AFLAC Classic Report: Day Two

Day two of the AFLAC Classic workouts began with speed trials for all the positional players followed by an inter-squad scrimmage between the East and West All-Stars. A few of the top rising high school seniors are beginning to stand out above the rest, making their impressions on the on-looking Major League scouts, lasting ones.

After being able to show off their arms, agility, and hitting ability in various drills in the opening workouts on Wednesday, the nation's top high school baseball prospects were lined up single-file on Thursday to run the 60-yard dash to showcase their speed.

The Sprinters

While on-looking scouts stood at the finish line of the speed trials, each holding stopwatches in their hands, a few of the AFLAC Classic participants rose to the challenge and are now considered among the best speed prospects heading into the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft.

Switch-hitting outfielder, Derrick Robinson of Archer, Florida, wound up being the fastest man at the AFLAC Classic. Robinson, who batted leadoff for the East squad later in the scrimmage, unofficially posted a speed of 6.2 seconds on Thursday.

SS/OF Brent Brewer of Fairburn, Georgia, had the second fastest time among the participants while outfielder Jeff Rapoport of Westlake, California, finished with the third best. Brewer later showed off his speed by stealing second base in the scrimmage despite an excellent pick-off move by LHP Chris Parmelee.

The Scrimmage

The goal of the game, played very informally, was more for exhibition purposes. East side had 11 hitters in their lineup to give each positional player ample at-bats. There was a grand total of three extra-base hits in the game, a scrimmage that lasted just five innings.

1B/OF Cody Johnson continued to impress everyone once again, doubling down the right field line to later score the first run for the East Squad. Johnson, who went 1-1 with a walk and a run scored, later was allowed to showcase his arm on the mound. Not normally a pitcher, Johnson walked two and struck out one among the four batters he faced.

"It was a way for him [Johnson] to show the scouts what type of arm he has," said East Team's assistant coach Billy Nicholson. "He's definitely the best hitter in high school right now. He can flat out hit."

While Johnson is known more for his hitting than his pitching, the exact opposite can be said for RHP/SS Kyle Drabek. Drabek, who had a very good showing in batting practice on Wednesday, gave the West Team's their first hit and their first run with a towering solo home run to deep left center field in the bottom of the third inning in his only at-bat of the afternoon. Unable to get an inning of work in on the mound Thursday, many are waiting to see his pitching ability on the mound in the game on Saturday.

3B Chris Marrero of Miami, Florida, had the only other extra-base hit in the scrimmage. He smacked a double into left-center field which wound up being the final hit of the game as the game was called a half-inning later due to time constraints. All three players were impressive on Wednesday in the drills and each raised their stock even more on Thursday with their performances in the scrimmage.

The Pitchers

Right-handed pitcher Dellin Betances of New York displayed some dominating stuff for the East Team in the first inning, despite mimicking Bull Durham's "Nuke Lalouche" on more than one occasion. Betances struck out a pair of batters in his one inning of work, but wound up walking two and throwing one pitch over the catcher's head, all the way to the backstop.

Even though the East made a pitching change to start the second inning, replacing Betances with right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress of South Boston, Virginia, the results looked amazingly similar. He too showcased some nasty stuff on the mound, but the same degree of wildness.

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