Area Code Games in Betts' backyard

Area Code Games in Betts' backyard

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Sure, the Area Code Games feature the top high school talent from all across the country. But catching prospect Chris Betts didn't have to travel very far.

He plays his high school ball across the street. Literally.

This week, the Woodrow Wilson Classical High School rising senior has seen the rest of the nation's high school talent come to him. All that separates Blair Field, home of the Area Code Games, and Wilson High is two-lane Park Avenue.

"This is my backyard, it's nothing new, and it's really nice to go sleep in your own bed at these things," Betts said. "It feels like they're all coming to my town and seeing where I work."

Between Legion ball, summer tournaments, select high school games and now the Area Code Games, Betts figures he's played close to 100 games at Blair Field.

On Thursday, he added to that total, going 1-for-3 with an opposite-field single. He's slated to participate in the Home Run Derby, as well.

At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Betts showcases a lot of power in his swing, and he's well-built as a physical backstop. He took a beating Thursday, blocking a handful of tough breaking balls in the dirt during his team's 3-2 defeat.

"I'm not going to say I'm a gritty, grindy, small guy, but when you're catching, you get beat up," Betts said. "It's part of the job. It's nothing new."

A University of Tennessee commit, Betts will participate in this weekend's Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Diego. Then he'll ship off to Chicago for the the Under Armour All-America Game on Aug. 16.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.