By: Austin Alexander - October 12-13, 2019
Perfect weather greeted DP on Saturday at River Bluff High School and their envious facilities to help us execute Diamond Prospects' 14th Annual Fall Showcase. A host of young prospects in the 2020-2024 classes were on hand to work out in front of 25+ evaluators on Day 1. Per usual, a solid mix of tunes rang out of the PA system as two sessions of players were paraded through 60's in the outfield grass, then a defensive workout, batting practice and closing with bullpens before the games opened on Saturday afternoon 40 minutes ahead of schedule.
The theme of this weekend, after being awe-struck at the River Bluff campus for the umpteenth time, were all of the names unknown to us and most scouts when we all arrived on Saturday. A heavy dose of underclassmen, including some very intriguing 2022-2024's forced themselves into claiming "follow" status, some with upside that had us VERY excited about the future in our state. Several punched their ticket to the Palmetto Games (R-Dreher 2022 Shane Keup) which is still ten months away, a win for all of us as we may have walked away with more new prospect names than at any fall event in our storied past!
Live Bombs: In our 'open' events, until this weekend the longest in-game homer during a DP showcase was Tucker Toman's 2017 'jack' high off the press box at River Bluff. On Saturday night, his shot was bested by Fort Dorchester eighth-grader PJ Morlando (pictured at top) who had doubled, singled then just missed clearing the top deck.
Cheers-Senior Note of the Day: Longtime MLB Bureau guru and present NY Mets scout Gary Randall kept his DP streak alive in attending all of our 64 events over the past 14 years, not one single absence. Tip of the cap to our favorite tall friend and well-respected scout. "GR", as he is affectionately known, is now in his third year running our fall league in the Greater Rock Hill area! This man has made yours truly and so many more evaluators much better at their jobs over the years.
Jeers-The Fox Returns: After a two-year hiatus, 'The Fox' wandered back into the post-game chat. For four consecutive years our DP staff found it humorous to play the once-popular tune What does the fox say as I would attempt to address the players at the conclusion of each game, which made it very difficult to communicate as you can imagine. The song was retired then resurfaced, hopefully a little post-game wisdom was passed along...and received once the song was concluded!
DP High Five: River Bluff was a gracious host providing their amazing facility that has set the bar for other prep digs while creating envy from many of the college coaches that attended. The place could not have been a more accommodating site, Coach Mark Bonnette and his support staff were always first-class before, during and after the event; we sincerely thank them for opening their gates to DP for many, many more events to come!