By: Austin Alexander - June 8-9, 2016
On Wednesday & Thursday, clear skies and perfect June temps graced River Bluff High School, their insanely lush athletic facilities and Diamond Prospects' 11th Annual Summer Showcase. This event typically launches the summer scouting season for college coaches, and this year it did again as 40+ college coaches and a handful of pro scouts were in attendance. Per usual, new names emerged as we set the stage for them, that's the beauty of the 'open' showcases!
A solid mix of tunes continued to ring 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 Hump Day afternoon.
The theme of this showcase, 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 rising sophomores and rising juniors (left top, Dutch Fork 2018 Reese Cormier) forced themselves into claiming "legit follow" status, some with bonafide upside (left bottom, Spartanburg 2019 Jax Cash) that had us very excited... there were some accomplished rising seniors (right, Ashley Ridge SS Kyle Watkins) that enhanced their stock too! A couple dozen or more even forged themselves into the Palmetto Games, which made this a very productive couple of days!
Below we have chronicled what occurred between the lines over the 36 hours on the luxurious campus of River Bluff...
DP Fist Bump: 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 and we look forward to returning!
Senior Note of the Day: MLB Bureau guru Gary Randall kept his DP streak alive in attending all of our 45+ events over the past 11 years, tip of the cap to our favorite tall friend and highly, well-respected scout...And the collegiate elder, USC Sumter skipper Tim Medlin made appearances on both days, he may remain the most appeciative college coach when it comes to DP events, he can certainly attest to what it was like chasing talent while scouring the countryside in a horse and buggy, just a few years before cell phones and DP!
Cancer Warriors: Two staples at DP events for 11 years have been my wife Rita Alexander and Tony Osterman (pictured in October). Since being diagnosed with cancer a week apart in September of 2015, both have worked separate DP showcases while undergoing chemo and radiations, but on this Wednesday they were both doing their DP duties for the first time together since last August! Numerous treatments, several surgeries, doctor visits galore...this week, life seemed normal for us all having them back on the same team. God has been amazing during both fights, as evidenced by their zest for life and energy in contributing to another awesome time as part of the DP Team!