By VINNIE PORTELL
Year after year as the Perfect Game All-American Classic aired on TV, Mac Guscette would watch and dream about playing in it one day.
Showcasing the top 55 players in prep baseball across the country, this event has featured 215 first-round picks in the MLB Draft in its 16-year history.
Those players include MLB greats like Bryce Harper, Francisco Lindor, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Madison Bumgarner, Alex Bregman, Gerrit Cole, Carlos Correa, Joey Gallo, Andrew McCutchen … and the list goes on.
Guscette was invited to try out for the team earlier this summer in Arizona at the Perfect Game National Showcase, and caught some eyes with his bat and his arm. But even though he has the talent to play with the best, it wasn’t easy getting selected.
The rising-senior said he only had a few swings and just five throws to prove his worth — pressure for any player, no matter his skill level. He was then told to wait for a phone call, and on Saturday night it finally came.
“I’m surprised because there’s so many great players out there and I’m just surprised I was picked to be one of them,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to be a part of all that, and it’s gonna be a fun experience.”
The game will be broadcast on MLB Network on Aug. 11 as Team East (Guscette’s team) and Team West square off for bragging rights as the best prep team in the nation.
For a player who is entering his final year of high school, exposure like this is only a boon for Guscette’s draft stock. And it’s not as if this is all the talented catcher is up to this summer.
Along with playing for the Florida Burn travel team, Guscette already got to play on ESPNU as Team Florida won the first-ever High School Baseball National Championship.
And two weeks after he plays in the upcoming All-American Classic, Guscette will be back in California to try out for the 2019 18u U.S. National Team.
From state championships to national recognition, the ride hasn’t slowed down for Guscette as he gears up for one more season with the Indians, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Ever since I was 14 I’ve been thinking about it,” Guscette said of playing in the All-American Classic. “Perfect Game hosts the biggest tournaments, and the All-American Classic is their biggest one. Everyone who plays in a Perfect Game tournament wants to go to this one. It’s crazy that I’m one of the select few. It’s mind-blowing.”
Jordan earns another honor
Just a couple of weeks after earning an invitation to the Elite Clubs National League training program at the University of Portland, Venice girls soccer player Kat Jordan has been honored again.
The rising-senior was named to the ECNL U17 Southeast All-Conference Team this week — one of 11 players on the team.
This honor makes Jordan eligible to become one of 30 players named to the ECNL All-American Team, which will be announced following the conclusion of the ECNL finals.
The Sun Player of the Year, Jordan led Venice to the Regional Championship this past season while finishing 11th in assists in the country, with 32.
She is committed to play for Columbia University and will enter her third year as a captain of the Lady Indians later this fall.