Category Archives: PRO-DAY News

Carroll signs w/Tennessee's Freed-Hardeman University

ORANGE BEACH, AL – Brelin Carroll of Arlington (TN), middle-infielder/outfielder has signed a letter of intent to play baseball next season at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, announced Jeff Gross, CEO/Founder of PRO-DAY Baseball.

Freed-Hardeman University are members of the American Mid-West Conference. Coach Jonathan Estes led the Lions to a 41-9 record last season.

Carroll, a PRO-DAY “Prep Gear” High School All-American helped lead Arlington High School (TN) to a state runner-up finish in 2016 batting .350 and named as the starting second-baseman in the Shelby County All-Star game.

Brelin was the 2016 recipient of the John Gross Memorial Scholarship. He scored a 21 on his ACT and had a 3.0 grade point average in the classroom.

“We are very happy for Brelin and wish him the very best at Freed-Hardeman University,” said Gross. “FHU just received a very good baseball player in Brelin Carroll, but most of all, a very outstanding young man.”

Brelin was a member of the PRO-DAY Elite Team and participated in PRO-DAY’s All-American Showcase in Orange Beach (AL) where he received other interest from college coaches from its’ events. He has very good hands and footwork from his infield position and good balance and bat speed at the plate.

Carroll said, “I chose FHU over other schools because the baseball program is getting better every year and the business program which I plan on studying is very successful. The coaches are nice and very knowledgeable of the game which is another reason why I chose to join the team.”

“PRO-DAY helped me get my name out to colleges by the amount of connections they have with scouts across the country,” said Carroll. “Attending any event for PRO-DAY is worth it because it gives you a chance to play against good competition in front of college and pro scouts that attend every event.

“I would like to thank everyone in the PRO-DAY organization for all they have done for me and all the hard work they put in to help us players to make it to the next level.

Brelin is the son of Chris and Annie Carroll and he has one sister, Sydney.

Pensacola State College hires Lewallyn as Pirates New Skipper

ORANGE BEACH, AL – Bryan Lewallyn has been named the Head Baseball Coach at Pensacola State College, announced Bill Hamilton, Athletic Director at PSC.

Lewallyn returns to the Pensacola Pirates from his playing days there after leading the University of South Carolina – Beaufort as their head coach to a 162-105 record the past five season including three trips to the NAIA Regionals and a berth to the NAIA College World Series.

The Sand Sharks set the program record with 41 wins in 2012 in Lewallyn’s first season as the head skipper as USC-Beaufort finished ranked 7th nationally.

He was named Sun Conference “Coach of the Year” this past season after leading his squad to a 42-16 overall record, winning its’ first Conference title in going 20-4 in league play. The Sand Sharks reached as high as 5th in the national rankings during the season and finished 13th in the final poll.

His players have received numerous honors under Lewallyn that have included: 28 All-Sun Conference players, two NAIA All-Americans, nine Sun Conference All-Academic Team selections, seven NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athletes, five CoSIDA Academic All-District players, and two first-team CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.

“I’ve known Bryan since he came to what then was Pensacola Junior College as a freshman pitcher out of Pine Forest High School in Pensacola,” said Gross, a former coach at PJC and founder of PRO-DAY Baseball. “I had the privilege to coach him at PJC and his work ethic and his attitude made everyone around him so much better.

“In the summer, he would work baseball camps with me and watching him teach the game to young players, you could tell early on that his future was in baseball,” said Gross. “After his college playing days, Bryan would work at our PRO-DAY Showcases scouting, coaching pitching and helping high school prospects advance to the next level.”

Lewallyn said, “PRO-DAY was a great opportunity for me as a young coach to get my feet wet not only working camps and instructing but also recruiting. Getting to see some real quality players, but developing some friendships and relationships. I’m forever grateful to what PRO-DAY baseball did for me."

