Prep Impressions: June 9, 2009

I covered the Riverside County All Star Baseball Game for the Riverside Press-Enterprise on June 9, 2009 and came away thinking there’s going to be 31 Major League Baseball teams wishing they had selected Riverside Poly’s Blair Moore on the first day of the First-Year Player Draft.

Moore had three hits, stole a base and scored a run as the West defeated the East 5-3 Tuesday night at the Riverside Sports Complex on the campus of UC Riverside. His ninth-inning single put runners on first and third and proved to be enough pressure to force two passed balls which would plate two runs.

As suggested by yours truly, Moore was chosen as the game’s Most Valuable Player.

“I just tried to stay relaxed and put some good swings together before I go to college or get drafted or whatever,” said Moore, who’ll now wait to hear his name called on the second day of the draft before deciding between a pro contract or his verbal commitment to San Diego State.

A shortstop, Moore (6-3, 175 lbs) played all nine innings of the exhibition and made had a solid go of it, tallying four assists and and error. His finest play came in the eighth inning when he made a throw from his knees to first base to cut down a runner and halt a late rally from the East. It was the kind of effort that makes scouts drool.

“He’s a player,” said Norco’s Gary Parcell, coach of the West. “I hope he signs and doesn’t end up at San Diego State but I wish him the best of luck.”

Moore’s Riverside Poly teammate, Jake Marisnick, was chosen by the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning of the game, or the third round of the draft, No. 104 overall.

Parcell’s top player, Matt Hobgood, was drafted with the No. 5 overall selection by the Baltimore Orioles. Hobgood must already be feeling “big-league” beacause he didn’t partcipate in the game or take batting practice as heralded. Instead, he showed up just before game time, had his name and accomplishment announced to the crowd, waved his cap and headed home before the applause died away.

I did make sure to get Hobgood’s phone number from a Norco teammate before I left the field and will attempt to make contact with the Gatorade Player of the Year for an upcoming article I plan to freelance to any one of several Maryland-area newspapers.

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