“The WILL”

{Endorsed by Diamond Prospects} The Will – When there is a WILL, there’s a way: When Charles Bedenbaugh lost his son Will to an automobile accident in 2010, he knew almost immediately he wanted to create a baseball complex for him. For much more regarding this inspirational story, click here.

MLB Draft Breakdown: 2019

By: Austin Alexander – June 3-5, 2019   In a year that professional scouts will admit there was far less draftable prep talent in South Carolina than recent years, two young men managed to have their names called over the three-day event!   The more you peer into this year’s draft, the event itself took on a very different look due to drastic changes within the rules pertaining to signing players and by reducing the draft by ten rounds over past seasons, thus affecting who and how many in-state guys were selected.   The longer you follow the draft, the more you think you understand it. Just the opposite is true, however! Any baseball sage will tell you it is really a crapshoot.   Many variables come into play when you sit back and look at the picks, the rounds they fell in and the names that got passed over.   One term people must understand is “signability”. Especially near the top of the draft.   In many cases, most of the players selected in the first 4-7 Rounds are similar in ability. Maybe in the Top 15 Rounds? Conventional wisdom tells you that the first pick in the draft must be the best player and that the last pick is the whatever-th best player in the country. Not so. A player’s signability can vault him near the top of the board; low signability can force that player to fall through the draft entirely.   Scouts often spend more time researching a player’s signability than they do evaluating their talent. We’ve all heard of clubs that take a kid in the top two rounds and cannot come to terms with him. Sometimes it is because the area scout has not done his due research or he should have known better than to select that player that high in the draft. But it has also happened before that a player and his family or advisor was not truthful as to their dollar figure. Sometimes a player’s “advisor” or his known desire to attend school will force his draft stock to fall, though he may be a first rounder ability-wise.   A couple of examples:   A few years ago, Florida University first baseman Matt LaPorta fell to the 15th round and 433rd pick of the draft. It was believed LaPorta was a sure-fire first-rounder but in the days before the draft he hired agent Scott Boras to represent him. Boras’ reputation with big-leaguers is well-earned as he has some of the top clients in the game. But, some big league organizations had begun a trend, however, of steering away from his players in recent drafts to avert expensive, drawn-out negotiations.   As high school seniors, South Carolina products Justin Smoak and Reese Havens were projected to go high in the draft. In the moments leading up to early picks for the Boston Red Sox, both were contacted once more in an attempt to agree to terms before they were selected. Both declined lucrative deals citing that their intention was to play college baseball. As a result, Smoak fell to the 16th round, Havens to the 29th. Both were later selected in 1st Round as college juniors out of USC.   In each case, though for opposite reasons, these players had a “low signability” tag, thus falling to lower rounds and going to school.   Clubs have until midnight of July 12 (up from first day of class once upon a time) to agree to terms with a draft pick. Some of the early rounders will forego the drama and sign quickly so they can begin their journey to the big leagues. Others will drag it out until the deadline in an attempt to drain every penny out of a club. Many players chosen will continue to be under the watchful eye of the organization that selected them in case they make a significant jump during the summer, in which the club may, then, offer a contract or “up the ante” in an attempt to sign the player.   Draft picks are made largely on a players present “tools” and how he “projects” down the road. Many selections will turn the heads of baseball people. More selections will blow the mind of casual fans because the layman only sees black or white, ie. base hit versus out, win versus loss.   Understand, just because a pitcher strikes out John Lanier does not automatically vault that arm to prospect status. If a good high school pitcher beats Bishop England with Geoffrey Gilbert on the mound, it does not mean he will see his name on a draft board. When a “punching judy” flairs one into the outfield off of Will Smith, that does not guarentee that he will even play past high school. If a fast runner steals two bases off of Travis Lott, it does not necessarily mean he has a future in professional baseball! See where I am going with this? Scouting is not a science. Players do get over-scouted and some do get over-looked. By in large, however, these guys who scout for a living are good at what they do. VERY good, in fact! They run up tens of thousands of miles riding through the countryside away from their families looking for the next Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout. Sure, they’ll miss on guys from time to time but they are still smarter than most of us and their eyes keener than you can imagine. Did they find the next MLB All-Star in our state in 2018? Only time will tell. *Note: Players accounted for either played high school or college baseball in South Carolina this spring. -2019 MLB Draft in Review- Selected Day 1 (1-2 Rd) Day 2 (3-10 Rds) Day 3 (11-40 Rds) Total SC Players 1  6 26 33 College players 1 6 24 31 HS players 0  0  2 2 Pitchers 0  5 13 18  Catchers 0  0 3  3 Infielders 1  0  8 9 Outfielders 0 1 2 3 Division I 1  5  14   22 Division II 0 1 6  8 Junior College 0 0 1  1   NAIA …

