By: David Jacob
On Friday, October 16th, seven Hawk baseball players were invited to a showcase at Maryville University. The showcase was split up into two groups: pitchers and position players.
Four pitchers from the team participated. Seniors Teddy Rule and Jake Peterson, Junior Graham Spraker and sophomore Braden Shull. The pitchers threw fifteen pitches in from of about twenty Major League scouts. Each scout had a radar gun clocking every single pitch, as well as a clipboard.
Shull, who got drafted out of high school by the Philadelphia Phillies, raised a lot of eyebrows. His minor league career was cut short due to arm injuries, but he is determined to get back where he started. Shull is a left handed pitcher from Pella, Iowa. At the showcase, he was one of the hardest throwing arms, topping out at 94 miles per hour.
“I have been through this before, so I had a pretty good idea of what they were looking for. I was trying to throw my hardest, but at the same time, throw under control,” Shull said. “I have been really working hard in the offseason, my arm feels great and I cannot wait to step out on that mound come February.”
Three position players also participated. Juniors Dominic Miles, Jake Walters and David Jacob all got their fair share of looks. Once the pitchers were done throwing, the scouts turned their attention to the position players. First they had to run a 60-yard dash. After that, they took batting practice on the field and then they threw from their respective spots to either home plate or first base.
Miles had a stellar performance. He clocked the fastest 60 time of all runners, running a 6.47. Then his first swing in batting practice, he clanked one off of the scoreboard.
“Running the fastest 60 time definitely was a confidence booster. I was a lot more relaxed and I just had fun. Plus hitting one off the scoreboard was awesome,” Miles said.
Overall, there were seventy kids there from schools representing the Great Lakes Valley Conference as well as some junior colleges in the St. Louis area. With all this attention from scouts, the Hawks are expecting to make a lot of noise this upcoming season.