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San Diego Swing: Ball All Fall Detroit


Jack Shannon
San Diego Area Scout

     

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Detroit, MI - I have been fortunate enough to have played baseball in 10 countries and 18 states during my career but never have I been to Detroit or the state of Michigan. International Stars baseball invited me out as a guest instructor for a two day skills camp. Armed with my So Cal pitching drills I headed to MoTown hoping to give back to an organization that has given me so much. International Stars Baseball is a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives through baseball. Learn more about the organization and how you can get involved here. Baseball has no boundaries and it was a truly remarkable experience that I will never forget. Check out my story, video recap and scouting reports in this special edition of the San Diego Swing. 

 

 

As a player I became involved with the International Stars while playing professionally in Europe. Suiting up for the Stars in 5 tournaments from 2014-2016; Prague Baseball Week, Finkstonball and the Yoshida Challenge Paris. International scout Boomer Prinstein of the Cincinnati Reds is the founder of the Stars and takes great pride in his involvement overseas and with youth baseball in his hometown city of Detroit. The Stars provided me with championships, memories and lifelong friends. The opportunity to help the true goal of the organization with the youth of Detroit was something I was elated to do. 


--Prague Baseball Week Champions 2016

Organized baseball in Detroit dates back to the early 20th century with the inception of the Detroit Tigers in 1901 in the American League and the Detroit Stars in 1919 to the National Negro League. One of baseball’s earliest superstars Ty Cobb played for the Detroit Tigers from 1905-1926. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he ranks second all-time with 4,189 hits. Turkey Stearnes played for the Detroit Stars from 1923-1931 and was named the 25th greatest baseball player of all time by Bill James. Enshrined in the baseball hall of fame in 2000 and posted an impressive stat line in 750 games; .344 batting average, 176 homeruns, 1.018 OPS. 


--Hamtramck Stadium, home of the Detroit Stars 

The city itself is full of history, culture, music and grit. Downtown Detroit is experiencing a revitalization with new development everywhere you look. Detroit is the only city in America where all four major sport teams facilities are located in the downtown area. With Ford Field home of the Lions, Little Caesars Arena home of the Pistons and Red Wings and Comerica Park home of the Tigers located within blocks of each other in the downtown area. Remnants of Detroit’s glory days can be seen driving along Woodward Avenue and throughout the surrounding historic Detroit neighborhoods. Belle Isle is truly an island oasis in the Detroit River, Detroit's version of Central Park. 

--Eastern Market Mural, Stevie Wonder

10 Detroit travel tips

Donal Byrd is true Detroit music
8 Mile divides the city of Detroit from the surrounding cities
Canada is within view, just across the Detroit River
Green Stables for delicious sliders
Motor City Wine for Flair 
Eastern Market for food and culture
Woodbridge Pub for Slow Jams on Monday Nights
Barry Sanders is Detroit's Sports Icon
Heidelberg Project for Art
Detroit vs Everybody 

 

--Heidelberg Project 

Day 1 took place at LeRoy Dues field in downtown Detroit with players 13 and under. The field is an old sandlot located just east of Comerica Park. With my guest instruction in tote, Saturday's skills camp was centered around pitching and throwing. Camp started with intense football like warm-up and stretching. Coach RoShaun really set the tone with his powerful voice and intensity in stretches. The kids were broken up into 5 groups for station work. My station was designated to show the Detroit youth “Surfers” and “Kershaws”. Following station work was live scrimmages. I was blown away by how much joy the young players had, the camaraderie on the field and the pure fun that I saw. The lack of organized baseball in inner city Detroit really makes every opportunity to get on the field a special one. 




Day 2 took place at Harper Woods High School, with players aged 14 and up. The grass was thick and the weather changed from sunny and hot to windy with showers but the Detroiters didn’t bat an eye. Warm-ups and stretching again were intense and the atmosphere was even more lit with the high school aged players. I partook this time around in stretching and was fired up listening to Coach RoShaun preparing us to compete. Station work with groups for pitching, throwing and arm care for the first half and then a live scrimmage for the second half. The healthy trash talk during the scrimmage was like nothing I have ever seen before. Every out and play was celebrated in some shape or form. Players didn’t tease or bully but instead brought the intensity level up and competed. It was fun to be around and I wish I saw more of this in Southern California.


10 DETROIT BASEBALL THINGS 

Stretching was a workout, Players took it serious, Football attitude, No complaints
Healthy Trash Talking
Players are inside for 5 months out of the year 
60 times on average are much faster than California 
Fundamentals and Game Awareness behind 
Raw Talent everywhere you look 
High average number of left-handed pitchers 
Catching position needs work 
Player leadership and support at a high level 
Detroit Youth is Tough 


scouting reports

NAME POS HIGH SCHOOL CLASS NOTES
Gregory Pace  OF  Detroit- Edison 2022 MLB Draft Prospect, Elite Speed, PBR Futures Games, Michigan Commit
Kyle Fitzgerald  LHP/OF Roseville  2022 FB 81-84 RPM 2100-2300 CB 62-64 2250-2305. Dynamic TwoWay Athlete - Plays with Enthusiasm - Polish & Projection
Kole Waterman  LHP/OF Bishops  2023 FB 74-76 RPM 1900-2000 CB 68-70 CH 62-63. Cerebral TwoWay - Raw & Projectable - Cutting FB
Asante Parker  RHP Detroit-Edison  2023 Control artist with feel for off-speed. Going to be a late bloomer w/ upside
Marwynn Matthews  UTL Detroit-Edison  2024  High Energy INF who can play OF and pitch as well. Compact swing w/ ability to spray ball and solid fundamentals. D1 prospect

Kyle Fitzgerald - Showed tremendous athleticism, baseball actions and instincts. Picked up the new drills quickly, asked questions, hustled and supported his teammates. True two-way player at the high school level that has potential for both at the collegiate level. California teams searching for athleticism and versatility have an uncommitted player in Detroit that is willing to travel west. 
NAME POS HIGH SCHOOL CLASS NOTES
Dennell Kemp  LHP/OF Ecorse  2024 Competitive & Athletic 2-way lefty w/ advanced feel to spin and deceptive FB. Can swing it too. Projectable Frame. D1 prospect.
Reggie Sharp  INF University Liggett  2024 Michigan commit, switch hitting MIF w/ compact swing and twitch to do damage
Amare Snowden  LHP/1B Roseville  2024 6-3 180. FB 76-80/82 RPM 2300-2400 CB 64-68 RPM 2250-2300. Projectable - DuelSport & TwoWay Athlete - Velo to Come.
Jarrin Purify  3B/SS University Liggett  2023 Whippy bat, Natural Tools, Michigan Commit, PBR #2
Mariano Monroe  OF Lakeview   2023  Size and Speed, Left-handed hitter, Quick Bat, Power Potential 

 

Amare Snowden - strong projectable build, physical and athletic. Ran a 7.13 60-yard dash. Started the scrimmage on the mound, attacked the zone and worked up and down. Showed well at first base, wide range on the bag and set the tone vocally. 

 

international stars youtube channel