The inaugural New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Fresh 50 is in the books and delivered exactly what it was promised to.
Let’s look back at president and CEO Jeremy Booth’s quote before we even got to Arizona, shall we?
“This event is squarely focused on shining the spotlight on the abilities of these incredible young athletes while furthering their development and making this experience an important steppingstone on their path to success in life through the game of baseball,” he said.
Over the course of three days at The University of Arizona, the Fresh 50 not only let some of the best young amateur talent in the country show their talents to a large portion of the baseball industry that’s seeing many of them for the first time, it also helped further develop them both on and off the field.
Friday night’s workout set the tone, with plenty of tools on display from both teams in the batting cage, including potential first-round draft pick Brayden Jaksa, who was one of many who impressed throughout the duration of the event.
Saturday’s doubleheader was more of the same, as the 18-inning display — one that was still masterfully executed by the staff even despite a rare lightning delay in the desert — gave everyone in attendance multiple opportunities to show what they could do. But it was after that, when guest speaker Stephen Mackey gave an impassioned talk with the players, where the focus shifted to not just helping develop better baseball players, but to help shape the lives of impressionable young men as well.
An impromptu development day session took place on Sunday morning before the final game, with fundamentals as well as advanced techniques being hammered down in advance of Game 3, which was inarguably the best of the weekend.
The event saw many standouts, to name a few; Manny Dorantes, Trey Rangel, Andrew Ferguson, Dylan Wood, Marco Jones, Karson Trichel and Ajonte Bullock. It’s safe to say that the Fresh 50 will become a staple of the Future Stars Series signature event calendar, as the mission to help spotlight the younger group of athletes and provide them a platform to display the fruits of not only their labor, but that of the development staff and those in their partner programs who’ve been working with them as well was an unquestioned success in its first attempt.
“I had the unique perspective of watching this group from up in the broadcast booth as well as down on the field,” Booth said.
“There was a ton of talent that you’ll be seeing move forward with us in future signature events, but I’m more proud that we were able to give these young men an opportunity — and for some of them, it was their first one — to show the big league scouts we had in attendance what they can really do in a next level setting. The tools and talent on display were obvious, and this is one of those weekends you can look back on in a few years and almost laugh at the millions and millions of dollars in signing bonuses that were here. We couldn’t be happier with the execution of the event as a whole this weekend, and we look forward to running it back for years to come.”
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