Norwin infielder chosen for exclusive showcase

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Sunday, December 13, 2020 | 1:54 PM


No high school baseball season last spring only served to motivate players like Alex Gabauer, a slick-fielding, power-hitting shortstop at Norwin.

The senior has committed to play at Penn, so his college future is secure — as secure as it can be during the covid-19 pandemic.

But baseball can lead prospects down meandering paths and take them to places they’ve only dreamed about.

College usually is the sure thing. But there is always that flickering hope to play at the next level. The Bigs. The Show. The Majors.

Professional baseball is a long reach for most players, but others make it because they exhaust every avenue to get there and pounce on even the slightest opportunity.

In the fast-moving recruiting world, a passive approach can lead to nowhere.

Gabauer is as active as they come in the recruiting game. He has used the travel ball circuit to get his name in front of scouts and further his playing career.

Now, he could get a chance to display his skills in front of major league scouts when he takes part in the invitation-only Pennsylvania Baseball Report Northeast ProCase.

The showcase event is scheduled for Feb. 13 in Williamsport.

It sounds like he would be ready if the event was tomorrow.

“I am certainly planning on going,” Gabauer said. “I’ve built great relationships with some incredible players through such PBR events. This one, in particular, will be great timing as I’ll likely be in the best baseball shape I’ve been in due to my speed and strength as well as focused winter baseball workouts.”

Penn recruited him through the Prep Baseball Report Future Games last July in Georgia.

Gabauer is not playing basketball this season as he focuses solely on baseball.

“I hate to give up basketball for my senior year, but being ready to compete for a spot once I get on campus at Penn has me driven to have my body, my mind and my game at its peak,” he said. “I am certainly excited about it.”

The ProCase is for a select group of prospects who are looking to impress scouts and have them remember their names down the road.

“If I’m not mistaken, it is an identification event that could help players get their names in the mix for the pre-draft league that is going to be held in the region,” Gabauer said. “For me, I embrace any opportunity to showcase my skills and learn from some of the top players in the area. I’ve had the chance to compete with some of these guys at the Futures Games and through travel ball. Many of them will be names lining up for the draft in upcoming years.”

Gabauer plans to play next summer for the Creekside Fitness team in the Youngstown B League, the AAB Collegiate League, and in some select tournaments with Team All-American, should that organization field an 18-and-under team.

As a sophomore, Gabauer was an honorable mention all-section player in Class 6A. He played third base and was the Knights’ leadoff hitter.

He is itching for one last season with the Knights, playing alongside teammates with whom he has grown up.

“I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping all works out well for a spring season and a shot at a championship run,” he said. “We’ve been playing together for a long time, waiting for our chance. I have a lot of great teammates and hard workers.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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