The 2008 Aflac All-American Game is coming up at Dodger Stadium on August 9th. The College Baseball Blog assistant editor Mark Rafferty will be in attendance providing insights into the top players for the 2009 MLB Draft and the top incoming freshmen for the 2010 college baseball season. The full press release of the Aflac All-American Game is available below.
COLUMBUS, Ga., July 11, 2008 – Aflac today announced the full 38-player roster for the sixth Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game, which features the best high school baseball players in the country. The game will be played on Aug. 9 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the first time in the game’s six-year history that it will be played at a major league baseball stadium, and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net at noon Pacific Time.
The annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game showcases the nation’s top high school players in an East versus West matchup played following their junior year. Aflac All-Americans are chosen by the experts at the official selection partner, Perfect Game USA, and in consultation with the staff at baseball’s most influential magazine, Baseball America.
As part of Aflac’s ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, all game proceeds from the 2008 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game will benefit ThinkCure, the official charity of the Dodgers, which supports critical cancer research at City of Hope and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Since 2005, the game has generated nearly $525,000 for charity.
“Now going into our sixth year, we’re proud to be taking the nation’s premiere high school baseball event to the next level by hosting the event at historic Dodger Stadium,” said Al Johnson, Aflac’s vice president of Marketing Services. “The Aflac All-American game is a terrific way for us to showcase the country’s top young talent, while raising money and awareness for the ThinkCure initiative, which helps in the fight against pediatric cancer.”
Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith will return for the second year as the game’s honorary chairman, and in addition to promoting the showcase, will be on-site in Los Angeles for game week activities. Past honorary chairmen have included Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (2006), Cal Ripken (2004-05) and Stan Musial (2003).
“I wish this game existed when I was in high school, as it’s such a tremendous opportunity for these young men to show their skills in front of a nationwide audience and MLB scouts,” said Smith. “Aflac does a tremendous job promoting this game and working hard to support pediatric cancer research, and I’m proud to be a part of it once again.”
The Aflac All-American Game boasts alumni who have had a huge impact in the past five Major League Baseball first-year player drafts. Overall, 52 alumni have been selected in the first round, including three No. 1 overall selections: Matt Bush (2004, San Diego) and Justin Upton (2005, Arizona), and this year’s top pick, Tim Beckham (2008, Tampa). The 2008 draft saw 10 Aflac All-Americans drafted in the first round.
The players will be led by a stellar coaching staff as well. All-USA Coach of the Year Todd Fitz-Gerald, head coach at perennial American Heritage in Plantation, Fla., will manage the East team. He will be assisted by the assistant coach of last year’s East squad, Kevin Maris, of Oak Hall School in Gainesville, Fla. (and son of former Yankees slugger Roger Maris), and legendary San Diego coach Manny Hermosillo of Montgomery High School, who also served as manager for last year’s West squad.
Managing the West team will be Andy Hall, head coach of Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. Rounding out the West coaching staff are Omar Washington, and former major leaguer Cecil Espy, both of whom have coached in the game since its inception.
The Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game is considered the country’s marquee prep All-American event. All participants must have just completed their junior year of high school, be in good academic standing and display redeeming qualities off the field that embody the ideals of the sport of baseball, including discipline, determination and hard work.
The full team roster follows.
Pos. Name Hgt. Wgt. High School (HomeTown)
C/3B Luke Bailey 6-0 195 Troup High School (LaGrange, GA)
RHP Ethan Carter 6-5 205 Menchville High School(Newport News, VA)
INF/OF Scooter Gennett 5-10 170 Sarasota High School (Sarasota, FL)
INF/RHP Mychal Givens 6-2 185 Plant High School (Tampa, FL)
OF Brian Goodwin 6-0 170 Rocky Mount High School (Rocky Mount, NC)
RHP/INF Michael Heller 6-2 180 Sarasota Mooney High School (Bradenton, FL)
RHP Christopher 6-7 235 Westfield High School (Westfield, NJ)
LHP Ian Krol 6-1 170 Neuqua Valley High School (Naperville, IL)
OF Braxton Lane 5-11 170 Sandy Creek High School (Tyrone, GA)
C/RHP Austin Maddox 6-3 220 Eagle’s View Academy (Jacksonville, FL)
RHP/OF Keyvius Sampson 6-1 185 Forest High School (Ocala, FL)
INF/RHP Richie Shaffer 6-3 190 Providence High School(Charlotte, NC)
OF/RHP Drew Steckenrider 6-4 200 Greater Atlanta Christian HS(Lawrenceville, GS)
OF Donovan Tate 6-3 200 Cartersville High School(Cartersville, GA)
INF/OF Jason Thompson 6-0 185 Germantown High School(Germantown, TN)
RHP/INF Daniel Tuttle 6-2 185 Randleman High School(Randleman, NC)
OF/INF LeVon Washington 5-10 170 Gainesville High School(Gainesville, FL)
RHP Zack Wheeler 6-4 180 East Paulding High School(Dallas, GA)
C/INF/OF Michael Zunino 6-2 185 Mariner High School(Cape Coral, FL)
Manager Todd Fitz-Gerald
Assistant Coaches Kevin Maris, Manny Hermosillo
Pos. Name Hgt. Wgt. High School (HomeTown)
INF/RHP Matt Davidson 6-3 205 Yucaipa High School (Yucaipa, CA)
RHP Matthew Graham 6-3 195 Oak Ridge High School (Spring, TX)
RHP Scott Griggs 6-2 185 San Ramon Valley High School(Alamo, CA)
OF/LHP Slade Heathcott 6-1 196 Texas High School (Texarkana, TX)
OF Kyrell Hudson 6-2 185 Evergreen High School(Vancouver, WA)
LHP Tyler Matzek 6-3 185 Capistrano Valley High School(Mission Viejo, CA)
INF/RHP Jiovanni Mier 6-2 170 Bonita High School (Pomona, CA)
OF/RHP Jacob Morris 6-3 195 Coppell High School (Coppell, TX)
INF David Nick 6-2 175 Cypress High School (Cypress, CA)
RHP/INF Brooks Pounders 6-5 220 Temecula Valley High School(Temecula, CA)
LHP Matthew Purke 6-3 170 Klein High School (Spring, TX)
1B/OF Jonathan Singleton 6-2 218 Millikan High School(Lakewood, CA)
C/INF Max Sassi 5-10 187 Yuba City High School(Yuba City, CA)
C Andrew Susac 6-1 190 Jesuit High School (Roseville, CA)
RHP Chad Thompson 6-8 215 El Toro High School(Trabuco Canyon, CA)
RHP Jacob Turner 6-4 205 Westminster Christian Academy(St. Charles, MO)
C/INF/OF Jonathan Walsh 6-3 211 Coppell High School (Coppell, TX)
OF Everett Williams 5-10 165 McCallum High School (Austin, TX)
LHP Beau Wright 6-2 205 Los Alamitos High School(Los Alamitos, CA)
Manager Andy Hall
Assistant Coaches Cecil Espy, Omar Washington
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life–interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed–renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Our insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine’s listing of America’s Most Admired Companies for seven consecutive years and in Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for nine consecutive years. Aflac has also been recognized three times by both Fortune magazine’s listing of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities and Working Mother magazine’s listing of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.