02 03 SoCal High School Baseball: What They're Saying About The Area Code Games 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

What They're Saying About The Area Code Games

The Area Code Games will once again take place at Blair Field in Long Beach, Ca. from August 4th - August 9th and will again feature the top draft prospects, as selected by professional scouts, in the coming classes. The teams are made up primarily of rising seniors while some include some of the top rising juniors in the country as well. Last year was the first year of the underclass Area Code Games. That event will take place August 9th - August 11th at Blair Field and Cerritos College.

The Area Code Games are widely regarded as the best scouting event in the country which often draws not only area scouts, but scouting directors and occasionally general managers as well given the timing of the event following the trade deadline. The event is also a great recruiting opportunity for college coaches to continue to recruit committed players and see the few players that are uncommitted.

With the event beginning next Tuesday I reached out to some scouts and college coaches to get their opinion on the event and what they most look forward too. Below are some comments from a few different scouts and coaches all of whom commented on the condition of anonymity.

On what it means to an organization...

"For us, it's an opportunity to see guys from the entire country and evaluate them as a group," said an American League Scouting Director. "We meet, not only throughout the day, but we gather for dinner nightly and discuss what we saw. It's a great opportunity for team building within our scouting department. Obviously, these are the top players in the country and we're familiar with them, but it's great to be able to see what an area guy sees and really evaluate these guys as we begin to set up our board heading into the fall."

On recruiting and scouting future oponents..

"This is a great event because it's much more than a showcase and it's better than most of the tournaments out there from a competition standpoint," said a Pac12 recruiting coordinator. "You get all of these guys in one place, at one field, where you can really dive into evaluating them. You can really get a fell for some of the guys you're going to compete against for the next few years as well as the guys you'll be coaching."

On the overall quality of the event...

"Bottom line, it's the best baseball tournament in the country for a number of reasons," said a National League Crosschecker. "First is the talent. Second is the ease of having it all in one place where you don't have to scramble from field-to-field by whatever means possible. And lastly, you're in SoCal, so you know the weather is always going to behave."

On the impact the addition of the underclass games has had...

"With the addition of the underclass games this event has gone from "must see" to "can't miss" for college coaches," said a Big Ten assistant coach. "We began coming out here a few years ago and now it's a priority for us because of the underclass event." 

On the approach from a specific organization...

"It gives us an opportunity, as an organization, to evaluate a lot of guys in one place and communicate with each other, in person, what we're seeing," said a National League area scout. "We split up all the teams and assign players to each scout before we meet to review notes." 

On the how the quality affects recruits...

"This gives us an opportunity to see guys who we've committed and are still recruiting against the best competition in the country," said a Pac12 assistant coach. "When we see these guys in other tournaments during the summer if you see them have one at-bat against an arm that compares to what we see regularly, it's rare. This provides us an opportunity to really see how they are able to step their game up." 

On the impact the Area Code Games can have on players...

"From a players perspective it's a great opportunity to make a name for yourself," said an American League Crosschecker. "I've seen kids that are on the fringe come out here and have a huge week then carry that momentum into their senior season and get drafted really high. On the flip side, I've seen guys that everyone has rated really high come out here and disappoint and ultimately drop a few pegs in the draft. It's the ultimate showcase because of the level of eyes that are on you here."

As you can deduce from the comments above, the Area Code Games present a lot of opportunities for its participants because those players that standout can leave a lasting impression with high ranking decision makers. It also presents an opportunity for a guy who is under-the-radar to make a name for himself.

One thing I know for sure, whether it's a known guy continuing to shine or an under-the-radar guy making a name for himself, the Area Code Games is an event you wont want to miss.

Be sure to follow Area Code Games on Twitter for updates throughout the week: @ACBaseballGames

Full Area Code Games Schedule

Full Underclass Area Code Games Schedule

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