Five local high school baseball players will take the field for college and pro scouts at a six team, 144-player tournament in San Luis Obispo starting today.
Freedom junior Shea Sbranti will join senior teammate Joe Starick and Deer Valley seniors Jordan Gough, Tyler Vistalli and Marcus Wise at the Bay Area World Series.
Blaine Clemmens, tournament organizer and former scout for the University of San Francisco and the Atlanta Braves, estimated that between 20 and 30 college and Major League scouts would be in attendance.
“It’s a fun event,” Clemmens said. “Over the years, we’ve had a lot of kids who participated under the radar, had a chance to be seen, and went on to get opportunities.” Two-thirds of the participants in the event are seniors.
It’s not uncommon for alumni of the Bay Area World Series to move on to the professional ranks – 36 Bay Area World Series alumni were chosen in the recent Major League Baseball Draft. Since the event’s inception in 2004, more than 40 percent of participants went on to play college baseball at a Division-I school.
“It’s fun to see these kids move on and do their thing,” said Clemmens. “Northern California is very fertile. It’s well represented in baseball.”
Clemmens has personally seen all three Deer Valley players in action. He described Gough as an improving batter and good defensive catcher whose range will continue to improve as he gets bigger. In Vistali, he sees a pitcher well ahead of many of his peers – he can do a lot with the ball. Lastly, Wise is a good outfielder with strong speed. While he’s not a power hitter, can be a good table setter at the top of the order.
He hasn’t seen Freedom’s players, but said they’re highly regarded by solid baseball minds.
Clemmens was told Starick is an outfielder who “knows what he’s doing with the bat and has a chance to be an impactful player,” while Sbranti is a recent convert to catcher but has taken to the position in a natural way.
The Bay Area World Series runs June 29 through July 1 at Baggett Stadium on the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.