By: Austin Alexander - January 31, 2010
Mother Nature unloads on Carolina's and Virginia, talent prevails
Anyone reading this recap is likely to have experienced torrential weather this weekend. Even more so, many joined Diamond Prospects as we watched the approaching winter storm emerge from the west.
Here at DP, we had been tracking the forecast early in the week, then hour by hour. We were faced with some tough decisions at the eleventh hour, then just crossed our fingers! After Saturday night, we thought the highlight of the event would be when nine of us pulled a rain-drenched tarp in 27 degrees and wind. To the layman, a tarp is not meant to be removed by nine people! That was an absolute circus and we thank each comrade that manned up that evening!
On Sunday the sun appeared over a glazy Capital City Stadium and began to dry the field as the temperature sky-rocketed to 33 at noon. There were some very, very talented players that were snowed or iced in on Sunday and unable to attend. Fortunate for the 40+ scouts on hand, a handsome showing of prospects did make their way to the park and were privy to some quality guys and even more emerging names.
So let's move from posing as the Weather Channel to some hardcore baseball, the entire reason we bundled up on Sunday!
The 60's fired off right at noon and some good times flashed through the finishline, despite an outfield that had been rain-drenched a day before. St. James junior Tanner English (left) headlined a solid group of runners with a 6.69, in all there were seven guys that turned in a sub-7.0.
The defensive portion of the workout was a different look indeed. After the outfielders made their throws, highlighted by English again, we made a quarter turn of the infield. For one, our resident FungoMan was snowed in up in Asheville. So DP pinch-hitter Austin Smithwick grabbed the lumber and banged away from third base. Yes, third base. The infielders lined up on the right-side of the traditional infield and made their throws to the awaiting 1B's at homeplate. It certainly looked a bit awkward but several prospects shined.
The catching corps at this event was stellar to say the least. One arm strength backstop after another took the crouch and shot bullets to second base, led by AC Flora sophomore David Houser's 1.78.
During BP, hitters swung one round with wood, another with aluminum. Again, Smithwick filled up the zone with cookies for South Carolina's top talent to wail on. While the yard was filled up with deep drives and liners too, it was Jared Huffman's shot down the leftfield line that left an impressionable image; started at the foul pole and left the park 20 feet fair after driving his hands inside the baseball while hitting right-handed.
As the scouts crowded around our radar display board, 18 arms fired 85+, three topping 90. Perhaps the most impressive performance came from Hanahan's Bryce Hines (right) who had the stage to himself to shoot 89 MPH bullets to go with a hard downer at 80, which caused a stir behind homeplate.
Given the adjustments that our staff, scouts and players had to make to be in the right place at the right time, it was even more satisfying to finish at 2:56 PM, four minutes early and hopefully soon enough to get folks on the road to beat freezing temps during the evening!
As we always do here at DP, now it is time to breakdown what happened on Sunday at Capital City Stadium.
To view 60 Times, Pop Times and Peak MPH, click here.
To view additional prospect info, click here.
DP Note: We would like to thank Lee Gronkiewicz, manager of the Columbia Blowfish, for being a true field soldier. This event would not have happened without his ‘beyond necessary' efforts helping us to get ready for this showcase, thanks Gronk!