– The 2012 PG National Showcase has allowed more than 300 players
in attendance to show off their talents in front of 300 college and
professional scouts this week. It’s a big moment in the players’
lives. Some will use their performance in the showcase to attract
college scholarships. Others will ascend up 2013 draft rankings in
the coming weeks and months.
@KramerR3 play for the first time @ #PGNational and have to say that
I like what I’m seeing.”
some in attendance, such as Torii Hunter Jr. (Prosper HS, Prosper,
Texas.), Preston Palmeiro (Heritage HS, Colleyville, Texas.) and
Cavan Biggio (St. Thomas HS, Houston, Texas) have the unique
advantage of playing under the tutelage of former major league
experience has been especially exciting for Hunter, who grew up
watching his dad, Torii Hunter, roam center field in the Metrodome.
is a great experience,” Hunter said. “I’ve always dreamed of
being able to play on this field one day.”
plays wide receiver for his high school football team and outfield in
baseball. He also plays summer ball with the DBAT Mustangs. He has
football scholarship offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Notre Dame,
Oklahoma and Oklahoma St., among others. He’s also considering
baseball offers from Stanford and Minnesota.
want to be a dual-sport athlete,” Hunter said. “Most of the
(football) coaches I’ve talked to are on board with me playing
a school is an important decision for a 17-year-old and Hunter knows
it. That’s why he’s taking his time with it.
just weighing my options,” he said. I don’t want to make a
decision (then) de-commit. Whatever school I pick, I want that to be
the school I go to. I guess if I do get drafted high enough, I’ll
(explore) that. But we’ll just see how it goes.”
dad has been supportive in the decision making process.
says I can do whatever I want, I don’t even have to play sports. I
can be a lawyer, doctor, whatever. It doesn’t matter. He’s behind
anything that I do.”
Hunter’s dad couldn’t be in Minneapolis to watch his son this
week (he plays right field for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim),
another big league star was.
Biggio, likely Hall of Famer and father of Cavan Biggio (St. Thomas
HS, Houston, Tx.) has been in Minneapolis with his son all week. This
is particularly special because it allows them to spend Father’s
Day is a great day, obviously,” Biggio said. “To be able to be a
part of this atmosphere and enjoy it with (Cavan) has been exciting
and his wife, Patty, have another son (Conor) and a daughter (Quinn).
Conor plays baseball for the North Adams Steeplecats of the New
England Collegiate Baseball League and just ended his freshman year
at Notre Dame. His wife and daughter are spending father’s day in
Texas at a softball tournament.
Game 11 on Saturday afternoon, the left-handed hitting Biggio hit the
first home run of the showcase, a three-run bomb over the 23-foot wall in right
field. He also hit two homers in the Rawlings Home Run Challenge
was a good feeling to get one over,” he said of his in-game home
run. “I was just looking for a pitch to hit. With a runner on third
I was just trying to get him in.
has been a great opportunity,” Biggio said of his son’s
participation in the National Showcase. “(We teach him) that
nothing is guaranteed. You’ve got to go out there and play. You
have to work hard, practice hard and try to be the best possible
player you can be. He’s seen this, he’s been around it and he
knows what it takes to get to the big league level.”
isn’t the only one. Preston Palmeiro, son of Rafael Palmeiro, has
seen what it takes to reach the big leagues. His dad collected 3,020
hits and 569 home runs during his 20-year major league career.
helps me with everything,” Palmeiro said of his dad. “After this
I’m going to call him and talk about my swing because he was
watching the game (on the Perfect Game/eCoach Sports Network iHigh
broadcast). He watches everything I do here so he critiques me,
teaches me how to play the game and helps me with the little things.
Not just how to hit, but what to watch for in what the pitcher is
doing, the right time to steal, the right time to bunt, stuff like
that. It’s an advantage I have over everybody.
plays third base for his DBAT Mustangs summer team, and is weighing
offers from several colleges. He attended the Junior National
Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. last year, an experience that Palmeiro
says helped him prepare for this year’s National Showcase.
good to see this competition,” Palmeiro said. “You don’t want
to have to play in your little bubble of the country and not be
exposed to be this level. It makes you want to work and get better.
Seeing this level of pitching helps you progress as a hitter. It’s
a little nerve-racking (playing in front of hundreds of scouts) at
first but then you just kind of put it behind you.”
isn’t the only one who’s aware of the scouts in attendance.
Kramer Robertson (Midway HS, McGregor, Texas), son of Kim
Mulkey-Robertson (coach of the women’s Baylor basketball team that
went 40-0 last season), was at a restaurant in Minneapolis this week
when he received this tweet from PG Scouting Coordinator, Todd Gold:
was awesome,” Robertson said. “It’s an honor to see him tweet
about me because I know he’s a scout for Perfect Game. I’m not
going to lie, I got pretty excited. I tried to hold it in a bit, but
that’s pretty cool to know that they like you.”
plays shortstop and second base for his high school baseball team. He
also quarterbacks the football team and plays point guard in
basketball. Because of his small size (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) he
says, his future is in baseball.
recently committed to LSU, a decision that “Surprised a lot of
people,” he said. “It was a hard decision because I have a lot of
ties to Baylor, but LSU seemed like the best place for me.”
has been supportive of her son’s decision.“Being a college coach
myself, I understand the pressures of making the biggest decision of
that point in your life,” she said.
National Showcase is Robertson’s seventh PG event, but he says this
one is much different than most.
do everything here,” Robertson said. “You do the infield, you do
the BP. But the biggest difference in this event compared to, say,
the Sunshine South is really just the pitching and the competition
around you is the best in the country. It’s invitation only. It
gives me a good feel on where I’m at and what I need to improve on.
I feel like I have one of the better arms out here and I like to show
it off across the infield. That’s my favorite thing to do here at
Robertson has a “firm” commitment with LSU, he’s open to any
draft possibilities next year.
proud as a mom first because he works extremely hard,”
Mulkey-Robertson said of her son’s performance at the National
Showcase. He wants to play against the best and with the best and
this was a great opportunity for him to showcase his tools. It’s a
proud moment to think you have an opportunity to (be selected to
participate) in the PG All-American (Classic).”
addition to Hunter, Palmeiro and Biggio, National Showcase
participants Brantley Bell (Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix, Ariz.),
Manny Ramirez Jr. (IMG Academies, Plantation, Fla.), Brody Weiss
(Regis Jesuit, HS, Castle Rock, Colo.) are the sons of former big-league All-Stars. Cody Bellinger (Hamilton
HS, Chandler, Ariz.), Kennan Innis (Blessed Trinity HS, Cumming, Ga.) and Riley Unroe (Desert Ridge HS, Mesa Ariz.) also have fathers who played in the majors.
a lot of talent out here,” Hunter said. “It’s so fun being able
to play with a bunch of great talents and future draft picks. It’s
just fun being able to be surrounded by this.”