Details revealed for upcoming Pre-Draft Combine, Caribbean Classic

The New Balance Baseball Series is bringing one of their most popular events to its best venue yet in 2023.

First Horizon Park, home of the Nashville Sounds, Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, is set to host this year’s Future Stars Series Pre-Draft Combine between June 30 and July 1. Opened in time for the start of the 2015 season and constructed at the cost of $91 million, the ballpark has quickly become one of the most beloved and popular in all of baseball, leading the minors in overall attendance just last year.

A very state-of-the-art, and thus in-demand venue set in a premium location, an already well-scouted event that should be limited to only 40-50 players this year will be one of the can’t-miss events of the summer as a star-studded cast will have one last opportunity to improve their stock, meet with major-league clubs, and have one last run together before going to college or signing a contract.

In the past, the event has helped produce current pro ball standouts like Ricky Tiedemann, Ryan Spikes and Kenya Huggins, with a bevy of scouts packing themselves into the stands behind home plate to get one last look at players they’re hopeful will make a big impact in their organization.

Among those already having committed to attend this year are potential first-rounder Cooper Pratt as well as Cody New, Tre Phelps, Alex Kranzler, Brayden Marx, Darnell Parker, Jr., Walker Barron, Mac Heuer and Harrison Lewis.

“This event has proven itself in a very short amount of time,” said FSS president and CEO, Jeremy Booth.

“Looking back and thinking about having Ricky Tiedemann at this event back two years ago, and then seeing him go in the third round and signing for almost $650,000, or Ryan Spikes getting over a million at the same event from the Rays, it’s clear the industry is paying attention to what we’re doing here. With that said, this may be the best roster we’ve had yet, and to have it in a facility like First Horizon Park only raises it up that much more. I can’t wait to see who gets drafted out of this event, and I’m excited to see a lot of this group for one last time together before they move on to the next step.”

One of the previous big steps for that group? The Caribbean Classic, which debuted in the Dominican Republic to rave reviews last year, and is set to return in an expanded format in Santo Domingo October 11-15 this year.

An initial group of domestic players have already been selected to play in the event, with more details to come on that, but the major news is that more countries are being added to the international side; players from Colombia, Bahamas, Venezuela, Aruba and more to be announced will be welcome.

With the incredible success of last year’s event, which featured Pratt, Heuer, Phelps and others as well as Boston Baro, Antonio Jimenez, Zion Rose and others on the domestic side, as well as a bevy of talent on the three international teams, Booth is anxious to see what things will look like this time around.

“Just look at the talent there last year,” he said. “Speaks for itself, and you see now that a lot of that team we brought down to the DR is among some of the most talked-about names for the upcoming Draft, and that’s not to mention all the homegrown talent we saw down there. There was no choice but to run it back and see who can win the belt this year, and I have a feeling the competition for it will only continue to ramp up.”

Mike Ashmore
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