OFF TO CAMP—Alex Santos, center, joins his Mount St. Michael Academy teammates after being presented his jersey and cap for the inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline League in a ceremony May 16 at the Bronx school.
By DAN PIETRAFESA
Mount St. Michael Academy’s Alex Santos is one of 80 high school juniors in the Class of 2020 Major League Baseball draft eligible players invited to participate in the inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline League at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The 17 year old is one of two players from New York state and the only one from New York City participating at the invitation-only camp running from June 13 to July 4 and sponsored by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.
“Being able to show my talents with other players with the same amount of talent and play in front of the (professional and college) coaches, it’s going to be a great experience and I can’t wait to get there,” Santos told CNY.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, who has verbally committed to attend the University of Maryland, has a 94-mph fastball and changes speeds to keep hitters off-balance.
“Kids like Alex don’t come around very often,” said Mount St. Michael coach Walter Stampfel. “When he came into our school, we knew he had tons of potential and we moved him up to varsity right away. The second half of this season, he really started to blossom, and he has gotten a lot tougher on the mound.”
The camp will offer instruction on and off the field from individuals representing the 30 Major League Baseball teams and college baseball coaches. A classroom setting will give players the opportunity to learn from guest speakers and receive tips on topics such as nutrition, leadership skills, training, life beyond baseball, character development, and proper usage of social media
Four teams of 20 players will be selected for games, with former MLB greats Chipper Jones, Ryan Howard, Barry Larkin and Derek Jeter serving as coaches. Teams will have the opportunity to play at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The top PDP League players will be given the chance to compete in the High School Home Run Derby and the inaugural high school showcase game in Cleveland during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week.
Forty PDP League players will be invited to the 2019 18U National Team Trials in Los Angeles in August. A 20-man roster will be chosen for the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea, Aug. 30-Sept. 8.