Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout Spotlight – Week of 11/13
At Baseball Factory, we go to every single state to find the top talent in the country and give them a true evaluation to let players know where they stand. This week, let’s take a closer look at a few players that have attended events with us in the past in areas where the Under Armour National Tryout Tour will be next weekend (weekend of November 13th).
Riverside, CA (King High School)
Alex Jackson (OF)
Alex Jackson, a 2014 first round pick by the Seattle Mariners attended Rancho Bernardo High School, where he was the first two time Under Armour All-America selection in history. When we saw Alex, he was a catcher/infielder with a pop time of 1.8, however, the Mariners have since converted him to an outfielder. Our scouts had him pegged as a true baseball player with all the tools needed to be an impact bat in the middle of a major league lineup. In his first season of A ball this year, Jackson hit .243 with 11 homers, as he looks to continue his rise towards the big leagues.
Davie, FL (Nova High School)
Zack Collins (C)
Collins, a 2016 first round selection of the Chicago White Sox, has done many events with Baseball Factory, starting with a Team One selection and culminating in being selected as an Under Armour All-American. The Pembroke Pines native cleaned up in the collegiate awards category while at the University of Miami, winning the Johnny Bench Award as the best catcher in the country and being selected to numerous All-America teams. When we first saw Collins, we viewed his short quick swing as a line drive producing machine, with the ability to add some power. As an offensive catcher, Collins has a chance to make a large impact on the White Sox future.
Marlborough, MA (Fore Kicks Sports Complex)
Kevin Ziomek (P)
Ziomek, a 2013 2nd rounder from Amherst, MA, came to us all the way back in 2008 as a projectable lefty who didn’t light up the radar gun at the time, only topping out at 88. However, his secondary pitches allowed him to dominate and his fastball improved, as he worked his way into being a top prospect following a career at Vanderbilt. As both a PREP player and then an Under Armour Pre Season All-America player, it was clear that he had great command and mound presence. Ziomek will look to get back to AA ball in the Detroit Tigers organization in 2017.
North Charleston, NC (Collins Park)
Nick Ciuffo (C)
Ciuffo was a 2013 first round pick of Tampa Bay after being an Under Armour All-America selection in 2012. At Wrigley, the Charleston native showed great defensive ability, especially in the way he was able handle exchanges and his rocket arm. Offensively, his quick hands allowed him to consistently barrel up the baseball. This was all evident this year, as Ciuffo hit .262 in the A+ Florida State League for Charlotte. Look for his name to shoot up prospect boards in the near future.
Plano, TX (John Paul II High School)
Billy McKinney (OF)
McKinney, a first rounder from Plano West in 2013, has now played a huge role in not one, but two trades that brought a World Series title to the North Side of Chicago. He was part of the trade that sent Jeff Samardijza to Oakland for Addison Russell, and this year, was sent from Chicago to New York for a package that netted Aroldis Chapman.
The 2012 UA All America selection showed an ability to play all three outfield spots at Wrigley, where he displayed one of the purer strokes we have seen. His ability to barrel up the ball was uncanny and has carried over to his professional career, as he is a .277 career hitter. Look for McKinney to be patrolling the outfield in the Bronx in the near future.
It’s time to reach your full potential and achieve the highest level of greatness. Based on your performance at a tryout, select players are invited to Under Armour Baseball Factory National Team and Training events. This is your chance to get discovered like other such notable alumni as David Wright, Nick Castellanos, and George Springer.
Every week, the Under Armour Baseball Factory rolls into a new destination, as we seek to help every athlete reach their full potential. Check out the tour schedule to see when we roll into a town near you!