CHICAGO -- Though the Cubs are on the road in Milwaukee, Wrigley Field still will be packed with talented young players on Saturday.The ninth annual Under Armour All-America Game, one of the highlights of the summer showcase circuit, will feature 40 high school standouts. The game will be broadcast live
CHICAGO -- Though the Cubs are on the road in Milwaukee, Wrigley Field still will be packed with talented young players on Saturday.
The ninth annual Under Armour All-America Game, one of the highlights of the summer showcase circuit, will feature 40 high school standouts. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com, starting at 4 p.m. ET.
The first eight Under Armour Games already have produced 23 big leaguers, including Nick Castellanos, Lance McCullers Jr., Addison Russell and Jameson Taillon. Alumni also include several top prospects still working their way through the Minor Leagues, such as shortstops J.P. Crawford (Phillies' No. 1 prospect) and Brendan Rodgers (Rockies' No. 1) and outfielder Austin Meadows (Pirates' No. 2), all of whom are among the Top 20 prospects in baseball.
Last August's contest included six first-round picks in the 2016 Draft -- No. 4 overall selection Riley Pint (Rockies) tied a UA Game record by hitting 98 mph with his fastball -- and three additional players who commanded bonuses of $2.5 million or more. Seth Beer played in the past two games before graduating high school early and becoming college baseball's consensus freshman of the year this spring at Clemson, winning the Dick Howser Trophy, which is given to college baseball's national player of the year.
• 15 prospects who stood out at Tournament of Stars
This year's group of UA performers looks like one of the most talented yet. Each of the 10 best high school prospects for the 2017 Draft will be on hand:
1. Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
- Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Louisville, Ky.)
- Alex Scherff, RHP, Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas)
- Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills (Calif.) HS
- Royce Lewis, OF, JSerra HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
- Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tomball, Texas)
- D.L. Hall, LHP, Houston County HS (Warner Robins, Ga.)
- Brady McConnell, SS, Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
- Conner Uselton, OF, Southmoore HS (Moore, Okla.)
- Kyle Hurt, RHP, Torrey Pines HS (San Diego)
Scouts still are trying to determine whether Greene has a brighter future as a pitcher or a hitter, though he looked better on the mound at USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars last month. He backs up a mid-90s fastball with a plus slider and a solid changeup. While Greene went 1-for-11 at the TOS, he has well-above-average raw power from the right side of the plate.
Adell played in last year's UA Game as a rising junior, striking out in his only official at-bat but also drawing a walk and stealing a base. His all-around tools prompt comparisons to former UA All-American Byron Buxton and Melvin Upton Jr., both of whom were No. 2 overall picks. Adell also offers intriguing possibilities on the mound, where he displays a 92-94 mph fastball and flashes a hammer curveball.
Thirty-six of the 40 players are Americans eligible for the 2017 Draft. Puerto Rican shortstop Ricardo de la Torre (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, P.R.) and Canadian shortstop Adam Hall (Lucas SS, London, Ontario) also are part of the 2017 Draft class. Outfielder Joe Gray (Hattiesburg, Miss., HS) is a rising junior and third baseman Triston Casas (American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.) is a rising sophomore.
*Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast*.