For high school players who go to PRO-DAY for the first time, he said. “Be ready to learn and compete. Soak it all in, keep an open mind and always do everything to the best of your ability, it only takes one person to like you and you never know who’s watching, someone always is!”

Bryan’s baseball career started early on being the son of former major league pitcher Dennis Lewallyn, who played eight-years with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1975-79), Texas Rangers (1980) and Cleveland Indians (1981-1982). Having that family support learning the game, also from with his older brother David, who also pitched at PJC and his mother, who was a regular at his games was all very beneficial.

Bill Earnhart, national scouting director for PRO-DAY Baseball, a 43-year veteran scout and member of the 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks reflects on the new baseball hire at Pensacola State College, “I got to know Bryan really well early in his career when he helped us with PRO-DAY Baseball and I think he is an outstanding young man.”

“He will be a credit to the Pensacola State College Baseball program for the stand point of knowledge and the professional approach to his job. Not only that, like I like to say “he is good people” and “comes from good stock”. Dennis Lewallyn, a dear friend of mine for a long time, of the Atlanta Braves (Pitching Coach) organization brought up Bryan right and he is going to be a credit to Pensacola and Pensacola State College and he is going to do a great job.”

During the Press Conference when being named the Head Coach at Pensacola, Lewallyn was overwhelmed from the support, “It was really great seeing everyone, some old faces and new. I’ve been absolutely humbled by the support from everyone. Family, friends, former teammates, former players. Really awesome to have such a warm welcome.”

Bryan said it was a no brainer to comeback home where he still has family in Pensacola, “Absolutely, like Dorothy said…There’s no place like home. Now to have the opportunity to be a part of not only such a rich baseball tradition in Pensacola but a town with a great sports history from Roy Jones, Jr., Justin Gatlin, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Pate, Bubba Watson and the list goes on and on. It absolutely was a no brainer.”

Speaking of his memories as a player at Pensacola, “There were so many, but really the bonds and friendships that were formed with guys that were teammates that I call friends. It was not just the players, the staff, Bill Hamilton (Coach/Athletic Director), Doug Martin (Coach), Jeff Gross (Coach), John Noski (Director of Team Transportation) and so many more.”

Bryan’s current goals at Pensacola State College, “I just want to develop young men and prepare them for whatever the future holds whether it be a four-year school, professional baseball or life in
general. To help them become the best they can possibly be. Everything else will take care of itself.”

He and his wife, Emily, have a daughter, Ellis (3).

Jack Cockrum signs Professional Contract in Frontier League

ORANGE BEACH, AL – Anything’s possible for Jack Cockrum even if it’s been a lifetime dream to play professional baseball – now which can come even “True”.

Cockrum’s dream became a reality when he signed a professional contract with the Schaumburg Boomers out of the Frontier League in Independent Professional Baseball.

Jack will join his new club tomorrow in Normal (IL) where Schaumburg is on the road for a three-game series against the Normal CornBelters.

The University of West Alabama standout and PRO-DAY “Prep Gear” High School All-American from East Ascension High in Gonzales (LA) just completed an outstanding collegiate career at UWA.

The four-year starting catcher had a .317 batting average, nine home runs, 20 doubles, three triples, 42 RBI’s, 49 runs scored, 117 total bases, while slugging .579 in 50 games.

Cockrum was hoping those numbers might be good enough to get drafted by a Major League Club after going to a “Special” Pre-Draft workout by the New York Mets. His number wasn’t called on Draft Day but that didn’t stop Jack there as he went to a Post-Draft workout held in Kennett (MO) by the Atlanta Braves.

“Jack was determined to get a chance to play in professional baseball and I could tell he was hungry at the Braves Camp,” said Jeff Gross of PRO-DAY Baseball. “We encouraged him to visit all the Independent Teams in Missouri/Illinois while he was there and to keep knocking on the doors until he knocked one down.

