St. Lucie, FL - Digital Domain Park will host the Florida High School Athletic Association Baseball Championships this week, as every champ from Class 1A to Class 6A crowned. The Final Four in each classification is on hand in St. Lucie for the single elimination tournament. It kicks off Wednesday morning with the Class 1A and Class 3A semifinals and runs through the following Monday.
In terms of the pro scouting calendar, the State Championships are not as prioritized as one might think even if there are a number of participating draft prospects. By late May, area scouts spend much more of their time doing workouts, home visits, and going to team meetings. A potential first-rounder, like Archbishop McCarthy infielder Nick Castellanos, will draw attention but it won’t be the gigantic crowd that watched his early games in the spring. By this point, teams and scouts have narrowed down their priorities and a scout whose team is not in the running for Castellanos won’t bother to show up.
For Prospect Wire, it is very much a priority. First of all, it’s fun to watch some of the nation’s best teams play for all the marbles. Second, there are lots of good players at all grade levels and I always identify underclass prospects for the first time at this event.
Castellanos is the best of the draft-eligible players in action this week as Archbishop McCarthy will play in a Class 4A semifinal game on Friday night against Dunnellon. Perhaps the second highest draft will be Tampa Jesuit lefty Daniel Gibson who is scheduled to pitch against Ponte Vedra earlier Friday morning. Gibson has committed to Florida, but has early-round potential for the June 7th draft. Castellanos’ teammate Mike Carballo is an outfielder and catcher with a chance to go early as well.
Armwood High School will play St. Thomas Aquinas at 8:00 Monday night in a Class 5A semifinal and they feature third baseman Zac Powers and lefty Thomas Dorminy. Powers has signed with Florida while Dorminy is headed to USF, and both are getting pro attention.
Just missing the trip to St. Lucie is Brito Miami Private shortstop Manny Machado, whose team was eliminated Friday in the Regional Final. Machado is a sure first-rounder and many have speculated he will go second overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Check back over the next seven days as we’ll be reporting daily from Port St. Lucie.