By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Since arriving at Marshall in 2007, baseball coach Jeff Waggoner has developed a reputation for getting his players ready for a shot at the next level.
Getting paid to play baseball requires a lot of work, and it doesn’t start at the age of 18. Talent must be developed, which makes events such as Marshall’s annual fall showcase and youth camp so important.
Both of this year’s events will be held at Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley. The showcase, for players in grades 9-12, is set for Saturday, Sept. 15, starting at 10 a.m. The youth camp will follow on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 2 to 5 p.m.
The tentative showcase itinerary includes evaluated workouts, live games and various informational meetings about the academic requirements for student-athletes, the recruiting process, the importance of weight training and conditioning and discussions on the mental aspect of the game.
This showcase will focus on the five tools of a baseball player: speed, arm strength, hitting, hitting for power and defensive skills.
Each player is coached and evaluated by the Marshall coaching staff with a personal evaluation being given to each player following the showcase.
Cost for the showcase is $100 per camper.
All players attending the youth camp, for ages 8-14, will be put through a workout similar to the one Waggoner puts his current Herd players through. This will give the campers a chance to meet and be instructed by Waggoner, along with his staff and current players. Campers will get to experience what a day in the life of a Marshall baseball player is really about, all in a fun and educational atmosphere.
Cost of the youth camp is $35 per player.
Twenty-five former Marshall baseball players under Waggoner’s watch have gone on to professional baseball. That includes local product Joe Church, a PikeView graduate who was chosen in the 17th round of June’s first-year players draft by the San Diego Padres. Church is having a stellar first pro season at Class A Eugene.
Dan Staily was drafted out of Marshall by Oakland in 2009 and recently was called up to the major league club. He went 1-0 with a 3.18 earned run average before being optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Brett Anderson, who returned after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in 2011.
To enter either event, download an application at www.HerdZone.com and mail your check, made payable to Marshall University Baseball, to the address on the application.
For questions or more information, call Tyler Gatrell at 304-972-7670, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.