Marlins), Kyren Paris (Los Angeles Angels), and Mike Harris (Atlanta Braves).

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