Major League Baseball organizations drafted 19 players who competed in the 2012 Selective Recruiting/Sir Pizza Invitational, including first-round picks Albert Almora, Nick Travieso and Lewis Brinson.
This year’s third annual tournament, which runs from March 25 to March 30 at various locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, doesn’t have quite as many high-end players.
But tournament director Lazaro Llanes said the depth of talent may be better this year, and the elite athletes include a pair of players expected to go high in the draft — American Heritage catcher Zach Collins and Mater Academy outfielder Willie Abreu. Both have committed to the University of Miami but may instead go straight to the pros.
Mater coach Eddie Gorriz said Abreu has been “crushing” the ball lately.
“In his last two games against Hialeah-Miami Lakes and Homestead, he went a combined 6 for 8, and one of his outs was a missile,” Gorriz said. “It went about 430 feet to center and was the furthest I’ve seen him hit a ball.”
Aside from impressive individual talent, there are several top teams competing in this year’s tournament. American Heritage is ranked fourth in the nation by Baseball America and Archbishop McCarthy is rated 25th.
Jupiter (11-0) is ranked fourth in the nation by USA Today.
In addition, Mater Academy is also undefeated and could be closing in on a national ranking.
One of the many interesting matchups in the tournament will happen Tuesday when American Heritage, which won the Selective Recruiting event in 2011, takes on defending champion Westminster Christian. That game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Nova Southeastern University.
In all, 10 sites will be used, including five college fields — FIU, UM, Nova, St. Thomas and Florida Memorial.
The title game will be played at UM at 7:30 on March 30.
With the top-ranked teams from Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties all represented, it will be interesting to see who emerges as this year’s champion.
That team could be Heritage, but coach Bruce Aven is just hoping his slugger, Collins, gets some pitches to hit soon.
“They’re pitching to him like he’s Babe Ruth,” Aven said of the respect given to the catcher. “We’ve moved him up to second in the lineup because he is getting so many walks. But he is still driving in runs.”
TRACK AND FIELD
The Belen boys’ track and field team attended the FSU Relays Friday and Saturday.
On Friday night, Avery Lopez placed fourth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:10.40, which also ranks him sixth in the nation.
Daniel Neptune came in third in the 110-meter hurdles (14.79), and the Wolverines’ 3,200-meter relay team, comprised of Alex Isaac, Omar Rosete, Ryan Rodriguez and Diego Rojo, ran a time of 8:04.83, good enough for fifth.
The two-day meet was cut short Saturday due to inclement weather.
Douglas 4, Coral Springs 2
WP: Jesus Luzardo (2). LP: Tre Dingus. Top performers: Luzardo CG, 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 K. Luis Silverio (DOU) 1-2, double, R, RBI. Davis Alessio (CS) 2-3. Justin Mixon 1-3, 2 R.
Ransom 5, Hialeah Educational Academy 0