On the eve of the inaugural New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Showdown, it becomes evident the path to the next level has never been more clear.
The Future Stars Series Showdown debuts from January 19-21 at Globe Life Field, home of the defending World Series Champion Texas Rangers, in Arlington. The unique format will feature this past year’s Main Event teams squaring off against some of the top JUCO teams in the country in a three-day event; set to participate are Odessa College, San Jacinto College, Blinn College, Northwest Florida State College, Navarro College and New Mexico Junior College.
Those rosters are dotted with numerous alums of the Future Stars Series, perhaps none more notable than San Jac’s Harrison Bouthillette. Bouthillette was well decorated during his time with the FSS, ultimately earning an appearance at the Main Event at Fenway Park back in 2022, which stemmed from numerous regional combine showings in North Carolina, as well as a big performance at that year’s National Combine, which was then held in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Bouthillette, who also starred at the inaugural Caribbean Classic, burst onto the national scene for many with his invite to the High School Home Run Derby at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, and was considered to be a strong prospect for the 2023 MLB Draft before ultimately going the college route.
What’s expected to be a very heavily-scouted event will serve as another opportunity for major-league clubs to take a look at players who will remain draft-eligible by going the JUCO route, as well as some of the top high school bats and arms set to participate on the Main Event teams, not to mention the late add-on players of both new talent to signature events and some 2025 grad class standouts who earned the opportunity.
Bouthillette is not the only player on the JUCO teams with significant FSS time, however.
Odessa’s Angel LaSalle was seen at a Puerto Rico combine back in 2019, and then earned a trip to what was the last International Week event in 2020 before it was renamed as the Main Event moving forward. Bryson Dudley, who was at the Main Event in 2021 after a big performance at that year’s National Combine, is currently playing for Blinn.
Other notables include Tyler Lejeune and Reid Broussard, who were teammates on the Louisiana Knights, and also now share a clubhouse with Northwest Florida State. Both players made multiple appearances at FSS events, most memorably at the National Tournaments, but each also played in the Underclass Combine as well.
While far from a complete list, there are plenty of familiar names set to play this weekend that stand out: Blinn’s Caden Marcum was a National Combine standout in 2021, while his batterymate, Ethan Gonzalez, was one of the bright young catchers at the 2021 Underclass Elite. New Mexico JC’s Lachlan Maude has numerous FSS appearances, including at the 2022 National Combine, and is joined there by HPP Tigers teammate Keshav Tebeck, who also played at that event as well as the national tournaments.
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