MONTGOMERY – The Alabama State baseball team got the opportunity to show its skills in front of professional baseball scouts as the program held scout night Wednesday at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.
The growth and improvement of the program over the past few seasons has directly translated into the growth of the event on the ASU campus, as baseball’s equivalent of football’s pro day attracted scouts from 24 Major League Baseball teams.
“I was very happy with the evening, not only with the turnout of scouts, but the way our players performed,” fourth-year Alabama State head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez said. “I thought we had a very good showing last year on scout night, but the guys stepped it up this year. The players showcased their ability. When you have a pitching staff with at least six guys throwing 90 mph or better, that says a lot about our staff. Offensively, we swung the bats extremely well. I’m very happy with the way we performed under pressure with the major league scouts here.”
In the past three seasons, the Hornets have won 89 games, including a school-record 37 wins in 2014. Many of the scouts in attendance closely followed Alabama State baseball during the past season, as the SWAC Eastern Division champions and conference runners-up had three players selected in this past June’s MLB Draft (SS Emmanuel Marrero, OF Richard Amion, C Richard Gonzalez), and a fourth sign a pro contract (1B/P Dexter Price).
“It says a lot about our kids and our program,” said Melendez of what it meant to have the high number of scouts in attendance. “I’m proud to say in our time here, the number of scouts has continued to grow each year. As far as the exposure for our players, it doesn’t get any better than this. Almost every team in Major League Baseball was represented. This was a day for our players to showcase their ability. I’m proud that we are viewed as one of the better programs in the Southeast.”