April 17, 2012

Under Armour names first baseball All-Americans

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Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

For the fifth consecutive year, the nation's best high school baseball players will gather in August for the sport's premier showcase event, the Under Armour All-American Baseball Game.

The performance apparel, footwear, and accessories magnate will partner with Baseball Factory to select 36 players for a four-day combine that includes a formal workout for Major League Baseball scouts, a home run derby and a game to be played at Chicago's legendary Wrigley Field on Saturday, Aug. 18.

"For five consecutive years, Under Armour has proudly supported the world's most elite high school baseball players at the Under Armour All-America Game," Matt Mirchin, the Senior Vice President of Global Brand and Sports Marketing for Under Armour said in a press release. "The brand is committed to making all athletes better and providing the next generation of exceptional baseball athletes with the platform and resources to evolve their talents, learn from some of baseball's greatest pros, play at a historic venue like Wrigley Field and maximize their talent."

The game will air live on MLB Network and give fans what may be their first look at recent MLB Draft picks and college-bound stars.

Baseball Factory CEO and Founder Steve Sclafini views this as a tremendous honor and opportunity for all involved.

"For these rising young stars, playing at Wrigley Field and across the country on MLB Network is an opportunity for exposure on the national level that's once-in-a-lifetime.," he said.

The last three Under Armour All-American games have seen 91 of the 108 players involved be selected in the MLB Amateur Draft, including some of the highest ranked prospects currently in many minor league systems.

"As evidenced over the last five years, many of these talented players will go on to be selected in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft, and we are excited to provide such a great opportunity again this year," Scalfini said.

Of the showcase's former players, 10 were first-round draft picks listed in both the RivalsHigh 100 baseball player rankings as high school seniors and currently inside the Top 500 prospects in the minor leagues according to ScoutingBook.com.

From the Class of 2009, Brian Goodwin (No. 10 RivalsHigh 100/No. 147 by ScoutingBook.com), Tyler Matzek (No. 3/No. 471), Donavan Tate (No. 4/No. 400), Jacob Turner (No. 5/No. 15), and Zach Wheeler (No. 24/No. 30) all were able to transition from high school to the professional ranks quickly.

The lone representative from the Class of 2010 to have high school hype translate to early professional success has been Jameson Taillon. Taillon was the No. 1 player in his high school class in the RivalsHigh 100 and is currently the No. 8 minor league prospect according to ScoutingBook.com.

Four members from the Class of 2011 have made their marks as Jacob Anderson (No. 95/No. 449), Dante Bichette, Jr. (No. 36/No. 224), Brandon Nimmo (No. 17/No. 179), and Bubba Starling (No. 3/No. 24) were found to be among the best players nationally.

While the rosters for this year's game have not been finalized, the following players have been selected by Baseball Factory and have committed to participate in the event:

NamePositionHt./Wt.High School
Willie AbreuOF6-2, 185Hialeah Gardens (Fla.) Mater Academy
Trey BallLHP/OF6-6, 170New Castle (Ind.) High
Zack CollinsC/1B6-2, 210Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage
Thomas HatchRHP6-1, 205Jenks (Okla.) High
Jeremy MartinezC5-11, 195Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Terry McClureOF6-2, 185Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake
Oscar MercadoSS6-1, 170Tampa (Fla.) Gaither
Corey RayOF6-0, 175Chicago (Ill.) Simeon
Chris RiveraSS6-0, 175Placentia (Calif.) El Dorado
Justin Williams3B/OF6-2, 205Houma (La.) Terrebonne


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