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MLB Draft: Palmetto State’s Finest – 2019

Diamond Prospects congratulates the following young men whose name was called by a Major League team in the MLB Draft on Tuesday or Wednesday. Each player listed prepped in South Carolina and attended a DP event. We are so happy for each dp alum and their families!                                -MLB Draft: Day 2-  Hopkins to Reds: In the 9th Round of the MLB Draft (#264 overall), Summerville HS & South Carolina standout OF TJ Hopkins was selected by the Cincinnati Reds. -MLB Draft: Day 3- Frick to Mariners: Wake Forest INF Patrick Frick was selected in the 14th round (#426 overall) by the Seattle Mariners. Frick was a 2016 graduate of JL Mann HS. Griffith to Twins:Clemson RHP Owen Griffith was selected in the 20th round (#599 overall) by the Minnesota Twins. Griffith was a 2016 graduate of South Aiken HS. Rollings to Mariners: North Greenville RHP Kipp Rollings was selected in the 24th round (#726 overall) by the Seattle Mariners. Rollins was a 2015 graduate of Andrew Jackson HS. Stone to Rangers: Walters State (TN) LHP Corey Stone was selected in the 26th round (#775 overall) by the Texas Rangers. Stone was a 2017 graduate of Mid-Carolina HS. Hart to Nationals: College of Charleston INF Dupree Hart was selected in the 24th round (#783 overall) by the Seattle Mariners. Hart was a 2015 graduate of Northwestern HS. Troutman to Pirates: Lander RHP Ryan Troutman was selected in the 26th round (#784 overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Troutman was a 2015 graduate of Woodland HS. Brewer to Giants: Latta HS senior OF Dylan Brewer was selected in the 32nd round (#956 overall) by the San Francisco Giants. Brewer is a Clemson signee. Wright to Pirates: Coastal Carolina junior OF Jake Wright was selected in the 32nd round (#964 overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wright prepped at Chester HS. Chapman to Angels: South Carolina junior RHP Ridge Chapman was selected in the 34th round (#1021 overall) by the Los Angeles Angles. Chapman pitched at Spartanburg Methodist and Wade Hampton HS. Causey to Marlins: Nation Ford HS senior INF Tyler Causey was selected in the 37th round (#1101 overall) by the Miami Marlins. Causey is a North Carolina signee.        

MLB Draft Preview: 2019

Compiled By: DP Staff – June 3, 2019 The workouts have concluded, the notes have been made, scouting miles have been logged and final organizational meetings have been had… and now it’s finally draft time! The First Round begins Monday, June 3 on the MLB Network at 7 PM. As we mosey around South Carolina throughout the calendar, we are often asked to make predictions on the upcoming draft, who will be taken, which round will they go in, who is most signable, etc. We’ve asked a few questions of our own to some ‘bigwigs’ and threw in our two cents as well. But in the past few years it’s been a different animal altogether…Check out the drastically new draft rules from yesteryear: 2014 Draft / Slotted Signing Bonus -2019 Draft Tracker- The entire process has always been a crapshoot, even for those making the final decisions so we aren’t going to take a stab at which round, but below is what we did come up with regards to who has a chance to be drafted this week. Admittedly, every single scout that we spoke with said we would learn alot from this draft to be a little more bold with our prognostication in future years. Our crystal ball comes with far less confidence than most years, with no sure thing, but here it is: -Palmetto State Players Receiving Pro Interest this Spring-  Name  High School  Position  Signed  DP’s $.02  *Dylan Brewer  Latta  OF  Clemson  Possible  *Tyler Causey  Nation Ford  INF  North Carolina  Possible  Nick Clayton  York  RHP  Clemson  Possible  Geoffrey Gilbert  Bishop England  LHP  Clemson  Possible  John Lanier  Blythewood  1B  Citadel  Possible  Will Smith  Conway  RHP  Coastal Ca.  Possible Key: Definite, Probable, Possible {chances to be drafted} *Denotes was drafted -Others Receiving Pro Interest-  Name  High School  Position  Signed  Ryan Ammons  Wren  LHP  Clemson  Kirby Connell  Blacksburg  LHP  Tennessee  RJ Dantin  Spartanburg  LHP  South Carolina  Ty Good  South Pointe  RHP  C of C  Trotter Harlan  Hillcrest  SS  C of C  Connor Kirkley  McBee  SS  Coastal Ca.  Alberto Osuna  Mauldin  1B  Walters St.  Hunter Parks  York  RHP  Flo-Dar Tech  Brett Percival  Andrew Jackson  RHP  Clemson  Dylan Rogers  Dorman  OF  Kentucky  Dylan Williamson  Pelion  RHP  Citadel *Selected in 2019 MLB Draft

