IMG Academy is looking to continue the momentum created by its Varsity baseball team last year, who went 19-6 and capped off the season with a first-place finish in the South Florida Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 2012 baseball season will officially kick off on February 16, when IMG Academy takes on Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School on the sprawling 450-acre, IMG campus.
Said IMG Academy baseball program Director Ken Bolek: “We hold our players to a high standard regarding preparation, effort, and behavior, which ensures two things: IMG players are always ready to compete at the highest level, and they will always serve as respectful ambassadors to the game.”
With four student-athletes already committed to Division I programs, and seven other roster members poised to play Division I/high Division II ball, the depth of this year’s roster is second-to-none.
Players to watch include:
2012 CF/INF - Alfredo Escalera: After capturing the attention of numerous Division I schools, Escalera recently committed to Stetson University. He has impressed all with his notable speed and agility (6.6 on 60 yard dash), strong arm and projectable bat.
2012 LHP- Max Foody: The 6’4’’ 230-pound recent ESPNHS top-ten player has decided to take his game to the next level at Florida State University. Foody is known for his ability to produce a well-rounded pitching game. He has a fastball that reaches up to 92 MPH, a curveball that runs around 78 MPH and a changeup that sits at 80-82 MPH.
2013 RHP/3B - Brett Hanewich: The 6’3’’ 215-pound pitcher/3B has recently committed to Stanford University to continue to excel in the classroom and on the diamond. Not only does Hanewich have a fastball that consistently reaches 92 MPH, but he has shown projectable power from both sides of the plate.
2014 SS/RHP - Cameron Varga: The 6’3’’ 205-pound SS/pitcher has recently committed to University of Florida as one of the top 2014 prospects. As a position player, his athleticism allows him to play SS and he shows lightning quick hands at the plate, which produces plus power to all fields. As a pitcher, his athletic build generates great arm speed allowing him to consistently touch 92MPH, earning him the job as the team’s closer.
The IMG Academy baseball program varsity squad is scheduled to play nine non-tournament games this season, prior to a competitive 16-game tournament schedule, which will include the following stops: Sarasota Baseball Classic – Sarasota, Florida; Big League Dugout National Invitational - Scottsdale, Arizona; Central Florida Spring Break Slam - Orlando, Florida; and the Hard 9 National Classic - Anaheim, California.
With a coaching staff consisting of former Major and Minor League coaches and players, immaculate fields, and state-of-the-art training facilities, IMG Academy provides a haven for the talented player to develop his game while preparing for the demands of college, both academically and athletically. Today, players from 26 different states and 11 countries play baseball for IMG. Over the last 20 years, IMG Academy baseball program graduates have matriculated to some of the nation’s top-performing athletic and academic universities, including DI schools like Arizona State, California-Irvine, Connecticut, Wake Forrest, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Ole Miss. High Division II and Division III schools include: University of Tampa, Lynn University,Trinity, Amherst, John Hopkins, Franklin & Marshall and Emory University among many others. Professional alumni and trainees include: Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto, Joe Mauer, Chris Perez, Andrew McCutchen, Ian Desmond, Paolo Espino, Tyler Pastornicky, JR Murphy, Kyle Allen, and Blake Perry.