“His mother (Claudene) and he made plans to do just that and also it was a chance to see family in the St. Louis area,” said Gross. “Even though he didn’t sign with any club and he talked too many, he left them with very good impressions.”

Jack’s call finally came during the Frontier League All-Star Break as Schaumburg wanted Jack to meet the team in O’Fallon (MO) over the weekend and workout for them.

After driving all night, Jack blasted several home runs during the teams batting practice, caught pitchers in the bullpen and the next day offered him a professional contract.

“The feeling was one of relief and excitement,” said Cockrum, “I was relieved because all of my hard work and the countless hours or extra work and practice were paying off, but more importantly I was excited because my baseball career wasn’t over and all of my hard work and my families’ and friends’ support wouldn’t be for nothing.”

Playing since he was young and the sacrifices his family made to help him reach his dreams, Jack will always be appreciative, "I know the amount of extra time and effort and work that I put into the game, but I can’t fathom the time, energy, and many my parents put into it,” said Cockrum. “None of this would be possible without them and I can’t thank them enough.

He also said, “The University of West Alabama saw in me what many coaches did not and the facilities and staff at school gave me ample opportunity to better myself everyday which I did my best to take advantage of. I was able to start as a freshman, which wouldn’t have been possible at any other school and I benefitted greatly from the experience I garnered early in my career.”

Asking Jack what he thinks it will be like in his first game, “I honestly have no idea what it’s going to be like. I was nervous just to be with the team on a trial basis the last couple of days, I can’t imagine what it will be like in my first at-bats,” said Cockrum.

“I will have to do my best to slow the game down otherwise my adrenaline will get the best of me. The excitement and nervous feelings will have my adrenaline through the roof. I hope I can get through that nervous period quickly and get comfortable because that’s when I play my best,” he added.

Schaumburg returns home to host Evansville this coming weekend in a three-game series. The Boomers then travel to Sauget (IL) next Tuesday (July 26) to play the Gateway Grizzlies at GMC Stadium, where PRO-DAY has hosted several Missouri Regional Showcases over the years, which is located right outside of St. Louis.

Two Frontier League and Eastern Division titles were captured by Schaumburg in 2013-2014 since joining the League in 2012.

The Schaumburg Boomers hope to turn things around in the second-half of the season with their current fifth place standings and with a little help from Jack Cockrum any things possible.





Kirkpatrick commits to Missouri's Three Rivers

Orange Beach, AL -- William “Trey” Kirkpatrick, of Bernie (MO) has committed to play baseball at Three Rivers Community College, announced Jeff Gross CEO/President of PRO-DAY Baseball.

Kirkpatrick, a 6-2/220 left-handed pitcher/first-baseman was named to the 2016 PRO-DAY Baseball “Prep Gear” All-American Team.

The Bernie High School standout will join Coach Burkey’s Three Rivers club as a pitcher this fall.

“We’re glad Trey has committed to Three Rivers,” said Burkey. “He has had great success in high school and we look forward to helping him develop as a student-athlete at the college level.”

According to Trey’s mother (Shelly), who also attended Three Rivers CC, “This was always the school where he wanted to go since he was young,” said Shelly Kirkpatrick. “I like to thank PRO-DAY for their efforts.”

“Our staff is very excited for Trey and wish him the very best in his college future,” said Gross. “Coach Burkey does an outstanding job at Three Rivers preparing his players not only on the field but for the game of life.

“Special thanks also goes out to my friend and Atlanta Braves Scout Jon French in referring Trey to PRO-DAY Baseball,” added Gross.

When Trey was looking for a college it has always been Three Rivers as his first choice on his college interest list on PRO-DAY’s recruiting form and probably his second and third choice as well.

“I was so excited when I got the call from Coach Burkey,” said Kirkpatrick. “I thought “Yes!” This is what I have dreamed of since I was a little boy. I can’t wait to get started playing at Three Rivers and for Coach Burkey.”

