Pro players offer lessons at PRCC baseball camp
POPLARVILLE – Three former Pearl River Community College baseball standouts, plus a former local star, helped make A Day with the Pros baseball camp a success.
Former Wildcats Jacob Taylor, Braxton Lee and Ashley Graeter, and former Petal High standout Anthony Alford gave a group of about 25 youngsters from age 5 to 14 a glimpse at what it takes to succeed in professional baseball.
Pearl River Community College baseball assistant coach Rhyne Hughes, a former big-leaguer with the Baltimore Orioles, instructs 13-year-old Aiden Moffett of Taylorsville on proper throwing technique during Sunday’s Day with the Pros Camp
Photo by PRCC Sports Information
“This is my home,” said former Wildcat infielder Ashley Graeter, who works now in the Colorado Rockies organization.
“I come back here and work out during the offseason, and they guys are nice enough to let me use the facilities here. So it’s a chance to give something back to the school.”
The youngsters spent about two hours going through some stretching drills, along with some throwing, fielding and batting under the leadership of the pro guys.
“I was doing the same thing when I was these kids’ age,” said Jacob Taylor, a former Wildcat now in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. “I always enjoyed coming to these camps and hearing from these guys about life in pro ball. It gave me a goal to strive for.”
Alford, who played five games for the Toronto Blue Jays after being called up from Class AAA in July, came at the behest of a former teammate from his youth days, Wildcat sophomore Bryson Medious.
“I’ve been friends with Bryson since I was a kid,” said Alford. “He called me up and asked if I’d like to come help out. It sounded like fun. These kids are the future of the game, and it’s nice to share with them.”
Wildcat baseball coach Michael Avalon, his staff and members of the 2018 Wildcat team helped out with the one-day camp.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” said Avalon, the second-year PRCC coach. “These guys could have been doing something – anything – else, but they chose to be here to give back to the game and to the school here at PRCC.”
Former Pearl River Community College standout Ashley Graeter shows young baseball players the proper way to stretch before a workout during the Day with the Pros Baseball Camp, held Sunday at PRCC. Photo by PRCC Sports Information
Indeed, the players got into the spirit of the day, as they related to the kids they were instructing.
“This is fun, a good day,” said Braxton Lee, who went from PRCC to play for Ole Miss for onsee ason and is now in the Miami Marlins organization.
“I come back here every year, because it’s a place where I can work on my own and get in shape for the season.”