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Showcase : : Story
PG National: Day 5 Recap
Patrick Ebert        
Published: Monday, June 17, 2013

Jeff Dahn Day 5 feature: Michael Kopech


MINNEAPOLIS – Hailing from the small town of Columbia, Miss., Ti’quan Forbes has shown his dedication to becoming a baseball player just by being at the Metrodome this week. The athletic shortstop traveled by plane for the first time in his life to be at the Perfect Game National Showcase, and he did it by himself.

I’m here to show my talents and I was happy that I got invited,” Forbes said. “I just wanna do my best and show everybody that I’m a good player.”

Coming into the event, Forbes was ranked the No. 54 prospect for the 2014 high school class, but after the performance he’s had here in Minneapolis, he will surely jump in the rankings.

When it’s all said and done, we could be looking at a top-of-the-draft type guy,” said Frankie Piliere, a scouting coordinator for Perfect Game. “If he could stick at shortstop we really have something that could be special.”

At 6-foot-4, 175 pounds, Forbes has a projectable frame that should fill out, and if that happens, the sky is the limit for the fleet-footed shortstop.

He’s a bat speed guy,” Piliere said. “He already showed the raw power in batting practice. We already saw that from him, so he can hit the ball out of the park.”

The bat speed wasn’t just on display during batting practice; scouts say it has translated over into the games as well. Forbes collected an opposite field single in one of the games and drove a fastball back up the middle for a hit to start off his day on Monday, the last day of the event. He then added another opposite field single in his second at-bat.

A three-sport athlete, Forbes said it’s time to stick to just one, and he chose baseball. “(My parents) just told me I should stick to one and I can just work and get better and become really good.”

When asked why he chose baseball over basketball or football Forbes’ answer was simple.

I just really like playing it,” he said. “I like the atmosphere of it and the environment.”

Forbes plays baseball year-round, playing his travel ball with the Texas Sun Devils. Although his summer schedule is baseball, baseball, and more baseball, Forbes doesn’t seem to mind.

It’s fun,” said Forbes. “If you love baseball, you’ll do it year-round.”

Forbes is a competitor by nature who plays the game to win. He recalls his fondest memory on the diamond when he won a state championship in his ninth grade year. “I was really excited,” he recalled. “I pitched the last few innings.”

He hopes to make some more memories this summer with his travel ball team. He likes what he has in those guys.

I think the team is pretty good,” Forbes said of this year's Sun Devils team. “We have a nice team and nice people down there, nice coaches. I think we’ll do pretty good this summer.”

With Forbes on the team they should fair pretty well. The No. 2 ranked high school prospect in Mississippi, according to PG, plays the game with many different tools. He can hit, field, throw, and he can absolutely fly on the bases.

Forbes was clocked running a 6.56-second 60-yard dash during his workouts here in Minneapolis and has displayed that speed, swiping a few bags in the games.

I’ve enjoyed myself the whole time I’ve been down here,” said Forbes. “It’s the best of the best.”

Surrounding himself with top-of-the-line competition this week at National, Forbes has soaked in the atmosphere and enjoyed the challenge of taking his game to another level.

Everybody’s good. Everybody’s got talents,” he said. “You see 96 mph; you don’t see that everyday. It’s been real fun, I’ve really enjoyed myself.”

Having fun and impressing the scouts made his trip a worthwhile journey.

Matt Rodriguez


Live Streaming

For the second straight year the Perfect Game National Showcase is available for everyone to watch online. The live stream to all of the workouts, batting practice sessions and games can be found on iHigh's dedicated Perfect Game page:

http://www.ihigh.com/perfectgame/


PG National Scout Blogs

There were no workouts on the fifth and final day of the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase. To view all of the workout results from Days 1-4, as well as detailed reports on all 18 games that were played over the five-day event, please visit this link:

http://www.perfectgame.org/blogs/View.aspx?blog=335


National Impressions

Day 5 of the National Showcase was a quick one, relatively, given the non-stop baseball activity on the field during the first four days of the event. Three games were on the schedule for the last day, starting with a contest between the Royals and Steel teams in Game 16.

