We're coming into the final turn for this year's amateur draft, which means many of our scouts and front office personnel are bouncing all over the country to get a final look at some of the top players. That's what brings me to Hoover, Alabama.
For the third year in a row I'm here in Hoover at the SEC Tournament, and we're currently between games two and three (of four in the day). The day starts early with the first game at 10am, and the hope is that the last pitch will be thrown sometime before 2am. It's a long day of baseball.
Nevertheless, it's worth it. The SEC is often loaded with talent. In last year's draft we selected Logan Forsythe (Arkansas), James Darnell (South Carolina), Sawyer Carroll (Kentucky), Cole Figueroa (Florida), Andrew Albers (Kentucky), and Matt Clark (LSU) all in the first 12 rounds or so. The Padres haven't been alone.
In just the past three or four years many top prospects and some young big leaguers have played in this tournament, including guys like David Price, Pedro Alvarez, Matt LaPorta, Pedro Borbon, JP Arencibia, Reese Havens, Luke Hochevar, Jess Todd, Lance Lynn, Chris Coughlan, Casey Weathers, Gordon Beckham, and Padres Chase Headley, Wynn Pelzer, and Nick Schmidt. That's why the crowd is filled with Crosscheckers, Scouting Directors, and General Managers.
The second half of this day one should be a good one, as a number of highly touted players will be on the field. I just hope it's over before sunrise.