Time to Shine for Tampa Bay
MERCEDES – With dozens of hopefuls on hand, scouts from the Tampa Bay Rays were hoping to find a diamond in the rough at a tryout Wednesday.
“We’re trying to find kids that are ready for our division, “said Tampa Bay associate scout Marcos Tovar. “If we don’t find them, we find the younger kids we need to go back and see.”
This tryout is held annually in the Valley. The number of guys who have used it as spring board to the pro’s is slim, but the players at today’s event weren’t discouraged.
“It’s pretty awesome. Obviously, you don’t get the chance to have Major League scouts come and see guys down here very often, “ said 2015 Sharyland graduate Nick Benavidez.
“It’s always your dream to try to make it to the big leagues and just to come out here and show what you got, “ said 2015 Palmview graduate Edgar Salinas. “It’s a fun thing to do. If you love baseball, this is where you want to be.”
Players from all over the Valley and beyond attended the tryout. Most of the players in attendance were already playing in college, but for other prospects who are as young as 15 years old, it gave them a chance to get exposure in front of pro scouts and college coaches.
“It feels good, “ said Los Fresnos junior catcher Antonio Gallegos. “Having higher level competition always makes you want to play better than them. It helps you put your name out there. The more you’re known, the more you’re seen, the better your chances are getting that spot that you want in the future.”
No player signed by the Rays through these tryouts has made it to the majors yet, but some have reached the Triple-A level, including former Juarez-Lincoln standout Ruben Alaniz.