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Photo: Perfect Game

Tournaments : : Story
Ayala uses 17u to propel career
Drake Browne        
Published: Saturday, July 07, 2012

In 2002, Zack Greinke signed his first professional contract on the grounds of the East Cobb Baseball Complex in Marietta, GA. Greinke was participating in the PG WWBA 17u National Championship, and on Sunday, another player from this tournament will be agreeing to terms with an MLB organization.

Dominican prospect Domingo Ayala has arrived at the WWBA as a member of the East Coast Grays, and he is looking to sign a big time contract.

Coach said he needed a shortstop. I heard the big time scouts are all here, so I came to play,” said Ayala.

Ayala, who uses YouTube videos to showcase his talents, has been able to impress with his ability to hit home runs, steal bases, hit for average and play every position on the field.

Brian Bridges is a scouting supervisor for the Atlanta Braves who has signed multiple major leaguers including Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel and Mike Minor. He hopes to add Ayala to the list.

We’ve been really scouting this guy for a long time," Bridges said.  "We knew all 30 teams would be on him, especially after seeing his videos on YouTube. It would be nice to have a guy like him who wouldn’t miss a beat after Chipper (Jones) is done at Turner Field.“

The Braves are not the only team who are interested the “17” year old infielder.

“The Phillies and  Nationals are having a bidding war right now," Ayala said.  "I think the number is around 1.2 million.”

Landing Ayala could be crucial for these clubs. Nationals’ shortstop Ian Desmond was recently scratched from the 2012 All-Star Game with an injury, and the Phillies offense could use a powerful bat.

Even with all of this attention from the pro level, Ayala is not ruling out the possibility of going to college.

I hear that colleges only allow 11.7 scholarships for the team, so I (will) only ask for two or three.”

Perfect Game will be holding a press conference at the East Cobb Baseball Complex at 6:30 on Sunday night for Ayala to announce his decision. He will be free to answer questions from the media, and is expected to sign right on the spot.

When asked if he was ready to make the jump to professional baseball, he said, “I was ready last week.”

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