Tournaments : : Story
Showdown: Montverde Academy
Published: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
2013 Perfect Game High School Showdown event page
Perfect Game High School Showdown Team Previews:
Montverde Academy Eagles - Roster | Schedule
left-handed pitching prospect Tim Layden was drafted by the Chicago
Cubs in the sixth round of the 2004 MLB First-Year Player Draft after
three productive seasons at Duke University, and then embarked on
what would become a seven-year minor league career.
his playing days ended after the 2010 season, Layden -- who returned
to Duke in 2010 to complete his degree -- was urged to pursue a
coaching career at the high school level. He landed his first job at
100-year-old Monteverde Academy in Monteverde, Fla.
in his first two seasons at the helm of the program, he would be
given the opportunity to coach a pair of prospects that would within
a year of one another would set out on the same course into
professional baseball that Layden had pursued nearly a decade
Lindor was a No. 3-ranked national shortstop prospect and a senior on
that 2011 Monteverde Academy team. The 2010 Perfect Game All-American
and 2010 PG National Showcase alumnus would wind up being a
first-round draft pick (eighth overall) of the Cleveland Indians in
the 2011 draft.
outfield prospect Alexis Rivera was a senior on the 2012 Monteverde
team, and the veteran of the 2011 PG National Showcase, 2012 PG World
Showcase and 2012 PG National Pre-Draft Showcase would go on to
become a 10th-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in the 2012
been pretty fortunate so far," Layden said with a laugh. "Having
Francisco my first year and then Alexis last year -- and even this
year we have a couple of guys that (Perfect Game) thinks pretty
highly of. Our thing is to teach them to be a student-athlete first
and teach them the proper way to play, and hopefully that word
spreads and you get more kids wanting to be a part of what we do
is a lot of talent on Layden's third Monteverde Academy team, and the
Eagles will show that talent off at the first Perfect Game High
School Showdown scheduled for Thursday through Saturday at Terry Park
and City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla. Monteverde is one of four
highly regarded Florida teams at the tournament that will play
head-to-head games against four equally prominent teams from Georgia.
time you can be associated with something with Perfect Game, on the
high school level of things that's about as good as you can get,"
Layden said of his team's involvement in the Showdown. "We're
looking forward to heading down there and playing and some good
compiled a 25-17 record in his first two seasons at Monteverde, and
this year's team won only eight of its first 18 games. But the
Eagles' roster is loaded with top-ranked national talent, including
seniors Angel Alicia-Nieves, a right-handed pitcher, and catcher Luis
right-hander Luis Alvarado is also highly regarded, as are sophomores
Bryan Scheker, an outfielder, and shortstop Gabriel Garcia.
Alicia-Nieves, Alvarado, Ciuro and Garcia are all native Puerto
Ricans at the culturally diverse school.
still kind of up-and-coming," Layden said of his program. "We
have outstanding basketball and soccer programs, and we're trying to
get baseball to the level where we can be competitive on a national
scale. We have a diverse school population and a diversified team and
it's one of those things where we try to go out and open up as many
doors for these kids as possible."
said the program is built around a simple philosophy: "Work to
be better today than you were yesterday" and that philosophy
applies to both the playing field and the classroom.
far as growth overall, we've been happy to see the development of the
players within the program," he said. "Of course, you
always want to win more than you lose, but stepping into our
situation it was more to establish a culture and developing the
student-athlete first and trying to establish that, and growing out
High School Team Breakdown: Montverde Academy
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
1. Bryan Scheker, OF, 2015, 77
2. Luis Alvarado, OF/RHP, 2014, 101
3. Angel Alicia-Nieves, RHP, 2013, 321
4. Luis Ciuro, C, 2013, 404
3. Gabriel Garcia, SS, 2015, Top 1,000
The lineup has a lot of youth in it, with the top ranked position prospects hailing from the 2014 and 2015 classes. But in spite of that youth, it's also deep. While the Eagles lack a major power threat, they have several players who project to develop over the fence power and currently boast plenty of gap to gap power and the lineup has good speed.
2015 OF Bryan Scheker is the top ranked prospect on the team, coming in at No. 77 in the nation for the sophomore class, while 2014 OF/RHP Luis Alvarado just misses the top 100 of his own class, coming in at No. 101. 2013 C Luis Ciuro is the senior leader of this group, and while it's his defensive prowess that has him ranked among the top 500 prospects in the country, he is also a key contributor to the Eagles offensive attack.
2013 RHP Angel Alicia-Nieves has run his fastball above 90 mph at PG events in the past and will be the arm that scouts pay closest attention to in Ft. Myers. 2014 OF/RHP Luis Alvarado is a high level two-way player who has interesting ability on the mound as well as in the outfield. The Eagles will also use 2014 RHP Bailey Ward and 2013 RHP Travis Dotson in their starting rotation this week.
While they have some upside on the staff, to this point in the year their pitching has been the achilie's heel, having allowed 89 runs over 18 games to this point (4.94 per game). That will have to change this week if they want to compete for a championship.
Lack of experience all around is the weakness at this point, and this is the kind of tournament where valuable experience is gained. But that said, if they're going to compete this week the Eagles will need to grow up in a hurry. They have the talent to surprise teams, and they matchup well physically, but how well they can put together a complete team effort for four consecutive games will ultimately determine their success in Ft. Myers.
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