The summertime can be a time of serious growth and experience for many high school and prep athletes. And for Coronado High School Baseball standout Ryan Ward, that statement rings very true. Ward, who is not only one of the best prep high school players in the county, and the state as well, had his relentless effort, hard work, and dedication to the sport rewarded as he was invited to the Perfect Game National Invitational.
For those unfamiliar with Perfect Game National, I’ll fill you in. The Perfect Game National Showcase has become the most prestigious showcase event in all of amateur baseball. Since the event’s inception in 2001, 435 former participants have played in the big leagues and that number is growing fast. Over 2000 Perfect Game alum have been selected in the MLB Draft. And in last year’s MLB draft over 65 players from the Perfect Game program were selected, making it a pipeline for prep players to reach their major league aspirations.
For Ward, the opportunity in Tampa Bay was another chance to demonstrate his talent and growth over the past year. “It was an honor to get selected for the showcase, but it was something that I was expecting myself to do. I’m really confident in my ability and my growth as a player. It was also a lot of fun to see friends that I had made across the country at other showcase events.”
I asked Ward what his mentality was heading into an event as prestigious as this. “I had two thoughts. The first was to enjoy myself and have fun while I’m out there. I always pride myself on remembering this is a game and to enjoy every moment I’m out on the diamond. But the second was to go out there and dominate and compete as hard as I can. I wanted to be out there and be a ‘killer.’ That’s my time to go out there and showcase my talent and ability.”
The weekend showcase was jam-packed for Ward, as both days constantly had him working, going from fieldwork and batting practice in the morning, to a 10- inning game later in the afternoon. But it’s clear from the feedback that Ward got from coaches and scouts at the Showcase that his constant work on the field and in the gym had paid off.
“Coaches had noticed the mass and muscle I had put on and that I had really contented to develop well,” said Ward.
With Ward turning heads and staring at the National Showcase, his time with Perfect Game National events appears to not be done just yet. On Aug. 22, Perfect Game National will be holding its annual Perfect Game All-American Classic, a game that is played here in San Diego at Petco Park and is televised on MLB Network. It is composed of the most elite and top-ranked high school seniors in the country. And it appears from all accounts that the Local Coronado kid will be among those named to the roster.