MASON, Ohio -- Nathan Meyer is used to the spotlight. It's all a part of the territory when you're the son of Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.But Tuesday brought something he hadn't quite experienced yet. At Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio, Meyer and around 60 other high school players
MASON, Ohio -- Nathan Meyer is used to the spotlight. It's all a part of the territory when you're the son of Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.
But Tuesday brought something he hadn't quite experienced yet. At Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio, Meyer and around 60 other high school players participated in the local East Coast Pro/Prospect Development Pipeline event in front of dozens of Major League scouts.
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The event is a collaboration between Major League Baseball, the Major League Scouting Bureau and USA Baseball designed to create exposure for area prospects for the 2018 Draft.
The opportunity to showcase his talents alongside some of the best high school players in the Midwest and in front of pro scouts was something Meyer -- a Cincinnati commit from Dublin, Ohio -- made sure to make the most of.
"It helps you play even better when playing better competition," Meyer said. "It was a great feeling. I thought I did pretty well throughout the whole day, so I hope I left a good impression."
The players, who were invited by USA Baseball, went through fielding drills, batting practice and a simulated game. They were also tested on everything from their vertical jump to their reaction time.
All of it, according to PDP event coordinator Mike Farrell, is to help the players realize the work they need to put in to stand out.
"I've been doing it for 25 years and I've seen the game sort of evolve and change, and a lot of it's good, but some of it I'd like to come back," he said. "And one of the things, I would like guys to be challenged more, have higher expectations. I feel like there's a higher expectation in trying to make this team."
One of the notable measures of player ability was a pair of drills known as the "green box," and "green three." In the first, a player stands in the middle of four sensors and reaches toward them when a green light flashes. The second involves most of the same principles, but players have to reach out when they see a green No. 3, which flashes in the sensors alongside other combinations of colors and numbers.
The two drills help determine how quick a player's reaction time is, which correlates to how well they can pick up the speed of pitches when they leave a pitcher's hand. It was something pretty much all of the players had never seen before.
"That was actually the first time I've done that," Meyer said. "It was actually really interesting how all that stuff worked."
The most entertaining moments of Tuesday's event came during batting practice, when a pair of Kentucky commits -- LHP/first baseman Cole Daniels and RHP/first baseman Trae Harmon -- took turns wowing scouts with their power.
Daniels made scouts in the first-base dugout look like they were watching a tennis match, as there heads bounced from him to the seats in right field, where several balls he hit found their new home. Harmon had them questioning the safety of other players.
"I hope he doesn't knock anyone over out there," one scout said just before Harmon knocked a ball off the "A" in the Prasco Park sign behind the fence in right-center.
The simulated game offered a chance for the pitchers to showcase their repertoires. Only a handful of pitchers stood out, including Kent State commit Nick Thwaits, who got a rise out of scouts when he became the first pitcher to hit 90 mph on the day and repeatedly fooled batters with his changeup and curveball.
"I felt good," Thwaits said. "My sinker, I wish it was a little bit better. I lost the zone a little bit there, but was able to relax and get back in the zone and just go out and compete."
But what was perhaps the most important aspect of Tuesday's events for scouts was seeing how the players carried themselves. When the level of competition is high, often those who stand out are the ones who make an impact with their off-the-field abilities.
"From our perspective, it's really just about being around them," Farrell said. "It's as much about evaluating, but it's more probably about makeup and personality and who they are and what they are. And some guys were here until 5 p.m. And there were some guys, they think we didn't notice that they left early. So that's sort of what it is for me."
Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.