“The PRO-DAY Baseball events have been a great experience for me. The staff will bend over backwards to help anyone who is interested in playing at the next level. I owe them a ton of thanks,” said Kirkpatrick. “I was fortunate enough to get invited to Orange Beach (AL) at the All-American National Showcase and it was one of my best experiences of my life.

“I learned a lot and met teammates from other states that had the same hopes and dreams I had,” Kirkpatrick added. “I would encourage anyone to attend one of these events if they love baseball and are interested in playing ball at the next level.”

Finally, Kirkpatrick had only praise for his mentor/instructor Jon French (Braves Scout). “Jon has been more than just an instructor to me. He has helped me so much this year in ways I will never be able to repay him. He has been supportive and encourages me in everything I do.”

For William “Trey” Kirkpatrick his baseball dream is coming true!!!

Young signs with Ouachita Baptist University

MAUMELLE, AR -- Abe Young of Maumelle (AR), a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher made it official over the weekend by signing a letter of intent to play baseball at Ouachita Baptist University for the 2016-2017 season.

Abe comes to OBU after just completing his Juco season at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff (MO) where he was a starting pitcher and later a closer for Coach Stacey Burkey’s Raiders.

“My experience playing at Three Rivers was a good one, we didn’t finish the way that we wanted too but it was a great experience,” said Young.

“I chose OBU over some others because they made me feel the most comfortable,” said Young. “Coach Hope and Coach Rountree were very cool about being patient with my decision and making sure I decided to do what I wanted, there was no pressure to commit to them in a certain time span which was huge for me.”

Young (6-2/210) is a former PRO-DAY Baseball standout where he just missed a Perfect Game and a No-hitter during an event after his playing career at Maumelle High School.

“Coach Jeff Gross does a great job getting guys to the next level and exposed to professional scouts and college coaches,” said Young. “I had a great experience pitching for PRO-DAY in an event after my senior year which brought some great opportunities for me.”

“PRO-DAY would like to congratulate Abe Young in advancing to the next level,” said Gross. ”It’s always good to see a member of the PRO-DAY Family to move-on. We only wish Abe the very best at OBU.”

Young had offers or interest from Augusta State University (GA), South Carolina-Beaufort, North Alabama, William Carey University (MS), Texas Wesleyan University and Mississippi College to name a few before signing with Ouachita Baptist University.

Abe hopes to improve on his 90+ mph fastball and his other pitches to go further past college, “The OBU program does a great job of getting guys moved to professional baseball, which has always been my dream,” said Young.

Ouachita Baptist University plays in the NCAA Division II and are members of the Great American Conference.

PRO-DAY Fall Baseball Games/Showcase Season Starts in September

PINE BLUFF, AR -- PRO-DAY Fall Baseball Season gets underway on weekends in September for players ages 13-18, announced Jeff Gross, CEO/Founder of PRO-DAY Baseball.

Arkansas will be the first host state for PRO-DAY’s 1st Fall Showcase and Games to get underway in Pine Bluff (AR)on Saturday September 3rd where PRO-DAY was founded in 1989.

Other Host Sites will include Three Rivers Community College on Sept. 10 in Poplar Bluff (MO), on Sept. 17 in Memphis(TN) and Sept. 24 in Southaven (MS).

What is the PRO-DAY Fall Showcase/Games?

• Players will play in ballgames and go thru professional workouts/evaluations each Saturday during the month of September.

• Players are coached by Professional Scouts and Coaches in the games and on the field at each event. Players will play either in the 14U or 18U Age Division during the games.

• Players will receive their evaluation reports back to them at the end of the event that will go off to five colleges of the player’s choice along with information stored in our PRO-DAY Data Base so we can promote you throughout your high school career to college coaches and scouts.

• Players will receive 1-on-1 time with these Pro Scouts and Coaches to help improve your skills and hear hitting, pitching and scouting talks during the fall season.

