MVP?showcase bound

During the weekend of Dec. 21-23, Tom Raiport of Gowanda traveled to Gaithersburg Md., to participate in a national college recruiting showcase, put on by MVP Baseball from California.

Raiport is a junior at Pine Valley and in addition to playing for the Panthers, he also plays for the Orchard Park Thunder travel baseball team. His primary position is catcher and he also pitches.

MVP Baseball is a comprehensive program encompassing player development along with promoting and marketing players to college baseball programs on a national level. Making Valuable Players for college and pro baseball is their goal. MVP Baseball offers the greatest opportunities in baseball today for players who are 11 to 18 years old.

MVP showcase camps are held across the United State and are conducted by former (current) pro scouts and players. Players go through a showcase-evaluation similar to a major league tryout. The evaluation is based upon the five tools of baseball in their primary position. They include running speed (timed 60-yard dash) arm strength (radar gun velocity), hitting mechanics, hitting for power, defensive skills and catching skills.

After the showcase, the players stats are entered into a national database, ranked nationally among their peers and sent to several colleges.

As part of the showcase, MVP baseball also selects players from these showcases to play for their national baseball teams in national baseball tournaments. They participate in tournaments in Georgia, California, Nebraska, Virginia, Hawaii, Arizona and Cuba. They choose 14 players out of a pool of approximately 6,000 players they evaluate each year to field their team.

See RAIPORT, Page B2

On Jan. 8, Raiport received a call from the coaches of MVP baseball and learned they had selected him to represent their national baseball team. He was selected to play in the Triple Crown Slumpbuster national tournament in Omaha, Neb., the week of June 22-27.

The Triple Crown Slumpbuster tournament is the world’s largest youth baseball tournament with hundreds of teams from 36 different states competing for the national championship. During the tournament, the MVP National Team will play several games of intense wood-bat competition and will also be attending the 2013 College World Series. The team will be training daily in a indoor facility with current college coaches and former pros.

During the tournament, players will gain valuable college exposure as well as an opportunity to learn career-changing techniques from current college coaches and former pro players and scouts.

Raiport was also selected to attend the Santa Barbara Elite College Camp which is the most extensive summer baseball training camp in the country. MVP players experience the culture of life as a collegiate baseball player while being trained by some of the nations’ top college baseball instructors and former pros. This is a select opportunity for 60 invitees to train with other serious baseball players from all over the United States. Players are hand-picked from a pool of nearly 6,000 players seen by MVP’s trained scouting department. The camp is June 15-21, 2013 in Santa Barbara California. Due to regent exams being held that week, Raipport will not be able to attend the camp.