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7th Annual FCA Pro & College Basebal Youth Challenge

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Hello Parents/Coaches/Teachers/Youth & Community Leaders:

 

The 7th Annual FCA Pro and College Baseball Youth Challenge will be held on Sunday, November 11th,  2012 from 1pm – 4:30pm at Santa Clara University.

 

This youth baseball clinic is fashioned for kids ages (6 -14) and will involve an assembly of talented professional baseball players and college student-athletes from various Bay Area universities including: Stanford, Cal, USF, Santa Clara University, Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State and San Jose State. This is a one of a kind experience as pro and college athletes unite to give back and make a difference, while teaching kids baseball and encouraging them to develop into leaders with character.

 

Professional baseball players from various professional baseball organizations will also be participating.

Continue for more details....

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Ty Kelly making a name for the O's

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

In 2004 when Bay Area World Series (BAWS) was born, there were some very talented players who stood out and some who quickly made a name for themselves in college eventually in pro ball.  There was Bryan Shaw of Livermore HS (2nd round, D-Backs, current MLB reliever), Brett Jackson of Miramonte HS (1st round, Cubs, current MLB outfielder), Jared Lansford (2nd round, A's) and Matt Long (current Angels prospect) of St. Francis HS, and Tayler Creswell of Deer Valley HS (Giants draft pick).  Those players were pretty obviously among the most talented kids at the inaugural BAWS. 

However, they weren't the ONLY talented players there.  It is fairly easy to spot the players who are the most talented.  Kids who have some tools, who have physically matured a little faster than others, they tend to stick out among their peers.  However, at a high school event with kids who have just completed their sophomore year, haven't even played a varsity game, identifying the "prospects" gets a little more difficult.

That is why I get great enjoyment when I get an email from a player or parent who participated a long time ago, updating me about how a player is faring, either in pro ball or college ball.  Honestly, as much as I love running my event, as much as I love being involved with player and their families and doing anything I can to assist them with their goal of college baseball, I think I get the greatest enjoyment when I get the out of the blue email about a player having success.  I got one of those emails the other day, from the father of Ty Kelly.

Who is Ty Kelly?  Kelly was a player at BAWS I.  He was an infielder, a switch-hitter from St. Mary's HS (Stockton) and he had yet to play varsity baseball when he was invited to BAWS.  I can't take credit for scouting him out either.  His father got in touch with me about his son and other good players from St. Mary's as I was signing players for BAWS.  He convinced me to offer his son a spot, so I did.  Did Kelly stand out at BAWS I?  I dare say no, he didn't.  Was he competitive, was he holding his own even as he was clearly not physically ready yet?  Yes.  So he came back to BAWS II the next year and all of a sudden he looked like a college prospect.  He ended up with a scholarship to UC Davis and has a real nice college career. 

Did I ever think he was going to be a significant professional prospect?  I liked his swing, I liked his game instincts, but no, I didn't think he was a prospect, not based on big tools or anything like that.  What I did know is that Kelly was/is a hard working, no nonsense type of kid.  He was quietly intense, he was a grinder, he was like the classic analogy of a the appearance of a duck... quiet and calm on the top of the water and paddling like crazy underneath the water, which no one can see. 

Kelly was drafted in the 13th round of the 2009 draft, yes, a draft I was part of with the Braves.  I did turn Kelly in as a prospect, but simply as an organizational type of player, a player who could fill a utility role and maybe play a few years.  Kudos to former Orioles area scout James Keller for having a much better feel for Kelly and for getting him a little earlier than I think most of the other area scouts would have wanted him.  Perhaps that is why Keller is now a pro scout for the Birds, he knows the big league game.

It isn't as though Kelly is ready to send Manny Machado to the pine or make J.J. Hardy expendable for the Orioles.  He might not even be a threat to Robert Andino at 2nd base.  However, he is making waves in the organization and he seems likely to finally get to the big leagues in 2013, as a utility player.  He is a switch-hitter, he can play a few defensive positions, he is going to be good in the clubhouse, intense, quiet, a worker, a grinder.  He could even end up similar to a player like Daniel Descalso and eventually earn a bigger role with performance dictating his opportunities.

