Elite high school talent to partake in Houston PDP
By William Boor
The Astros' Urban Youth Academy will host several top high school Draft prospects as the second Prospect Development Pipeline event gets underway in Houston on Saturday.
The PDP, a joint venture between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, provides top-level instruction and generates exposure for up-and-coming players free of charge.
Saturday's invitation-only event will feature nearly 40 players from Texas and Louisiana, and Astros manager A.J. Hinch is expected to make an appearance as well.
Several notable names, including Cole Turney, Jacob Pearson and Ron Washington Jr., are expected to participate.
Turney, a senior at Fort Bend Travis High School in Texas, and Pearson, a senior at West Monroe High School in Louisiana, are among the most highly regarded prep Draft prospects in the region.
Fans may remember Washington Jr. for the power display he put forth in Cincinnati as he was a co-champion in the High School Home Run Derby during the 2015 All-Star Game.
While players will take infield, shag fly balls and participate in batting practice like a typical camp, the PDP sets itself apart with its use of advanced technology. The players will have their foot speed recorded, along with their bat speed, arm strength, agility and other intangibles.
The players will also have the benefit of performing in front of MLB's Scouting Bureau, which will oversee evaluations and file reports made available to all Major League clubs.
The Houston event is the second of five localized pre-high school season events. The first took place in Atlanta on Jan. 14, and future events are scheduled for Florida (Jan. 28), Southern California (Feb. 4) and Phoenix (Feb. 5).
Another dozen workouts will be held after the conclusion of the high school season and then from Sept. 20-24 the PDP National Scout Team Championship will be held in Cary, N.C.
William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.