• Players will hear Academic Talks and the requirements to get into colleges and what it takes to get to the next level after high school.

• Players will be video during the professional workouts.

• PRO-DAY Fall Showcase is “All” about “Helping Players Advance to the Next Level”.

“Players will sign-up to play in games and go thru a professional workout on weekends during the month of September on Saturday’s (Sunday due to inclement weather),”said Gross. “We are about giving each player the opportunity to showcase his skills in front of pro scouts and coaches that attend every event.

“Many events promote scouts in attendance are hopes of someone being there to see you which isn’t always the case,” said Gross. “All of our events are run by our staff that has been involved in professional baseball either as a player, coach or scout. Our staff has nearly 100-years of experience in professional baseball coaching and scouting talent.

“We are very proud of the hundreds of players from PRO-DAY that has went into professional baseball,” said Gross. “Although, we are even more proud of the hundreds and hundreds of players that went on to receive college scholarships and earned their degree.”

Since 2001, PRO-DAY has been based out of Orange Beach, Alabama and has expanded to hosting PRO-DAY State, Regional, National and World Showcases in over 14-southeastern states. Players have been to its’ World Showcase in Orange Beach (AL) as far away as Japan, Russia, Guam, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic to name a few.

What Professional Scouts, Players and Coaches are saying about PRO-DAY?

“I want to invite you to be a part of PRO-DAY events. Jeff and his staff do a really good job teaching the fundamentals of the game of baseball. Go - Be a part of it!”

New York Yankees Coach Joe Espada

“Since 2004, I’ve worked as a Scout for the Boston Red Sox. In that time, I’ve seen many showcases around the country and I can tell you that PRO-DAY Baseball Showcases are as good as any of them. They take the time to learn your child’s name, they take the time to give you some instruction and I can only tell you that the value you will get from the PRO-DAY Showcases is as good as anyone out there. Take your time and do your homework, do some investigation, but I can promise you that PRO-DAY Showcases will be a great opportunity for your son to play and expose his talents to scouts and coaches across the country.”

Boston Red Sox Scout – Danny Watkins

“I’ve known Jeff and John (late brother)since we were neighbors growing up and I was playing Little League Baseball. If you want to get seen and get your name out there to college coaches and professional scouts, then you need to attend PRO-DAY Baseball.”

Former Major Leaguer and 9-time Gold Glove Winner – Torii Hunter

Players will sign-up according to their state and age level (14U/18U) unless already assigned by PRO-DAY Baseball when registering. Teams include the Arkansas Diamondbacks, Missouri Cardinals, Tennessee Giants and the Mississippi Braves.

Teams are "Limited" to approx. 12 players per team, Don't get left out - SIGN-UP TODAY!!!


2016 PRO-DAY Missouri Showcase set for June 21 at Three Rivers CC in Poplar Bluff

POPLAR BLUFF, MO -- PRO-DAY Baseball will conduct their Missouri Regional Showcase for high school players on Tuesday, June 21st at Three Rivers Community College, announced Jeff Gross, CEO/Founder of PRO-DAY Baseball.

The Missouri Showcase is open for high school players in classes 2016-2020 and the event will be conducted by PRO-DAY Baseball and be evaluated by college coaches and professional scouts in "All" areas of hitting, fielding, pitching and running. The players will receive their evaluation reports back to them at the end of the showcase on how they performed with that information going off to three colleges of the players choice.

Since 1989, PRO-DAY Baseball has been teaching the game of baseball to players of all ages and in 2001 started hosting State, Regional, National and World Showcases across the United States to high school players to help them get drafted in professional baseball or help them to receive scholarships to go off to college.

Hundreds of players have went into professional baseball from attending PRO-DAY Baseball events with hundreds and hundreds of others receiving scholarships to go off to college that has saved families over $38.5 million in tuition cost/fees since PRO-DAY was founded.