In 2012 Kelly played at three different levels... here is the blurb about his 2012, that was included in that email I got from his dad the other day, about the Orioles Organizational All-Stars (which included Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy, two of the most recognizable prospect names in all the game)...

Utility -- Ty Kelly, Frederick (76 games), Bowie (46 games), Norfolk (11 games): Kelly ended 2011 with Class A Delmarva. Fast forward 12 months and he blitzed his way through three levels to reach Triple-A Norfolk. The 2009 13th-round pick out of Cal-Davis batted .327 with 11 homers and 70 RBIs in 133 games. He walked more often (79) than he struck out (72) and posted an .892 OPS. His 220 total bases led the system while his average was the highest among all Orioles playing full-time in full-season leagues. Kelly batted .346 at Frederick and would have won the Carolina League batting title if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. Defensively, Kelly saw time at second base, third base and left field.

Congrats Ty!  Hard work pays off, grinding away at a very tough game pays off, keeping your head down and staying the path pays off.  

Players w/local ties on MLB rosters

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

I have the White Sox/Indians game on and as Indians' 2B Cord Phelps came to the plate, it got me thinking about how many players with local (defined as from the Northern California scouting territory) ties are on current MLB rosters.  Since we are in September, the rosters are expanded, which has allowed more players to dip their toes into the big league waters.  Oh, if you weren't aware, Phelps went to Stanford, though he is originally from Santa Barbara.

Let's just go team by team, alphabetically (by team city)... I'm going to miss some, so feel free to update me on Twitter @BayAreaWS ... Before you click to read the list, make a guess and see if you are high or low.

Which university has more, Cal or Stanford?  Or is it possibly Nevada-Reno or Fresno State?  Which two high schools have multiple alumni in the bigs?  Which THREE junior colleges have two former players in the show?

Leukemia Fundraiser for Pioneer HS student-athlete

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

I received this email from the father of a player who attended BAWS last June.  If you are in the South Bay area and like pizza, take some time and help out a family.

 

Hi Blaine,

I am writing to practically everyone I know in the baseball community to help spread the word about a fundraiser that is being held for Chris Bush, who is a student athlete at Pioneer High School in San Jose. Please consider forwarding on this message to anyone that you know that may be able to help the Bush family with the steep medical expenses they are facing. We are also looking for items for the raffle and auction that will be held. Below is the facebook page and flyer for the event.

 Thanks.

 https://www.facebook.com/ChrisBushLukemiaFundraiser

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Prospect Wire Las Vegas Showcase

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

I was at the Prospect Wire showcase in Las Vegas this weekend and here are some links to some performances from some outstanding Northern California players, including Deer Valley HS CF Marcus Wise (2013), Monte Vista HS C Lucas Halstead (2014) and Enterprise HS INF Kaelan Crisosto (2014).  Deer Valley HS RHP Tyler Vistalli was also there and was a standout as well.  In fact, all four of these players were rated in the top 10 of the event. 

Here are the reports about three of those players, after their defensive workouts...

Here were the top 5 performers during I/O in no particular order:

1.  Lucas Halstead, 2014, C - Showed a plus arm during throw downs to 2B.  Showed a fairly quick transfer as a new catcher.  Already showing signs of having standout defensive skills behind the plate.

3.  Marcus Wise, 2013, CF - Graceful actions in CF.  Made a great play over the shoulder catch on a poorly hit fungo!  Accurate throws, above average range.  Plays with tempo and feel in the OF.

5. Kaelan Crisosto, 2014, MIF - Has athleticism that he transfers very well to the baseball field.  Not the strongest arm, but he has some carry to it.  Also shows a quick release.  Seems to have a good internal clock.

Crisosto and Halstead also earned praise from their BP sessions...

Kaelan Crisosto, 2014, MIF - Easy, fluid swing.  Line drives.  Can handle wood.  Projectable body with projectable power.  Easy line drive swing.

Lucas Halstead, 2014, C - Has a chance for plus power.  Great batspeed.  Has strength to handle a wood bat now.  Drives the baseball (when his body stays behind the ball)

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