Local players headed to All-Star event

Published 9:11 am Thursday, June 13, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

Several local players will be attending the Alabama Baseball Coaches’ Association All-Star event June 18-20 at Troy University.

The event is a combination of on field play and off the field training sessions.

It’s not only an opportunity to show off their skills to college and pro scouts, but also a chance to learn about the proper steps to pursue baseball as a means to earn an education and a living.

“It’s much more than games,” said ABCA executive director Barry Dean. “We’ll have games, study sessions and video review (of hitters and pitchers).”

Among the All-Star Event’s study sessions will include an academic counselor who specializes in assisting student-athletes prepare for college, a seminar featuring former Major Leaguer Lou Thornton speaking on pursuing baseball as a profession and the event will also have a banquet for parents, players and coaches.

Dean said the goal of the event was to help players reach the next level, as there will be evaluations on the field and strength training off it.

“We’ll have five hitters per inning,” said Dean. “(That way) we don’t overthrow a kid. On average we’ll have 40 coaches (for the) event.”

To qualify for the event, players try out at one of the eight one-day workouts held across the state.

Shelby County players who will be attending are: Peyton Johnson, Davis Cox Hunter Rigney and Stephan Poplin of Thompson; Matt Jones and Connor O’Brien of Oak Mountain; Logan Brashier, Sam Finnerty, Hunter Stovall, Alex Urban and Connor Radcliff of Pelham; and Jonathan Pintaro of Montevallo.