"We always like to host an event at Three Rivers Community College in the Southeastern Missouri Area," said Gross. "There is lots of talent that we've been able to find in this area over the years that we were able to help find a college home for and also help Coach Burkey bring to Three Rivers in the past several years.

"Just last season, a former PRO-DAY standout pitcher (Abe Young) just finished his junior college career at Three Rivers and now has received a scholarship at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas for the next two years to finish his career and degree," said Gross.

PRO-DAY's staff has over 100-years experience in professional baseball either as a player, coach or scout. PRO-DAY Baseball is about "Helping Players Advance to the Next Level" whether that is the professional or collegiate level.

Sign-up early, the showcase is "Limited". For more information visit: or call 1-888-224-6150.



Univ. of West Alabama standout and Former PRO-DAY All-American Finishes Collegiate Career Strong

ORANGE BEACH, AL -- For the past four years, Jack Cockrum of Prairieville (LA) has been the starting catcher at the University of West Alabama, where he just completed an outstanding collegiate career.

Cockrum, a former PRO-DAY Baseball High School All-American who graduated from East Ascension High School in Gonzales (LA) finished this season with a .317 batting average, nine Home Runs, 20 doubles, three triples, 42 RBI’s, 49 runs scored, 117 total bases, while slugging .579 in 50 games.

The 6-1/205 catcher, helped lead West Alabama to a Gulf South Conference Championship in 2015 and finished his career being named twice to the All-Gulf South Conference Team. During his sophomore season, he led the conference in hitting with a .376 average.

“PRO-DAY events were the reason I ended up at the University of West Alabama. I attended the showcase in Pine Bluff (AR) at Taylor Field and then was invited to the National Showcase in Orange Beach (AL) where I was worked out in front of tons of scouts and college coaches,” said Cockrum.

“The showcase was a lot fun and I was contacted soon after by University of West Alabama,” said Cockrum.”The PRO-DAY showcases were always very rewarding and educational and the atmosphere always allowed me to relax and play my game without being nervous.”

“West Alabama was the perfect school to further my baseball career,” said Cockrum. “My coaching staff always supported me. Over the years, I developed my game with the help of the coaches both offensively and defensively.”

In the Summer of 2014, Jack played for the Charlotte Cruishers in the Carolina – Virginia Summer Collegiate League where he led the League in hitting at .475 (48-101) with 20 double, three home runs and 32 runs batted in. His .475 average set a new “Single Season” batting average record. He was also named the “Offensive Player of the Year”.

Jack has caught four West Alabama pitchers that have already went into professional baseball which included Tanner Rainey, who was selected 71st overall last year by the Cincinnati Reds that he caught last season. According to Jack, he could see has many as three more pitchers he caught at UWA this year sign professional contracts.

“The draft is such an exciting experience for any baseball player. This is the day that any ball player dreams of,” said Cockrum. “I’ve got some interest from a few teams, had an individual workout with the Mets recently and hope that they decide to give me a chance or any team in that matter.”

Jeff Gross, CEO/Founder of PRO-DAY Baseball, hopes also that Jack gets that chance in professional ball, “It’s hard to find a good player behind the plate that can catch, throw and hit. Jack is able to do all three,” said Gross, “He is so knowledgeable behind the plate and calls a great game. I’ve noticed how he can make balls into strikes so easy. He blocks and throws (1.95 pop-time) really well.

“Offensively, Jack has some pop and can hit for average,” said Gross. “Jack has been able to do that throughout his four years at the collegiate level.”

Despite being a catcher, Jack’s person he admired was a shortstop. “I always looked up to Derek Jeter. I loved watching him play because he was always so professional and consistent which is something I try to mirror my game after,” said Cockrum.”Honestly though, my dad was the biggest inspiration, he coached me growing up and always pushed me to play as hard as I could but never made the game a job. He always showed me how baseball could be fun even when you take it serious.”

