2021 baseball season: what you need to know about the IMG Academy
There’s a reason more than 180 professional baseball scouts have attended IMG preseason games and scrimmages. While Bradenton’s sunny weather can draw visitors year-round to the area, this year’s pedestrian traffic to IMG’s baseball complex can be attributed to both rising temperatures and the high value of the program list.
What exactly does the starting training at IMG Academy look like? To begin with, five players are listed in Baseball America’s 2021 MLB Draft Prospect Rankings, the highest of all high schools in the country, while four student-athletes are part of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Leads, linking the University of Louisville with the most prospects listed by a high school or college team.
Wondering how the IMG Academy baseball program is structured? With a mix of teams including Post-Graduate, National, Varsity, Junior National, Junior Varsity and Freshman, there is a place for every level of player. From younger aspiring athletes to sought-after MLB prospects and targeted college rookies, IMG is home to some of the most dedicated people in the game.
Currently classified N ° 1 by Perfect Game, the IMG national team is made up of notable personalities including Tommy White, James Wood, Drew Gray, Mason Albright and Elie Green. As a junior OF and Miami commit, Green was the only underclassman named to Baseball America All-Americans List as a member of the third team, and two of his teammates at White and Wood are on the first team. Notably, Green is also currently the country’s # 1 global prospect for the 2022 class.
The depth of IMG’s list doesn’t end there either. In this Perfect gaming functionality Highlighting the Ascenders’ top ranking, head coach Kason Gabbard, who himself competed at MLB level with the Red Sox and Rangers, said: “Our squad is obviously made up of high quality players, and that’s what we want. This year we ”I have a great group of guys with tons of different personalities, and they’re having fun, that’s what it is. We kind of run this team like a college or a professional team, and we kind of have to take a step back every now and then, we realize that they’re high school kids. But that’s what we expect from them. We want to challenge them, and I think they want to challenge them too, just to prepare them for the next level. “
The next level is also different for each individual, and the coaching staff at IMG Academy recognizes that. As a college preparatory environment, it comes first to academics, though accolades, honors, and field highlights continue to accompany tough classes. With a team-first mentality on the mound and in the outfield, IMG student-athletes aren’t just competing for individual honors; they are aware that these will occur simultaneously with the recognition of the program.
“That’s kind of the philosophy that we try to teach these kids every year,” Gabbard said. “It’s not all about you. There are scouts at every one of our games, and sophomores and juniors are also screened. It sets them up for a bright future and, if all goes well, then everything should work out. ”
This year’s Scout roster on campus includes organizations such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, and even the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s hard to pin down exactly what drives appearance, but the program’s roster of enthusiastic and motivated talent couldn’t be more motivated before the regular season, especially after the 2020 season has ended due to COVID-19. The next event on the radar for IMG is the Globe Life Field High School Baseball Showcase February 25-27, where the Ascenders will be the only out-of-state school on the Rangers field. The last weeks PBR Florida Preseason Classic saw remarkable performances by seniors Albright and Wood as well as subclasses Green and Brady Neal. If this tournament is any indication of the team’s prospects for the season, they hope they can continue with that motivation and success throughout 2021. Perhaps an even more important factor for the program is that they are. also in contention for the PGHS National Championship after securing first place in the Top 50 of the PG High School preseason.
Here’s a rundown of the entire National Team to watch this season as well as the upcoming college signing days, MLB Draft and prospect lists:
- Class of 2021
- Mason Albright (LHP), Virginia Tech engagement
- Evan Clark (LHP)
- Ben Fiedler (RHP)
- Drew Gray (LHP), Arkansas commits
- Sam Hunt (C), Vanderbilt commits
- Joseph Slattery (2B), Florida Atlantic engagement
- Drake Varnado (SS), Arkansas commits
- Tommy White (3B), NC State commit
- Max Galvin (LF), Miami Dade College engagement
- James Wood (CF), Mississippi State Engagement
- Class of 2022
- Jackson Ferris (LHP), Mississippi engage
- Davion Hickson (RHP), Florida State Engagement
- Blaydon Plain (1B), engagement in Florida
- Elijah Green (CF), engagement in Miami
- Nate Selmont (RF)
- Class of 2023
- Brady Neal (C), Louisiana State Clerk
- Stone Russell (SS), Florida engagement
As impressive as the honors lead to the 2021 season, it’s no wonder the IMG Academy baseball program has been consistently recognized nationally for years. With a structure that lends itself to preparing student-athletes for the rigors of college both on the field and in the classroom, the program continues to maximize the potential of each individual who has a passion for growth and excellence. In this webinar with Principal Dan Simonds and Student-Athlete Baseball Advisor John Lackaff, you’ll learn about the intricacies of the program, including a season breakdown, focus on individual development, the college placement process, and more. Check it out for yourself or visit the program links below to start your journey as an Ascender.