FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs Office
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Juan A. King
June 8, 2015
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) – More than 25 Kanto Plain high school baseball players recently showcased their abilities in a baseball clinic with scouts from four different Major League Baseball (MLB) teams including the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins during Nile C. Kinnick High School’s Pro Scout Day at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field.
Players from Kinnick, Zama, Kadena, Edgren, Yokota and St. Mary’s International School performed for the scouts just as they would at a professional combine, but selections were based on more than just their skill level alone.
“Scouts are here in two forms, one to check talent, and two to instruct players on a professional level,” said Kinnick Coach Charles Stark. “As for future prospects, they are looking for players with exceptional abilities. For us, in DoDDS, this is not so much a chance for our players to get drafted professionally, but a chance for them to be a part of a professional type combine… and then who knows. We have had some extremely good players in our league over the past years,” Stark added.
Asked about the overall feeling of the players involved in this event, Coach Stark said,
“Excited. They normally would not get this type of experience at home.”
Players participated in a two–hour clinic that consisted of fielding and hitting instruction and timed 60-yard sprints. Pitchers were given personal instruction by a Japanese pitching coach and former MLB pitcher, Keiichi Yabu.
“It feels like, it’s like the next level like your almost there learning from him and just taking that and then doing it, it means a lot to me,” said Kinnick’s Kacey Walker.
Walker was awarded as the most valuable player and Home Run Derby champ of the day.
“It was really special, it was great, I like to have this kind of program and everybody out here is doing really well, they all played really great”
The event concluded with team hats from the San Francisco Giants given to each player and a photo opportunity with all participants and scouts. This was the third year the Pro Scout Day event took place at Yokosuka Naval Base and there are plans to continue.
“It takes some real special people to put this together,” commented Stark regarding the event. “I want to thank everyone for all their help, the scouts… especially Jeff Kusumoto of the San Francisco Giants, Duane Ross, and my assistant coach Brandon Donat. This event could not happen without these wonderful people.”