“My goal now that I have finished my college career is to pursue baseball at the professional level to whatever extent I am capable and for as long as I can,” added Cockrum.

What would Jack say to high school players is the difference between PRO-DAY and other showcases/tournament ball that he liked better, “PRO-DAY offers low number participants for a more relaxed atmosphere and more exposure for each player,” Cockrum said. ”The combination of these meant I was able to perform while showcasing my talents to the most college coaches possible.”

Jack received his degree in history at University of West Alabama and is one class away from a Master’s degree in history. Even though he has that to fall back on, he has decided once his baseball career is over that he wants to join the FBI.

Hopefully the FBI will be on hold for a while longer, but whenever Jack does get finished catching that last baseball – Jack will help serve and protect his community by catching bad guys!

Son of Former Major Leaguer and Athletic Family Putting Up Big Numbers

ORANGE BEACH, AL – Professional Scouts and Top Collegiate Baseball programs look for players that come close to having those 5-tools (Run, Throw, Hit, Hit for Power and Hit for Average) and Wallace-Dothan Community College Outfielder TJ Riles of Ellenwod (GA) is one of those players.

Being the son of former major leaguer Ernest Riles who played nine-years in the “Big Leagues” and a family full of athletes, it’s no wonder that TJ put some big numbers up at Wallace-Dothan CC this past season.

Riles, 6-2/200, batted an impressive .386 (71-184) in 57 games under Wallace-Dothan Coach Mackey Sasser, who also played in the major leagues. TJ’s numbers included four home runs, 43 RBI’s, 38 runs scored to go along with his 23 stolen bases.

TJ finished ranked in the “Top 10” Overall in many categories in Junior College Baseball. Batting Average: .386 (8th), Hits: 71 (3rd), Doubles: 15 (5th), Triples: 10 (1st), RBI’s: 43 (8th), Total Runs: 118 (2nd), Stolen Bases: 23 (2nd) and Slugging Percentage: .641 (4th).

Riles genes starts with his father who is from Cairo (GA), the same home as the “Great” Jackie Robinson. Like TJ, his father had outstanding bat speed where he led the Texas League in batting (.349) in 1983 before getting the call-up to the majors where he played with Milwaukee, San Francisco, Oakland, Houston and Boston.

TJ’s mother (Carol) was a four-sport athlete in high school. She played basketball, tennis and led her track team four-consecutive years to state. She was also a cheerleader.

His older sisters also had a huge influence on TJ’s competiveness. Sister Kelli received a full-scholarship to the University of North Carolina-Ashville where she was an outstanding basketball player and later played professionally over-seas. Sister Kamri received a full scholarship to the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, where she led her team to four-consecutive USA Gymnastic College National Championships.

Scouts and College Coaches first noticed TJ at a PRO-DAY Regional Showcase in Tallahassee (FL) where his performance earned him an invitation to participate in the PRO-DAY “North/South/East/West” National Showcase in Millington (TN) before coming a PRO-DAY All-American.

“PRO-DAY Baseball truly prepared me for what I’m going through now. PRO-DAY was my first workout and everyone was so knowledgeable and you knew what you needed to work on to become even a better player when you left,” said Riles. “I like the fact that there were a variety of scouts (Pro/College) there to keep an eye on you as you progress through the years. PRO-DAY truly prepared me.”

It’s really amazing the year TJ had at Wallace-Dothan and how he was able to stay focus with his Mom back home battling breast cancer on a daily basis just shows how strong TJ is and how his parents raised him.

“My mom is a God fearing strong person. She’s always positive. One of her favorite saying is “Keeping the Faith”, said TJ. “Even when you are going through things, there is a reason why we go through what we go through. This can only make us stronger and more faithful in our Lord.

“Watching her go through her cancer battle was hard but made me a better and more faithful person. She constantly reminded us, this battle is not hers, it’s the Lord,” he continued. “She was able to come to some of my games while going through treatment. My mother has inspired me to never stop dreaming. She always say, “Faith without work is dead”. She taught me and my siblings that hard work is necessary to bring the dreams to life and give 100% to everything we do.”

