Caleb Hughes belongs on the big stage.
When asked what he wants to show the seemingly endless rows full of big-league scouts and execs sitting behind home plate at Fenway Park for the upcoming New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Main Event, set for September 29-October 1, the answer was a relatively simple one.
“I just want to show them I belong out there,” he said. “The players that will be there are some of the best in my class and it’ll be a good test for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn some heads and get on their radar.”
The University of Southern Mississippi commit was first seen at the Atlanta Regional Combine earlier in the summer, and impressed with a three-pitch mix to earn an invitation to the National Combine in Nashville. He picked up where he left off at Shelby Park, and is now set to both pitch and play first base for the White Team in Boston.
“It’s been a great experience,” Hughes said. “From the coaches instruction and advice, to getting to hang out with some of the best in my age group, it’s been an honor to be a part of this.”
It’s also helped with his development, as the six-foot-one, 195-pound Georgia native has been able to implement what he learned during his stay with the Columbia Blue squad back in July.
“While at the National Combine in Nashville, one of the pitching coaches gave me some great advice on mechanics to work on, and it’s been helpful to recall his comments during my bullpens since that event,” he said. “It’s always good to have someone who has ‘been there’ to give their input.”
Hughes is currently slated to pitch in relief in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader at Fenway Park, and has been thinking about what it would be like to get to set foot on that legendary mound since getting invited to the event.
“Getting to take the mound at Fenway will be a really special moment,” he said. “That mound is a spot where the greatest pitchers in the world have stood. I know the experience will go by way too fast, so I’m just going to try to pause while I’m out there and take it all in. Hopefully it won’t be my last time to take that mound.”
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