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2012 Under Armour All-America Game Preview

With the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game set to take place this Saturday, August 18th, the question has become:  Who will be next?

Which budding superstar will standout at this year’s game? Since the event’s inception in 2008, top high school players from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have showcased their talents at Wrigley Field. Each year, players have used outstanding performances in Chicago to help springboard them to top draft status.

In 2008, we saw current Major Leaguer Jacob Turner and top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler take the mound at Wrigley Field. Nick Castellanos stole the show in 2009, winning the Homerun Derby Championship as well as the MVP award. This summer Nick proved again how much he enjoys the big stage, earning the MVP award at the Futures Game during MLB All-Star Week. The 2010 class was led by an outfield corps that included 5th overall pick in the 2011 June Amateur Draft Bubba Starling; highly sought after Dominican outfielder Ronald Guzman; and surprise 1st round selection Brandon Nimmo, who earned MVP honors in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game despite attending a high school in Wyoming that does not field a baseball team. Last year featured the most talented player in the draft in Byron Buxton, as well as many other top draft selections like Nick Travieso, Gavin Cecchini, and Clint Coulter.

This year the roster is once again loaded with talented young players, many of whom will catch the attention of the scouting community. The 2013 class is especially deep at the catching and outfield positions. Players like Nick Ciuffo (South Carolina), Zack Collins and Brian Navarreto (Florida), Jon Denney (Oklahoma) and underclassman Alex Jackson (California), are talented all-around catchers who can play defense and swing the bat. The outfield group is extremely athletic, led by Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier (Georgia). Others players to watch include local Chicago product Corey Ray, Terry McClure (Georgia) and Matt McPhearson (Maryland).  Add in a pure hitter in Billy McKinney (Texas) and power guys Kevin Woods (South Carolina), Ivan Wilson and Justin Williams (Louisiana), and Lewin Diaz (Dominican Republic), and the depth of quality outfielders is evident.

This year’s class of pitchers includes a mix of potential power arms, players with advanced pitchability, and coveted left-handers. Dustin Driver (Washington) and Robert Tyler (Georgia) have the look of future power guys, while Brett Morales (Florida), Hunter Harvey (North Carolina) and Connor Jones (Virginia) all have an advanced feel for pitching to complement their velocity. In addition, Hunter Green (Kentucky) and Chris Kohler (California), along with 2014 grad Brady Aiken (California), are three left-handers with outstanding stuff.

Following in the footsteps of Under Armour All-America alumni Bubba Starling and David Renfroe, this year’s roster has a few quality two-way players who have scouts intrigued at both positions. Trey Ball (Indiana) is a LHP/OF with tremendous athleticism. Kacy Clemens (Texas), the son of former Major Leaguer Roger Clemens, is a RHP/1B with a quality arm and sweet left-handed stroke. Finally there is Derik Beauprez (Colorado), a big RHP with outstanding stuff on the mound and power in his left-handed bat.

So, who will be next? These players, along with the rest of the talented 38-player roster, will look to show the world their ability this Saturday at 12:35pm CST at Wrigley Field, live on the MLB Network.

For more information on this year’s, visit the official web site of the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game.

Check out a complete list of Under Armour All-America Alumni.

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