Herts Falcons and Great Britain National Team players Jamie Gregory and Tom Everex-Armstrong have been invited to this year’s Major League Baseball European Academy Try Outs. Although there have been several other British players called up to the MLB European Try Outs in previous years, this is the first time that members of Herts Baseball Club take part in this prestigious programme.
The MLB European Baseball Academy was created to provide training for European, New Zealand and African baseball prospects by former major leaguers. It also provides a central scouting location during the weeks it is open and over two dozen Academy alumni have signed contracts with MLB teams.
In 2011, Alex Liddi became the first Academy product to be called up to the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners. Donald Lutz was the second, making it in 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds. Instructors have included Barry Larkin, Lee Smith, Art Howe, Wally Joyner, Bruce Hurst, John McLaren, Steve Finley, Craig Shipley and Dale Murphy.
Through July 2013, over 50 Academy alumni had been signed by MLB organizations. So far there have been no British players who have gone on to sign contracts with MLB teams from the Academy, but the signs are that MLB is beginning to recognise the talented players playing in Britain, which is a boost for players in this country.
Armstrong and Gregory are taking part in this weekend’s segment of the Academy which is held in Barcelona, Spain. Herts fans should rest assured that both will be back in time for Herts Falcons’ next league game on Sunday, 11 May 2014, at the Bracknell Blazers.