PHS baseball player Stovall attends showcase

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

Pelham baseball player Hunter Stovall was invited to participate the East Coast Professional Showcase in Syracuse, New York, Aug. 1-3.

The East Coast Professional Showcase is a talent assessment program put on by professional scouts as a means of viewing rising high school seniors available to be drafted in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft.

Stovall, who was selected by the New York Mets, was one of a few high school juniors to participate in the event.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I’m blessed God gave me the opportunity.”

He participated as a catcher, and while he was limited to the amount he could do —seniors get a greater role due to being available for draft sooner— he said he was thankful to attend.

“It shows me what my dream is like,” he said. “It makes me want to work hard, and I know what I have to do.”

Stovall said learning from professional coaches and scouts about playing pro baseball was the part of the showcase he enjoyed most.

“The coaches talk to us about how to be that guy who does stuff when no one else is,” he said. “(They) showed me how hard it is. I asked questions like crazy.”

The appearance at the showcase was the cap on a long summer of baseball for Stovall, which started with the Panthers’ state title run in 6A baseball.

“It’s been a great summer,” he said. “I’ve played all summer. The magnitude of this East Coast Pro is unbelievable.”