By: Austin Alexander - November 8-9, 2015
On Saturday and Sunday, weather was a constant roll of the dice at River Bluff High School, thank goodness for their insanely lush facilities to help us execute Diamond Prospects' 10th Annual Fall Showcase. A full house of participants in the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes were on hand to work out in front of 20+ evaluators. A solid mix of tunes rang out of the PA system as two sessions of players were paraded through 60's, a defensive workout, batting practice and closing with bullpens before the games opened on Saturday afternoon. We used nearly every inch of the athletic facilites and 20 bags of Turface as we caught a huge break on Day 1 after another week of rain prior to the showcase.
The theme of this weekend, after being awe-struck at the River Bluff campus, was of all of the names unknown to us and most scouts when we all arrived on Day 1. A heavy dose of freshman, sophomores and juniors forced themselves into claiming "follow" status, some with upside that had us very excited... there were some seniors that enhanced their stock too! (L-Bishop England 2019 OF/LHP Geoffrey Gilbert; R-South Aiken 2017 RHP Connor O'Rear)
Day 2 threw us the natiest curveball in DP history. Sunday marked the first time since 2006 that a day of games was washed out. The rain was just too much of a constant and the field was unplayable...so we improvised. To the credit of the players in attendance, they understood along with most of the parents that we truly did all we could to salvage the day. We re-arranged the spaceous cage area to set up cages for evaluation of hitters, then a bullpen area for pitchers to throw one at a time. It proved very valuable as scouts were able to really zero in on each individual. A special thanks to the evaluators that braved the elements to hang out with DP!
Stay tuned to DP as we compile detailed player info...
T.O.'s Tip of the Cap: If you have ever attended a DP event you may have noticed a very hard-working guy running around putting out fires on the field. If you got to know this guy named Tony Osterman, then you realized what an incredible human-being the man is. This weekend marked the first event in our 10-year history that TO was not present. But sadly there is a very good reason. TO has a serious form of bladder cancer and his road to recovery constitutes 14 rounds of chemotherapy a week... FOURTEEN rounds in five days... While he still wanted to come this weekend, he just couldn't, but our veteran MVP was literally on our minds the whole time! One of our team members is Randy Carlson, he had a stylish hat designed and produced to sell as a fundraiser for TO and his family. Our entire staff wore the hat all weekend as a tribute to an uncomparable man. Anyone that would like to purchase your own hat and aid this warrior in his fight, click here. In the meantime, we are praying for you TO and cannot wait to get you back on the field!
DP Fist Bump: River Bluff's 'do-it-all' standout Brandon Tillmon came up huge for us this weekend. Presently he is committed to Liberty University to play baseball and football. On Friday night, Tillmon was quarterbacking his Gators in a big prep pigskin game, his father was rushed to the hospital later that night. At 6:30 AM the next morning, he was assisting us opening gates, and setting up for a whirlwind day. Throughout the weekend Brandon took pictures, ran the concession stand, changed out trash cans and helped direct us every step of the way during our stay there. His dad Rick is an assistant coach at River Bluff and was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, please get well #30! And to Brandon, job well-done, your pops would be proud!
What does a fox say, Part III? Well, it is safe to assume that if you came to River Bluff High School this weekend having not heard this song for awhile, you were treated (or lambasted) once again as you entered or exited the ballpark! Our DP staff in the booth found it humorous to play the hit tune endlessly (for the third straight year), especially when I was trying to address the players. Trust me when I tell you that it is very difficult to hold a teenagers attention with that chaos playing in the background!
DP High Five: River Bluff was a gracious host providing their immaculate facility that has set the bar for other prep digs while creating envy from many of the college coaches that attended. The place could not have been a more accommodating site, Coach Mark Bonnette and his support staff were always first-class before, during and after the event; we sincerely thank them for opening their gates to DP for, hopefully, the third of many more events to come!