Draft talent set for Baseball Factory game

September 24th, 2021

The annual Baseball Factory All-America Game may have a new venue in 2021, but the quality of talent hasn't changed.

One of the major all-star games on the showcase circuit, the Baseball Factory event will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. CT at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., and feature 42 of the top high school prospects in the nation. The game will stream live at baseballfactory.com. The contest was held at Wrigley Field in Chicago for 12 consecutive years before shifting to Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas (home of the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders) last October.

The rosters feature nine players who made MLB Pipeline's recent High School Top 20 for the 2022 Draft, including the top two prospects in Mays HS (Atlanta) shortstop Termarr Johnson and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) outfielder Elijah Green. Other ranked prospects include Wesleyan HS (Peachtree Corners, Ga.) outfielder Druw Jones, North Allegheny HS (Wexford, Pa.) shortstop Cole Young, Mount Paran Christian HS (Kennesaw, Ga.) third baseman Cam Collier, Hammond HS (Columbia, S.C.) third baseman Tucker Toman, Westminster Christian HS (Palmetto Bay, Fla.) third baseman Sal Stewart, Pro5 Academy (Apex, N.C.) outfielder Ryan Clifford and Stillwater (Okla.) HS shortstop Jackson Holliday. Franklin (Ind.) Community HS outfielder Max Clark and McAdory HS (McCalla, Ala.) shortstop Walter Ford are two of the highest-rated prospects for the 2023 Draft.

Five participants are sons of former big leaguers: Jones (five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glover Andruw), Collier (Lou), Holliday (seven-time All-Star Matt), Bergen Catholic HS (Oradell, N.J.) first baseman Carsten Sabathia (six-time All-Star C.C.) and home-schooled (Lisle, Ontario) right-hander Turner Spoljaric (Paul). Paola (Kan.) HS righty Caden Marcum is the nephew of former Major League righty Shaun Marcum. Green's father Eric was a two-time Pro Bowl tight end during a decade in the NFL, while Toman's dad Jim is a longtime college coach who currently runs the program at Middle Tennessee State.

Johnson and Green also participated in last year's Baseball Factory game, which included seven players selected in the first round this July: shortstops Marcelo Mayer (No. 4, Red Sox) and Jordan Lawlar (No. 6, Diamondbacks), outfielder Benny Montgomery (No. 8, Rockies), catcher Harry Ford (No. 12, Mariners), right-hander Andrew Painter (No. 13, Phillies), shortstop Kahlil Watson (No. 16, Marlins) and righty Chase Petty (No. 26, Twins). Montgomery went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two steals last October, while Lawlar tripled and Petty reached 99 mph with his fastball.

Vanderbilt right-handers Jack Leiter (No. 2, Rangers) and Kumar Rocker (No. 10, Mets) also went in the first round this year after pitching in the All-American Game before their high school senior seasons. In 13 years, the event has produced 125 first-rounders.

The Baseball Factory All-American Game has produced several big leaguers, including Zack Wheeler (2008), Nick Castellanos (2009), Jameson Taillon (2009), Lance McCullers Jr. (2010), Brandon Woodruff (2010), Jose Berrios (2011), Byron Buxton (2011), Matt Olson (2011), Austin Meadows (2012), Dylan Cease (2013), Michael Kopech (2013), Alex Verdugo (2013), Ke'Bryan Hayes (2014), Ryan Mountcastle (2014), Austin Riley (2014), Kyle Tucker (2014), Bo Bichette (2015), Dylan Carlson (2015) and Alek Manoah (2015). Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyle Murray, the ninth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and top choice in the 2019 NFL Draft, went 2-for-3 and stole two bases in the 2014 contest.

More alumni are headed to the Majors, as several appear on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, including seven of the best 15 prospects in baseball. Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. was the MVP of the 2018 game, in which both he and Tigers outfielder Riley Greene homered and Padres shortstop C.J. Abrams, Leiter and Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe also participated. Mayer and Lawlar join them in the top 15 after playing in last year's contest.