By: Austin Alexander - June 10-11, 2020
When you boast of a 15th Annual anything, typically it's a quick copy/paste from the year before and you just hope for good weather! But what has been typical about 2020? Precisely nothing for any of us, this event in the month leading up to it was no different. Fortunately, we were able to hold onto the initial dates of the showcase and eventually found the perfect partner for a site to put these boys on a stage - Columbia International University! Before and during, CIU coaches and admin were amazing at helping us get this thing off the ground and finally 'Play Ball'!
Normally when you see a rain forecast Tuesday-Friday of 80%, 80%, 90% & 80% respectively, you cancel that outdoor event. Instead we prayed and remained optimistic. If you were there on Wednesday afternoon, you experienced Hurricane Corona and cancellation of the final innings of Day 1. Day 2 was in peril and adjustments were made in the first session but even on a one-hour delay, we missed our eventual target of 6:00 PM by one minute...which proved to be a monumental W to service every participant, especially when you consider the odds!
Enough Weather Channel banter, let's talk baseball! Per usual, new names emerged as they took advantage of available green grass! Historically, our staff that sees a ton of baseball year around is still normally unfamiliar with most of the 'open' roster, even more so this year because so much of the spring was lost to identify the next wave of guys. So many prospects landed on the radar, the beauty of our summer showcase!
USC-Salkehatchie skipper DJ Jazzy JJ Joye rang out supreme tunes from his music box as two sessions of players were paraded through 60's, a defensive workout, batting practice and closing with bullpens before the 'games' opened. Four separate sessions of that format met the criteria for 'social distancing' and some solid baseball.
Both days, so many players unlocked berths into the Palmetto Games, including two into Club 90! (pictured above, 2021 Chapin LHP Matthew Becker)
The theme of this showcase was of all of the young uncommitted talent known to us when we all arrived on Day 1. A very close second was the weather...
Below we will chronicle what occurred between the lines over the 36 hours on the CIU campus...the future remains so bright in the Palmetto State, read our take on this summer showcase now!
DP Fist Bump I: When we selected Columbia International University, we had zero idea how amazing they would be to deal with and the many roadblocks we would conquer together! Former MLB'er Jonathan Johnson and Jeff Snead were really, really incredible in getting us on and keeping us on the field. Look at the picture left, and if you were there, you know how bad it was. But, they busted their tails to get these boys on the baseball field. Super Duper tip of the cap to JJ, Coach Snead and CIU for their consistent efforts for perfection!
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 63 events over the past 15 years, tip of the cap to our favorite tall friend and well-respected scout. "GR", as he is affectionately known!
Whoooo are you? On Thursday if you did not recognize the most 'physically fit' member of the DP working staff, it was none other than Clemson freshman All-American Geoffrey Gilbert that was running around assisting us. With all of his accolades to this point, All-Decade teamer GG proves to be an example that no one is bigger than moving screens, buckets and getting his hands dirty!