BRADENTON, Fla. - For the first time, Major League Baseball is bringing together the best high school players in the country.
For the next three weeks, IMG Academy in Bradenton is home to what is being called the Prospect Development Pipeline. Former major league players like 6-time All-Star and World Series champ Lance Berkman will work on preparing these players for the next level.
"It's a great deal," said Berkman, who played for the Astros, Yankees, Cardinals and Rangers. "They didn't have anything like this when I was in high school. It's fun for these kids to come. No matter if they make the team or not it will be a wonderful experience for them."
Harold Reynolds played for 11 seasons and has spent the last 23 in the broadcast booth working for ESPN, Fox, and currently for the MLB Network. He's here to coach up these prospects about how to be pros off the field. He can't get over how much bigger and stronger this generation is.
"I'm walking around looking up at people, I feel like I'm Kevin Hart, like I'm 5-4. I'm 5-11," joked Reynolds. "Out of these 80 probably 15 to 20 will be first-rounders."
Mitchell High's Jackson Miller is the lone representative from a Bay Area school, and he's honored to have this opportunity.
"There's a lot of great talent out here and there's a lot of work to still be done," said Miller. "Then again, you can learn from these guys, pick their minds, see what they're doing and put it into my game."
After these thee weeks, more than half of the remaining players will earn a trip to play in the first-ever High School All-Star Game in Cleveland during MLB All-Star Weekend.