By: Austin Alexander – June 22-23, 2021
-College coaches, speed galore, young talent grace Gator Country-
After some wonderful pitch-hitting performances from various sites in 2020, Diamond Prospects returned to familiar ground this week at beautiful River Bluff High School! And how fortunate on day one that we had access to their top-notch facilities that allowed to make adjustments on the fly as we were constantly letting the radar dictate any necessary changes to the original schedule. As things played out, it's quite miraculous that we got everything in Tuesday, plus finished 30 minutes early!
This event was full to participants two months before we ever picked up a baseball. Even then, it was the best-attended showcase in our 16 years of doing this. Much of that reason was the anticipation and return to performing in front of college coaches who had been unable to leave campus in close to 18 months. Just as these evaluators showed up, so did the talent. Though this is an "open" showcase, many of the top uncommitted players were present and shined, especially in the younger classes. So many new names emerged and punched Palmetto Games tickets, which is uber-exciting when in our profession!
Even though 2020 and a wet February put us far behind going into the spring, this season was well-covered by our various scouts as we played catch-up until the final pitch of this campaign, but we couldn't see everybody, it's impossible in any year. Which is why we host events such as this to provide the platform for young men to sell themselves. Dorman 2024 catcher Mitch Wilson (pictured at top) stole the show with his in-game lumber display hitting one of five dingers, but Wilson's was with wood. He was not alone as the list was long of individual exploits.
The theme of this showcase remained all of the very young uncommitted talent in South Carolina and all of the pure speed exhibited as 31 guys posted sub-7.0/60 times - led by Lexington 2023 Tyler Floyd (6.57). Our staff could not recall a previous summer or fall showcase that provided us with more exciting new talent than this one!
Below we will chronicle what occurred between the lines over the 36 hours at River Bluff...the future remains so bright in the Palmetto State, read our take on this summer showcase now!
Tip of the Cap: In no particular order...Mark Bonnette has been such a valuable and loyal friend of DP for years. Long before we arrive in Columbia he has everything in order, ready to adjust to whatever we need and let’s us use a facility that is second to none. I am convinced if we were not at his place on Tuesday and with his direction, we would not have been able to service this up-and-coming talent…Chic-fil-A franchise owner Buzzy Myers supplied the sandwiches for our staff and scouts each day. They were warm and on-time, heck, they were Chic-fil-A sandwiches, what else could a person ask for? Thank you Buzzy!…Last but not least, our DP staff. Wow were our guys on point as usual, especially on Tuesday though. What an awesome group of teammates to step up and help us execute a common goal!