The State of DP

By: Austin Alexander – February 13, 2019 As Diamond Prospects’ embarks upon our 14th prep baseball year, and as the Holiday Season has now closed, a 2019 campaign awaits us! The purpose of this 5th annual The State of DP Address is aimed to accomplish a handful of things, mostly to inform our loyal viewers and pass out a few kudos as well. DP came into inception a few moons ago, January 2006 to be exact! All the way back then, we burst onto the scene and coaches, players and parents everywhere were thankful…all of a sudden SC high school baseball was getting attention…noticed and scouting breakdown was being giving to on-field accomplishments away from the usual local publications. This is where it becomes personal. Awesome contacts and great friends helped DP vault onto a new level! Most reading this now will never understand. Essentially there was a time when prep baseball coverage was minimal…there was a time that parental emails were thankful in that someone rolled through their facility… For what it is worth, many of our emails these days surround why we did not see a given team a half dozen times! Thirteen spring seasons ago when we emerged, folks were so pleased to have us at their game and excited about this new DP thing… Players and most parents now have never known a time before DP, and while we have raised the expectation levels of folks, coaches and scouts remember a time before Diamond Prospects existed. Through the work of an awesome staff, God’s blessing of our goals and plenty of help along the way, it’s very satisfying from my view to know that we have positively affected the landscape of high school baseball and recruiting in this state. We firmly believe that baseball in South Carolina has been advanced since 2006 through the work of so many people that helped us do our job! Our staff of very credible baseball people are deployed each spring, summer and fall to beat the bushes, hunt and fish for prospects. I remain so blessed and our state is so fortunate that we have been able to assemble such a formidable group of scouts to help push our great game of baseball forward.  As the years have moved along, several new events were added through the great ideas of many different people. Our 13th Pro Day was a couple of weeks ago and quickly became a kick-off of the high school baseball season for players, but also the scores of pro scouts that flock to Columbia each January to get an early peak at the top prospects across South Carolina. In the previous twelve Pro Day’s, 167 participants have gone on to play professional baseball…which explains why all 30 MLB clubs are represented most winters, averaging more than 100 scouts the past six years! Pro Day has become a DP staff favorite over the years with all of the high rollers present to see a grouping of prospects that possess tools-galore. Added note, 64% of attendees have been drafted over the years. Last year DP alum Carl Edwards, Jr made his second appearance speaking to the players and to show off his World Series ring! In January of 2017, we finally caught up with the times and hightened our level of viewership adding video with our prospect info, to view it click here. The Palmetto Games is an event that has been the most identifyable that we host. It has become the all-star game in our state for the top underclassmen hailing from every corner of South Carolina, it is also a scouting bonanza. University of South Carolina AD and then Head Coach Ray Tanner was instrumental in getting this marquee weekend off the ground back in 2008 and we have never looked back. USC has been our gracious venue each summer for scouts and college coaches to lock in on 120 players, both committed and uncommitted, as premier prospects go toe-to-toe with the best-of-the-best that the Palmetto State has to offer. The 2018 Palmetto Games marked our 11th anniversary of something we are quite proud of! In 2009, DP partnered Dynamic Baseball for our first South Atlantic Border Battle played at The College of Charleston. What a decorated cast of talent graced the diamond that year and every year since as seven players off of the original South Carolina roster have played in the MLB! The Border Battle pits the cream of the crop from the junior and senior classes as our Sandlappers square-off each fall against the top guys from North Carolina, Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. Last fall marked the introduction of our first Futures Game for the top freshmen and sophomores across 7 states, it was huge hit as well! The alumni list from this event is deep with household names in the baseball world from the various states as we have moved the site each year between various major colleges venues and pro stadiums, eventually settling into a centrally-located home in Holly Springs, NC. In 2012, Major League Baseball partnered us and our allies to suit the players up in MLB uniforms and to be coached by professional scouts and instructors. Pro baseball’s influence at the Border Battle really did help evolve a very good event into one of the best showcase weekends in the country. Our 11th DP Developmental Fall League was another hit in 2018 as 65 teams covered the Upstate and Greater Rock Hill Leagues along with our first year in Lowcountry! Plans to include other regional leagues in 2019 exist to provide an affordable, competitive weekday opportunity to gain time on the field without burning out pitchers, also without taking away from those still playing travel ball on the weekends. The Fall League has also proven to be a weekday recruiting option for many colleges during the past nine seasons. Our All-Star sites were at Clemson & Winthrop Universities again. Over the years, our various teams have played at five minor league stadiums and on …

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