Prospects pleased with results, experience at Houston PDP

Prospects pleased with results, experience at Houston PDP

SUGAR LAND, Texas -- Even though he's one of Texas' most highly touted prep shortstops, Jordan Groshans realized his game needed polishing after MLB's Prospect Development Pipeline event in January.

Between January and Wednesday, when Houston hosted its second PDP Premier event -- a player assessment pathway in conjunction with USA Baseball featuring 40-50 of the most highly-touted prospects in the Houston area -- Groshans needed to refine his skills specific to being a shortstop.

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Date PDP Premier Event
Jan. 14 Atlanta
Jan. 21 Houston
Jan. 28 Bradenton
Feb. 4 Southern California
Feb. 5

Phoenix

May 20 Atlanta
May 30 Phoenix
June 4 Kansas City
June 5 Tampa Bay
June 6 Denver
June 20 Cincinnati
June 21 Chicago
June 21 Houston
June 22 Pawtucket
June 22 Southern California
June 23 Seattle
June 25 Oakland
June 25 Cary
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"[I needed] to work on my agility and my fast-twitch to be able to get balls in the hole, up the middle and come in quicker," said Groshans, as he reflected on January's testing.

A few hours into Wednesday's testing, Groshans was satisfied with the progress he had seen.

"They've gotten better, so I'm happy about that," he said.

Players like Groshans were provided an audition, of sorts, before a mixture of approximately 20 collegiate scouts and MLB club-affiliated scouts at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas, roughly 30 minutes outside of Houston.

Local high school prospects performed a bevy of athletic assessments to test vision, reaction time, speed (30-yard sprints), broad jumps, one- and two-footed vertical jumps, agility and grip strength before analyzing their swings in a wooden-bat batting practice and infield, outfield defensive drills.

The day-long testing concluded with a fully-regulated scrimmage against high-ranking, high-velocity regional pitching prospects to see how each prospect fared against equally skilled competition.

"This is just a real condensed way of looking at them and it's great to see that level competition and all the players come together," said one scout in attendance.

"Makes me know how to compare myself to other players and if I need to work on certain things like power, speed, arm strength," Groshans, a University of Kansas commit, said. "So to maybe work harder than the next guy to get above him and know where I need to go."

Normally, high school ball doesn't deploy as much talent on the same field at once, a scout said, so PDP's full intention is to gather primarily local talent -- players committed to Louisiana State University, University of Texas, University of Arkansas and Texas Tech University, to name a few -- at the same ballpark to compete against, and beside, one another.

"Particularly, they can see better pitching in a situation like this where there's a brief workout for them," a scout said. "But we like to look at them over time and in different game situations to try and get as much exposure to them as we can in the scouting process."

Wednesday's PDP event was one of 29 similar workouts across the country to gauge regional talent and to relay information back to respective MLB clubs for future Draft purposes.

"We're looking for the attributes associated with their speed, the tools that they have and the ability to obviously run, quickness, arm strength," a scout said. "If they have any particular power, we're looking for that, [and] how deep the ball can get on them in their hands and how they handle themselves around the plate … Part of your scouting, you're looking at all different angles of a player and how he performs."

By this point though, even with the possible pressure of their futures partially relying on Wednesday's results, Groshans said he wasn't too nervous.

"Doesn't really bother me anymore," Groshans said. "It all comes natural now."

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.