Bright Future Ahead for Nations Top Catcher

When it comes down to the major league baseball draft, teams and scouts will usually look for two things. While the first aspect to a draft will be to find that future ace to put on the mound, many teams are actively searching for a catcher, who not only can be great defensively, however give his team an advantage by being able to do damage with the bat.

In next year's draft, that player could be currently found playing in Allen, Texas.

Preston Paramore, a 6-3, 210 pound catcher for Allen High School, is making a name for himself quickly. In November, Baseball America rated him the 26th best High School Prospect in America, and the number 3 ranked player in the state of Texas, a state which is know for producing some of the best baseball players in the country. Paramore had a superb junior season hitting .371 (36-97) with 4 home runs and 23 RBI, on his way to winning the District 9-5A Offensive Most Valuable Player award.

"There is lots of competition here [in Texas] and you see many first round picks going to the majors from this state, and that just says it all" say's the native Texan.

When he is not in class maintaining his 3.5 GPA, Paramore is traveling through the country showing his skills to professional scouts and college coaches, as he participates in a variety of baseball showcases. In 2004 alone, Paramore participated in three of the biggest showcases a high school baseball player could be invited to. In June, he was a member of the 2004 PG National Showcase which was held at Tropicana Field. In August he was part of the 2004 AFLAC All-American roster that played in Aberdeen, Maryland, while in October he was the 20th ranked prospect at the 2004 WWBA Fall Championship in Fort Myers, Florida.

"Participating in the AFLAC game was one of my biggest moments" Paramore said. "To be among the 40 best high school players in the country was a real privilege to me. You faced the best competition in the nation and you really had to raise your game to the next level and step up. You faced the best pitchers in the country and that was not the time you wanted to look bad."

Paramore is not only a solid defensive catcher with power potential, however he does it from both sides of the plate.

"I learned to switch hit at a young age" the top rated high school catching prospect in the country said. "I have more power from my left hand side, however I believe I have shown my power from both sides of the plate."

Paramore did just that during the AFLAC Classic as he displayed his power hitting balls out of the ballpark from both sides of the plate and causing a stir among those in attendance.

"I see myself as a player with good power potential and a good situational hitter. Defensively, I need to work on my frame a little, and just tone in on the little things behind the plate."

Paramore will be bringing his athletic ability to Arizona State University in the 2005 season citing how he liked the situation there.

"I went out for a camp and everything just clicked between me and the coaching staff. I really liked them, and we had a longstanding relationship from before, and I just felt it was the best situation for me to be at."

Paramore can do more than call a great game behind the plate. As a freshman he won All-District as a first baseman and got the same honor at third base in his sophomore year. This season his team needed some help on the mound to close games, and Paramore stepped up as the team's closer. He got the save in seven of their twenty-seven wins, while striking out 16 batters and posting an ERA of 0.40.

"I don't think pitching is something I will continue in the future, it was just to help my team win games this year, but you just never know what will happen" said Paramore.

Paramore is not letting the high expectation of the upcoming draft to distract him, and is letting the pundits talk about the hype. For now, he is just concerned with enjoying his senior season and improving with each passing day.

"I obviously hope so to be drafted, however it is really is a crapshoot, and you just don't know what will happen. My goal right now it to play as well as I can, and let things carry on from there."


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