By: Austin Alexander - September 6, 2018
September...Pennant races with October around the corner in the Big Leagues plus 65 different clubs in our state as the DP fall league is ramping up excites many, of course football at every level is still king for most!
But for this guy, baseball is what is remains on my mind, certainly my phone, covers the DP desk and occupies our television set. This year has been a banner season for Palmetto State players that broke through into Major League Baseball, listen LOUDLY, these are the guys that made debuts in 2018:
Nick Ciuffo (2012, Lexington HS, Tampa Bay Rays), Steven Duggar (2012, Byrnes HS, Clemson, San Francisco Giants), Grayson Greiner (2011, Blythewood HS, South Carolina, Detroit Tigers), Taylor Guerrieri (2011, Spring Valley HS, Toronto Blue Jays), Daniel Palka (2010, Greer HS, Chicago White Sox) and CD Pelham (2012, Lancaster HS, Spartanburg Methodist, Texas Rangers). The picture to the right was taken during batting practice on Tuesday in Toronto, 30 minutes after I'd sent a text to both Ciuffo and Guerrieri to find someone to get a mug shot of them together. Somehow the two former first-rounders and roommates got this done for DP!
Inside the same season of this decade, "veterans" Carl Edwards Jr (left, 2011, Mid-Carolina HS, Chicago Cubs), Andrew Faulkner (2011, South Aiken HS, Texas Rangers), Daniel Gossett (2011, Byrnes HS, Clemson) & Jordan Montgomery (2011, Sumter HS, South Carolina, New York Yankees) all logged time in The Show during this campaign.
With a multitude of former South Carolina prepsters that are DP alums, watching MLB games takes on a different look when professional history becomes extended with more and more players on the field.
At some point we will do research on how those 2011-2012 classes shaped our state along with DP's role from 2006 to the present day.
The beauty of this article is that 46 counties can now realize that Major League Baseball is available to our state. So is college baseball and the so many high school grads that have gone on to experience amazing success past the prep level, either in college or in pro ball!
At each event that we host I tell the participants that there was a time when each kid sitting in those same spots who were also nervous and unsure what was next him. 169 of those young men were drafted and so many more received financial aid to play baseball in college.
Our state is and has been quite good for college coaches and pro scouts, DP's goals are to continue being a springboard for those whose careers have more potential than others! This guy smiles every single time a kid commits to a college and when the TV allows me to watch a Palmetto State winner play and have success on the biggest stage!