A constantly improving veteran of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series events, Derrick “D.J.” Layton has earned an opportunity to show what he can do on the big stage.
The recent University of Southern Mississippi commit played his way into the upcoming Main Event, set for September 29-October 1, with a big showing at the National Combine, where he continued to open eyes with a 6.45 60-yard dash time and sure hands and instincts in the middle of the diamond that allow him to handle tough plays on the dirt with ease.
2024 Switch-hitting infielder Derrick Layton (@Derricklayton21) showcased his tools at the Raleigh combine. Quick feet, smooth hands, and a good approach from both sides of the plate. @P15Sports @ftrstarsseries #Uncommitted pic.twitter.com/CO1tVXPrfQ
— Future Stars Series Southeast (@fss_southeast) February 19, 2023
Also a standout at the 2022 Underclass Combine in Lake Charles and that year’s Underclass Elite event in Frisco, the six-foot-one, 175-pounder has been on an upwards trajectory for a while now, and is excited to see both the hard work he put in to get there and since then pay off.
“Since the National Combine I would say that I’ve really been focusing on power production from both sides of the plate while also being more aggressive on both sides of the ball, both on defense and hitting,” he said.
A switch-hitter with impressive bat speed, Layton is excited to show what he can do at a big-league park, but especially in Boston, where he has his eyes on a certain 37-foot, two-inch tall wall in left field.
“I’m really excited to play at such a historic park like Fenway,” he said. “The huge Green monster definitely has me excited, and also just being able to be in another big league locker room and being treated as a pro.”
While Layton is excited to be treated like a pro, he also knows this is a huge opportunity to show he can be one in the immediate future as well. With a long list of big-league scouts and execs having had this weekend circled on their respective calendars for a long time now, the South Carolina native wants to show everything he can do, especially given that he’s also scheduled to take the mound in relief for the White Team in Sunday’s finale.
“I want to show them what kind of player I am and how much I am able to impact a game,” he said. “But, also to show how versatile of a player I am, as I am a switch hitting shortstop with also the ability to play the outfield. And I’m also a pitcher throwing 94 mph. So, I just what to show the scouts and everyone who I am.”
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