The baseball team held its annual scout day at Infinity Insurance Park on Wednesday night. More than 70 professional scouts arrived to evaluate FIU’s talent.
“I told [my players], ‘This is all about you guys. The eyes are going to be on you. You have to be able to show what you have and showcase your skills. This is your day to be selfish,’” head coach Mervyl Melendez said.
“Coaches aren’t going to be on you for doing things that normally you wouldn’t do in a game, or the swings in batting practice that normally you wouldn’t take.”
Melendez hauled in a Top-25 recruiting class entering his third year with the Panthers. His team is led by junior third baseman Austin Shenton, who was the MVP of the 2018 Cape Cod League Championship Series this summer. FIU returns 26 starters and hopes to improve on its 26-28 record last spring.
“Top to bottom, we have depth and more athleticism. I think we all enjoy being together and whenever we’re playing we have a bunch of fun,” Shenton said.
FIU aims to make waves in Division I baseball this year with its stockpile of talent, and the presence of more than seventy scouts on Wednesday night confirms that it has a chance.
“The facility is one of the best in the state. Now they’ve got a batting cage in right field. You don’t see that in too many Division I schools. The coaching staff is great. What else could you expect?” said Jose Ortega, a 37-year scout with the Chicago White Sox who discovered seven-time MLB All-Star Chris Sale.