Major League Scouts Assay Alabama

Baseball dominance has always been rich in Alabama, whether considering historic stars like Satchel Paige and Henry Aaron or modern greats Craig Kimbrel or Corey Kluber. Baseball talent will arise anew this summer as Hoover’s Met Complex becomes the landing site for 150 top high school baseball players being scrutinized by Major League Baseball team scouts, coaches and agents.

East Coast Pro, as it’s called, happens Aug. 1-4 and is new to Hoover, making the Met a Major League Spring Training Facility, with the trappings of a professional clubhouse, batting cages and the use of wood bats. That last bit is critical — in the spring season scouts rarely see players not using the aluminum equipment of college baseball. East Coast Pro provides a rare opportunity for amateur players to be evaluated using the equipment that professional players use daily.

Six teams with the most talented high school underclassmen from their prospective regions on the East Coast  will be organized, under the watchful eye of staff from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Florida Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. Besides playing, athletes get seminars, where parents are also invited, on what an MLB career can offer. The tryout session provides the scouts, and eventual coaches, to further assess the players’ skill level to help them come to a final decision. In the 2017 MLB Draft, three of the top 10 picks played and nine of the top 30 played in the East Coast Pro.

Hoover will have the event for three years. “The decision to move our event to Hoover was a no brainer after we saw the major league style facility, ” said John Castleberry, East Coast cross checker for the San Francisco Giants. “We are looking forward to having top players come to be evaluated and perform and enjoy the Southern hospitality of Hoover this summer.”

Text by Dave Helms

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