Baseball recruiting showcase runs through Monday
The Medford Rogues and Medford Mustangs may have wrapped up their seasons but that doesn’t mean baseball is done being played at Harry & David Field this summer.
Beginning Friday, a few hundred baseball prospects in graduating classes from 2021-24 have taken over the main fields at U.S. Cellular Community Park to participate in the Baseball Northwest Championships.
The annual invitation-only showcase typically takes place around this time in Centralia, Washington, but was moved to Medford this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The showcase runs through Monday, with games beginning at 8 a.m. each day and streamed live at tablerocksports.net.
Rogues general manager Dave May, who operates the facilities at Harry & David Field, said 16 of the 30 major league franchises are represented by scouts for this weekend’s activities, with another 30-40 college coaches on hand.
Class of 2021 recruits are playing their games at Harry & David Field, while Class of 2022 recruits play on Field 9 at U.S. Cellular and recruits from the 2023 and 2024 classes are on Field 6.
Admission is free for all contests, although May warned there likely is space for only about 50 spectators at Harry & David Field beyond the already expected group of family members and scouts. All those on hand, however, must adhere to established safety protocols that involve use of masks and social distancing.
Competing teams are geographically put together following evaluation camps put together by Baseball Northwest, with local Class of 2021 players playing for the Oregon State squad coached by JJ Mascolo.
Notable locals on that 2021 team include South Medford catcher Bennett Thompson, who has committed to the University of Oregon, as well as Eagle Point outfielder Darin Marsh, Grants Pass pitcher Ethan Elzy and Hidden Valley outfielder/pitcher Gavin McLaughlin.
Other prominent locals in action this weekend include Hidden Valley Class of 2022 recruits Isaac Hill, who has committed to Oregon State, and Nate Vidlak.
The 2021 Oregon State team began play Friday against the Oregon Metro squad. They will play Tri-State at 6 p.m. Saturday and Washington Metro East at 3:30 p.m. Sunday before a to-be-determined contest to wrap up the event Monday. The same schedule is being played on Field 9 for the Class of 2022 recruits.
A highlight to the Baseball Northwest event will be a Pro Scout Day game at 8:30 p.m. Saturday which will feature most of the Division I power 5 conference commits.
Following this weekend’s event, a select team of players will advance to the Arizona Fall Classic in Peoria, Arizona. The Arizona tournament will be played in late September or early October depending on the recruiting class year.