Young baseball players in the area could soon have the opportunity to showcase their skills for a private high school’s baseball program and other coaches in the area.
St. Pius X High School will host a middle school baseball showcase from July 19-22 at its field at 811 W. Donovan St. The camp, which costs $200, is open to up to 100 participants who must be in 6th-8th grade during the 2021-22 school year.
The showcase will be the first the school has hosted and was the idea of fourth-year head coach Mike Evans as a way to promote the school’s baseball program while giving young players the opportunity to compete and see how they measure up against their peers in the area.
“This is where everybody wants to get to and where they want to show their talents, so why not allow us to have that venue and product to put out there and let them show it before we tell them where they’re at?” said Evans, who has helped run similar showcases for Rice University’s baseball program. “So I figured we could promote our program, let the kids get out there and meet our coaches and provide some instruction for these young players coming in.”
During the four-day showcase, which Evans described as a pro-style camp, players will participate in live scrimmages and various competitions as well as fielding, hitting and throwing drills. There will also be a 60-yard dash to test their speed and shuttle runs to test agility.
Additionally, Evans said pitchers will have a Diamond Kinetics pitch tracker looking at their velocity and spin rate, while hitters will have Rapsodo hitting evaluation looking at their exit velocity and launch angle off the bat.
“(The analytics) gives an idea of what you’re physically doing, and can you make it better or more efficient?” Evans said. “We’re not looking to say, ‘You’re doing this right or wrong.’ It’s about how you can be efficient and consistent in what you do.”
Following the showcase, video can be uploaded to a player’s Hudl account so players and other coaches in the area will have access to it, according to Evans.
“It gives us an idea of how the baseball industry is looking at this, and where we need to move to in order to capture these young people and help develop our own program. That’s the bigger part of it,” he said. “How do we get you on campus to be part of our program, show you what we’re doing to prepare you for the next level and move you on where (college coaches) will capture you and do the same thing?”
For more information on the showcase, visit stpiusx.org/athletics/boys-athletics/baseball/showcase.
“They’re going to experience a competitive atmosphere like they’ll face in things for the rest of their life, whatever they do,” Evans said. “We’re creating that for them now so when they experience it again, they can handle the situation and be able to perform at their best without missing a beat.”