Showcase gives local stars chance to shine

With the Major League Draft having come and gone, and with most of the top 2007 high school graduates having already signed college scholarships, it's now time for the scouts to get a look at the new crop of the best players in the state.

And on Monday they will be at Mill Creek High School for the Georgia Underclassmen Showcase, a two-week, state wide event which is sponsored by the Georgia Dugout Club.

"It's really a good situation for these kids," said Mill Creek assistant coach Roger Parham, who helped organize the event along with Loganville head coach Jeff Segars.

Former Parkview head coach Hugh Buchanan, now a scout for the Philadelphia Phillies, has put together a core group of pro and college scouts to do all the evaluations.

According to Georgia Dugout Club, there will be over 30 colleges and 20 Major League Organizations represented.

"It's a really positive thing for the kids," Parham said. "And Coach Buchanan does a great job of letting the kids understand that they're going to be looking for tools, not necessarily who the best baseball player is right now.

"Really what the college and pro scouts are looking for is tools - how hard can you throw, how far can you hit it, how fast you can run."

The first showcase this summer was on June 5 in Rome.

There will be four more in metro Atlanta following Monday's Mill Creek showcase (one at Kennesaw Mountain High on Tuesday and another one on June 18 and the final one at West Walton Park Stadium in Loganville).

Meanwhile, there are also six showcases lined up in south Georgia as well.

"It's just exciting for us to go out and see the talent that's out there," Parham said. "And it's a good opportunity for the kids and the scouts."

All sites are staffed by the showcase committee. After the final evaluation day on June 20 in Augusta, the top 100 from the 11 different sites will be chosen to participate in a final two-day event at Kennesaw State University.

The cost for an underclassmen to participate in the showcase is $100. For more information, and to register, visit www.georgiadugoutclub.com.