Dave Coggin, a former Major League pitcher and founder of Performance Fitness for Athletes (PFA), held one of his showcases last week after the final game of Wednesday's session of the Area Code Games in Long Beach, California. As usual, the showcase was attended by numerous scouts all in search of the next great arm.
Coggin has built a reputation among college and professional scouts for hosting some of the best showcases because of the way he runs them.
"Dave has done a great job of not making it about him," an NL scout told me Saturday at the Area Code Games. "He does everything in his power to get the word out about the guys in his showcases."
PFA is based in Upland, Ca. and is host to many of the best high school players in the Inland Empire. Professional and collegiate players also work out there during the off-season.
"It's a must stop on the recruiting trail," an assistant coach from the Pac-12 told me. "If you're not talking to Dave, you're really doing your program a disservice."
Below are some notes on players that stood out at last weeks showcase. Notes are based on conversations with scouts in attendance.
2015 LHP Erik Cha of Ayala High School had a great bullpen session during the event. "He commanded the zone really well," a Pac-12 assistant told me. "He seemed prepared and not rattled despite the amount of scouts watching his every move. He has an incredibly high ceiling given that he sat 84-86 most of the day."
2014 RHP Erik Martinez of South Hills High School was, next to Cha, the best pitcher at the showcase. The senior-to-be showed a command of the zone that the elite ones possess, along with the ability to throw three pitches for strikes. Martinez already has offers from Arizona, Rice, UCLA, and UCSB and should be adding to those. "I had a lot of calls on Erik after the showcase," said Coggin.
2014 RHP Kyle Wade of Chino Hills High School showed well also. One Pac-12 coach told me he seen "a ton of improvement" from Wade this summer and "would be surprised if he remains uncommitted much longer."
2014 RHP Peter Beattie of Ayala High School did so well that he signed with UC Riverside the next day. His aggressiveness and confidence were on display. Look for him to pair with Cha to form a very formidable 1-2 punch for the Bulldogs in 2014.
2014 LHP Joey Deceglie of Los Osos High School had a good day as well. Coggin said he's been "of the most consistent performers this summer." The southpaw earned himself a Division I offer after the event.
2015 P/1B Jeff Kross of Upland High School had a great day sitting in the high 80's and possessed the "best breaking ball of anyone in attendance," according to a DI assistant coach. Standing at 6'6" there is little doubt he will add velocity once his body fills out. "He will be a D1 starter one day," said Coggin.
2016 RHP Chris Lincoln of Rancho Verde High School showed some promise. He sat 82-84 with a tight spinning curve ball. One scout said, "you can tell he's just learning to pitch, but there is a lot to like about him."
2017 RHP Chad Plant of Upland High School really turned the heads of scouts. "He was mid-80's with very nice secondary stuff," a Pac-12 coach told me. "He's very polished for an incoming freshman." Plant is projected to be on the varsity roster next season for Upland who should be much more competitive in 2014.