PLYMOUTH MEETING – The familiar sounds of summer echoed through the newly-refurbished Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth last weekend – the crack of the bat, the pop of the leather, the click of the radar gun.
Baseball reaches its zenith in October with the World Series, and that was the case at All-Star Baseball Academy’s 2016 Pennsylvania Fall Prospect Camp at Villanova where college prospects showed up in force for one more look from the vast array of college coaches in attendance.
There were 40 college programs on hand from six states (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, New York) representing all three NCAA divisions, including Alvernia, Arcadia, Brown, Bucknell, Cabrini, Delaware, DeSales, Dickinson, Franklin and Marshall, George Mason, Harford, Haverford, James Madison, Kutztown, La Salle, Lafayette, Lehigh, Lock Haven, Messiah, Millersville, Neumann, Penn, Radford, Richmond, Rowan, Shippensburg, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s, Swarthmore, Towson, Ursinus, Villanova, Wagner, West Chester and Widener.
The New York Mets from MLB also participated in the event.
“This is my first Showcase, and I’m looking to get my name out there,” said Shane McLaughlin, a 2017 middle infielder from Coatesville whose 7.07 time in the 60-yard dash was the fourth best clocking. “I’m looking forward to the written evaluation from the coaches, and see where it goes from there.”
The first day of the event featured defensive sessions for infielders, outfielders and catchers followed by a series of live games. Day 2 included extended batting practice, infield and outfield practice and more games. Each of the 80-plus players in attendance received written evaluations of their abilities from the college coaches.
What they’re saying
Shane McLaughlin – 2017 – Coatesville –INF (right)
Evaluate this camp and how it’s run? “Everything goes along very smoothly and we’re always doing something. This is a beautiful baseball facility and that makes all of this better. Everything fits right in perfectly.”
What is your Showcase history and college prospects? “This is my first showcase. I have gotten some looks from Widener and other Division 3 programs. I will major in business.”
What do you hope to achieve at this stage of the season? “I’m looking to get my name out there, and see what the coaches have to say. I lot of guys are in shutdown mode right now, but I decided late to give this a shot.”
Nick Price – 2017 – Spring-Ford – 1B/LF (below left)
Editor’s note: Price had a top 10 rating in ball exit velocity off the bat (85 mph)
Evaluate this camp and how it’s run? “I really like the way ASBA runs their prospect camps. It’s very organized and they make great use of the time. There isn’t much standing around.”
What is your Showcase history and college prospects? “I have been to a bunch of these camps, they are great for college recruiting. In the summer I play for ASBA Warminster. Right now I’m getting looks from Virginia Wesleyan, Ursinus, Millersville and Immaculata, primarily as a corner outfielder. I also pitch and play first base.”
What do you hope to achieve at this stage of the season? “My best skills are hitting for power and my arm strength. My objective at this point of the year is to keep getting looks. It’s the end of the season, but I feel great and well-rested. I seem to be more energized.”
Nick Henry – 2017 – Abington – LHP (below right)
Editor’s note: Henry pitched 2.1 scoreless innings on Day One Saturday, allowing just one hit and one walk
Evaluate this camp and how it’s run? “The ASBA camps are very good, very well organized. There are always a lot of good colleges here.”
What is your Showcase history and college prospects? “I have participated in these several times before. Right now, my top three schools are West Chester, Neumann and East Stroudsburg.”
How are you physically and what do you hope to achieve at this stage of the season? “I feel strong. My objective is getting exposure. The coaches here do a good job with the evaluations and offer very good feedback. In the past, they’ve addressed things like stride length and keeping my front side closed and how to improve my curveball and changeup. The tips are very helpful.”