Dominique Key started Game 16 for the Royal squad and was immediately impressive. With an athletic frame and a strong lower half, there's a little added movement to his delivery which creates a fair amount of deception. The ball explodes out of his hand, creating easy 90-92 mph heat in his first inning of work. He also gets big 12-to-6 break on his overhand curveball thrown in the low-70s.

Erik Manoah Jr. also came out firing in innings 5-6 for the Royal team, producing easy 90-92 heat peaking at 94 mph. With a sturdy and compact 6-foot-2, 210-pound build, the ball exploded out of Manoah's hand. He also threw a low-70s curveball, and showed good fastball command.

Ti'quan Forbes, as profiled above, and Tim Susnara each hit hard singles up the middle for the Royal team. Both players have made a strong impression during the event.

There were a pair of really nice defensive players in the outfield in this game. In the first inning, Zach Jancarski, ranging hard and fast to deep left-center, made a really nice back-handed catch in which he was fully extended, sliding on the turf as a result.

In the fifth, Hunter Tackett fired a strike from right field to third base to gun down a runner.

Left-hander Mac Marshall quickly made a statement in the second game of the day, Game 17 overall, starting the game for the White team and hitting 94 on the gun with his first pitch. With a quick, easy arm action and obvious arm strength, he settled in at 92-94 for his first inning to work while also flashing a promising 76-77 mph curveball with big, sweeping break. At 6-foot-4, 200-pounds there's plenty of reason to believe he's just starting to scratch the surface of what he's capable of.

• Fellow lefty Lake Dabney may not have had Marshall's stuff, but at 6-foot-6, 192-pounds he's ultra projectable.  His fastball sat at 85-88 and he showed the ability to add some late sinking action to it while using his size and long limbs to throw downhill on batters, while also doing a good job pounding the lower half of the strike zone.

Zack Plunkett continues to show a quick release behind the plate, gunning down two more runners today giving him three during game action the last two days.  He added a booming double to deep left-center as well, showing is well rounded skills both offensively and defensively.

• Khevin Brewer also hit the ball hard in Game 17, with a pair of hits both squared up well, including a double deep to straight away center field.

• Luke Dysktra added an extra-base hit of his own on a base hit sliced down the right field line.  A missed diving attempt by the outfielder allowed Dykstra to turn on the jets for a triple.

• Fittingly, the final game of the National Showcase, Game 18 overall, was highlighted by pitching performances.

Grant Schneider was the first pitcher to take the mound, showing an athletic and strong 6-foor-3, 195-pound frame.  He pounded the strike zone with 85-89 mph heat, touching 90, with a really sharp 76-77 curveball.

Justus Sheffield, the younger brother of 2012 National Showcase participant and PG All-American Jordan, arguably was the most impressive all-around pitcher in the entire event.  His fastball sat at 90-92 and he showed the ability to change speeds and throw strikes with his 80 mph slider and upper-70s change.  Both innings were quick and crisp, and there's no reason to believe he won't get even better as he continues to add strength.

Zach Shannon, also a hard-hitting outfielder that blasted a double in game action yesterday, took to the mound in this game and came out firing.  The big-bodied righty was 91-93 throwing mostly fastballs, but then dropped in a few very impressive 79-81 breaking balls and made quick work of the opposing batters.

• B.J. White made one of the event's highlight plays by completely laying out in left-center to rob a potential extra-base hit.

• On a day dominated not only by pitching, but also by strong defense, catcher Kainoa Harrison showed off his arm by throwing out a runner and his overall defensive prowess by positioning himself well at home plate to block, and tag out, a runner on a throw home.


That's a wrap from the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase.  Thanks to all of the players, family members, friends, scouts, coaches, recruiters and fans for being a part of another successful event.



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