While most Hanover-area high school baseball players spent this weekend sitting inside hoping for warmer temperatures while looking outside and seeing snow covering the ground, South Western senior Parker Bean was moving one step closer to fulfilling his childhood dream.
A little over a month ago, the 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher received an invitation from the Texas Rangers to attend a workout held Saturday in West Chester.
Bean joined around 30 other ballplayers in an invitation-only workout in front of scouts from the Rangers.
"There were kids from New York, Georgia, New Jersey and a few other states," Bean said. "It was an awesome experience and a great opportunity."
Baseball is a game of patience and Saturday was no different.
"We did a lot of standing around," Bean said. "Probably for 2 1/2 hours while they worked out the position players, then (pitchers) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session."
As for his performance in front of the scouts, Bean, who has committed to play next year at Liberty University, was very pleased. He has a five-pitch arsenal that includes a four-seam fastball, circle change, slider and curve, and he has been working on a two-seam fastball.
"I thought I threw well," he said. "I wasn't going out there trying to throw my hardest, but I definitely feel like the ball was popping. I got to throw all five of my pitches and they were all working well."
The Rangers are not the only team
"I have been hearing from the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks. I have also talked to the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves," Bean said. "This is definitely extremely exciting for me and my family. It is definitely an honor being contacted by these teams."
During the workout, scouts did not use radar guns on the pitchers, acknowledging many had just begun preparing for the spring.
"They were more so looking at your mechanics and command," Bean said.
If teams liked what they saw, they will watch Bean pitch in the spring, and the five teams he has been hearing from all told him to expect a visit. He was also told the head of the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau will be out to watch him play and will then write an evaluation that will be available to all 32 MLB teams.
For Bean, being recognized as a draft prospect has been three years in the making. As a sophomore, he began playing for the Mid-Atlantic Rookies, a travel team that plays in a variety of showcases in front of college and professional scouts.
The oddest part of the process for Bean has probably been the psychological tests teams and the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau have sent him that have ranged from 75 to 250 questions.
Bean is doing all of this while helping the South Western High basketball team to a 12-5 record. Yet he has still found time to lift as he prepares for the high school baseball season to begin.
"Getting drafted and playing pro baseball would be a dream come true," Bean said.
That dream could become a reality June 6-8 when the 2013 First-Year Player Draft is held.
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