TJ is a leader on and off the field, according to Jeff Gross, CEO/Founder of PRO-DAY Baseball. “First time I spoke to TJ early on in his high school career, I knew he had good character and had a strong family background. One thing scouts can see is a players tools and what he can do. What scouts wonder about is his makeup and his desire to succeed. TJ has that “It” factor.”

Bill Earnhart, retired 43-year veteran major league scout, member of the 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, who is National Scouting Director for PRO-DAY Baseball saw Riles on two different occasions in high school.

TJ has good balance at the plate, good bat speed, and hits with power to go with his 6.6 speed was the scouting report by the long-time scout. “I like TJ Riles,” said Earnhart. “He’s going to make someone into a winner”.

Riles hasn’t signed yet to a four-year college although the offers are coming in, but has been going to several Pre-Draft “Invitation” Try-out camps since his Juco season ended.

Looking back on this season, “What a great experience (past season) playing for Coach Mackey,” said Riles. “He not only made me a better player but made me a better person. He treated you like family.”

So what’s next for TJ Riles, “My current goal is to excel in the game of baseball in hopes of getting drafted, but also to complete college with a degree in Communications or Forensic Science”, he added. “My future goal is start a mentoring program along with my mother in support of breast cancer to make sure mammograms are being done.”

Whichever route TJ goes – he definitely will make someone a “Winner”!!!

2016 Arkansas Future Stars Showcase Saturday at Taylor Field (Rain or Shine)

PINE BLUFF -- The PRO-DAY Arkansas Future Stars Showcase will be held on Saturday (May 28th) at Historical Taylor Field (Rain or Shine), announced Jeff Gross, CEO/Founder of PRO-DAY Baseball.

Arkansas High School Baseball Prospects in Classes 2017-18 are eligible to participate in the Future Stars Showcase.

Players will go thru a professional workout and be evaluated by coaches and professional scouts during the morning session. In the afternoon, these prospects will play in a ballgame and be able to participate at both their primary and secondary positions.

Due to inclement weather, the professional workout will be held in the Indoor Facility at Taylor Field.

During the closing ceremonies on Saturday, players will receive their evaluation reports back to them with that information also going off to three colleges of the players choice.

The "Top" players from this event will be invited to the PRO-DAY World Showcase in Orange Beach (AL) in late October.

Also, players that do well have a chance to be selected to the 2017 PRO-DAY "Prep Gear" Pre-Season High School All-American Team.

Four recent Southeast Arkansas players have been selected to this All-American team which include: White Hall's Daniel Sprinkle (Auburn), Pine Bluff's Jaylon Jackson (UAPB) and Star City's Gary Hill (Arkansas State) and Austin Powell (Arkansas State).

"This is a great opportunity for players to be seen and get their name out prior to their senior year," said Gross. "The Future Stars Showcase is in its' third-year here in Pine Bluff and we've been able to open up many doors for players from this showcase."

Long-time Major League Scout Bill Earnhart, a 40-year veteran and member of the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks will be on hand to evaluate talent and speak to the players as a group and 1-on-1.

"I really enjoy coming to Pine Bluff looking for players, because of the history of talent here for so many decades, " said Earnhart. "I remember coming in here when I worked with the Rangers to help sign a young left-hander by the name of John Barfield in the mid-80's.

"Then later Jeff and his brother John started scouting with Texas in the late 80's and worked this area," said Earnhart. "What I like about PRO-DAY is the number of players are limited that can attend so each player can be seen and have plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills during the course of the event."

Since 1989, PRO-DAY Baseball has been "Helping Players Advance to the Next Level" whether that would be professionally or collegiately.

Players are still able to sign-up for the Future Stars Showcase as of today by visiting or calling 1-888-224-6150.