Xander York-Staff Writer
One of the winningest classes in Dordt baseball history continues to make headway in new areas – this time in the professional realm.
Five Major League Baseball scouts have visited Dordt baseball practice within the past two weeks. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays sent team personnel to Dordt’s campus for player evaluation.
Swiftly-changing Midwest weather meant the scouts missed opportunities to see Dordt’s senior class in action, but two scouts have already expressed interest in returning in April based on what they saw during Dordt’s practices.
“Two of Dordt’s seniors, their starting shortstop and one of their pitchers, really stuck out,” said Oakland Athletics scout David Horst. “I’ll definitely be back to check those two out.”
“We’ve had a rough couple of seasons in Minnesota, but if what I saw from shortstop Cameron Drake in practice translates onto the diamond, he’s got a real shot at getting drafted,” said Minnesota Twins Scouting Director Sean Jonathan.
The added attention is a new experience for many Defender baseball athletes. Most players are doing everything they can to avoid embarrassing themselves when the scouts are around.
“I come from Denver, so I’m used to a bunch of people watching me play baseball, but to have actual MLB teams represented on your campus is incredible,” said junior catcher Josh “Veezy” Eps. “I hope I do enough to bring them back when I’m a senior.”
Other players, most notably Drake, are immune to the extra attention and pressure.
“I’m the all-time career hits leader in Dordt baseball history, so I’m used to the attention,” Drake said. “I create pressure for other teams.”
“These MLB scouts don’t bring pressure to us; I put the pressure on them to draft me before someone else does,” Drake said.
Drake, while bringing the most scouts to Dordt, isn’t the only senior getting looks. Smyly Hopkin and Jake Taylor have equally impressed over the past week.
“We haven’t had a chance to check Hopkin or Taylor out yet, but from the tape and box scores we’ve been looking at, those two guys can ball,” said Bill Stonehelm, Senior Advisor of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
MLB teams continue to talk about Dordt’s hidden wealth of individual talent, so much so that it’s affecting the home life of Head Coach Jeff Scholten.
“My wife yells at me if I don’t put my phone on mute when I get home from work,” Scholten said. “I keep reminding her that this is the price you pay for recruiting such talent.”
Editor’s Note: All Zircon articles are the Dordt Diamond’s semi-annual homage to the time-honored, First Amendment-protected, great American tradition of satire. The literal truths of these articles are not to be taken at face value, but we hope the hidden truths allude to the absurdities of some of the realities we face in society today.