The White Sox Amateur City Elite baseball program produced its biggest recruiting class ever Tuesday as 15 student-athletes signed letters of intent.
The class, which included five signees from Simeon High School, brings the total number of scholarships signed in the program’s nine-year history to 106. Since the program’s inception in 2007, 16 players have been selected in baseball’s amateur draft.
One of many club dignitaries on hand, White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams said he thinks the program’s increased popularity is because of past successes and positive examples set. Speaking in front an auditorium packed with family members, coaches and friends, Williams implored signees to remember the examples they set for their community.
“It is growing in talent,” Williams said. “More kids are playing. I think it’s something that speaks to the greater need in some of our communities that are struggling, and that’s a little hope and a little vision … When you can see possibilities in your life, that causes you to make decisions that are in alignment with that. It causes you to put that extra effort maybe in the classroom or maybe on the athletic field as well.
“When you see class after class, and these guys are putting on these hats and getting these scholarships and opportunities, it can only give you hope. So, I think more than anything, yes, it affects these young men that are in this room. But I always think, ‘Ok, who outside of this room is getting inspired?’ That’s kind of cool.”
This year’s class includes: Christian Bullock (University of Michigan), Jalen Cole (Harris Stowe University), De’jon Collins (Hannibal LaGrange University), Lorenzo Elion (Michigan), Andrew Garcia (Prarie View A&M), Tyler Gordon (Prarie View A&M), Bryce Gray (Notre Dame), Jeremy Houston (Indiana), Tyler Laux (Prarie View A&M), Alfred “AJ” Lewis, Jr. (Missouri), Gerald Powell (Illinois-Springfield), Connor Rektorski (Western Illinois), Josh Shaw (Kentucky State), Austin Straley (Kalamazoo) and Tavaris Terrell (Chicago State).
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
White Sox second baseman Micah Johnson also briefly addressed the class.
Johnson, who attended Indiana University, spoke to signees about the different challenges attending college provides.
“It really put a smile on my face to hear all those parents cheering because college is expensive,” Johnson said. “It’s awesome and they get to play baseball. It’s good for them. You learn a lot. The lifting programs in college, you lift four times a week and it’s early, 6 a.m. You can’t do anything else but lift and play baseball so it’s good for these guys.”
Your browser does not support iframes.