Alabama Baseball Coaches Association holds annual high school showcase at Riddle-Pace

Published 8:17 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scouts from over 40 colleges, universities and professional teams braved the near 100-degree temps Wednesday for a sneak peak at some of the best baseball players in the state of Alabama.

The Alabama Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Event is back in Troy for the 10th consecutive season, and along with it come 120 of the state’s best rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. The event, coordinated by AlaBCA President Barry Dean, is the second of three legs needed to earn a coveted spot on Team Alabama for games against all-stars from Georgia and Tennessee.

“The goal for this event is to bring in the best players in the state,” Dean said. “We don’t always accomplish that, because of prior commitments with travel ball and other things. We want to help these kids get to the next level, and bringing them all together in one spot allows more coaches and scouts to come.”

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The 120 players are divided up in to six teams, each designated by a specific color.

The teams then live as a family for the duration of the event. They eat meals, share rooms, walk to events around Troy’s campus, practice and play together throughout their time on campus.

Dean likes the “camp” atmosphere of the event.

“A lot of these guys will go on and play against each other at the next level,” Dean said. “So it is fun to see them laughing and having fun this week. I have heard stories from the past where guys that met here kept in touch for a while. Walking, talking and eating with each other builds friendships, and I am sure new ones are being made here all day.”

But the event is not all on-the-field baseball. A banquet was held Tuesday evening, along with an academic session. Dean hosts a special message to the players dealing with topics not associated with baseball. Players also have opportunities to attend arm care sessions, testimonials from AlaBCA coaches, seminars on weight training and have the opportunity to film analyze their swing and pitching mechanics.

“We want to help these kids become better ball players and better people,” Dean said. “That is what is all about.”

The event wraps up Saturday with a full slate of games at Riddle-Pace Field.