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The New Balance Future Stars Series provides high-potential baseball prospects who might otherwise fly under the radar a stage on which to shine. A prime example set for the 2019 event is Jonny Long of the southern California-based Trombly Baseball.
“I think he’s going to bust out with his performance, and the exposure that event will give him,” said Trombly Baseball founder and owner Steve Trombly. “This kid led Orange County in batting average, hits and RBI [in the 2019 high school season]. And Orange County is a pretty special place for baseball players.”
Indeed. Though geographically small, Orange County is big on baseball talent – so much so that Long went into his junior season at Orange High School overlooked even on the local scene. He was not included in the Orange County Register’s top 10 to watch list ahead of the campaign, in part due to the school’s California Interscholastic Federation Division 6 status (Div. I is the largest).
Congrats Orange High School Panther Jonny Long! The 2020 grad and Blue Waver led Orange County in hitting this seasonhttps://www.ocregister.com/2019/04/29/orange-county-baseball-hits-leaders-final-2019-regular-season/ pic.twitter.com/94MiC9ieDO— BLUE WAVE BASEBALL (@BlueWaveBBC) April 30, 2019
But Orange Panthers coach George Chace knew what to expect, and Trombly said Chace put Long on the club’s radar during the autumn.
Long’s county-best hitting immediately translated for Trombly Baseball to kick off the summer.
“He started the summer just crushing. Our first game with wooden bats, facing an elite pitcher throwing upper-80s [MPH], he went 3-for-3,” Trombly marveled. “Last week in Arizona, he was unbelievable. At one point, he was 11-fot-16 with a double in every game.”
The 2020 prospect Long exudes confidence in his plate presence, to such an extent Tromply described his swing as “Major League.”
Considering the alumni to pass through the Trombly Baseball program before Long, that’s not empty rhetoric. The club includes such names as Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman.
The Future Stars Series benefits a player like Long who is beginning to gain some attention later into his high school days, Trombly said, not just for the bevy of scouts in attendance. He lauded the scouts’ reputable ratings, which carry cachet through the baseball community.
With a strong performance in Texas, the reputation of a breakout player like Long can spread nationally quickly.
What position Long might gain scouts’ attention is another matter. Trombly said he believes the Orange High product currently forecasts as a third baseman, but Long is also an effective right-handed pitcher. When an injury sidelined Trombly Baseball’s shortstop during a tournament earlier this summer, Long plied his trade there, as well.
“Jonny played shortstop every game for me in Arizona,” Trombly said. “He can make every play at short, he’s very athletic, he can flat-out hit, and he threw two saves … and almost had a win [in a starting appearance] for us.”
The convergence of some of the country’s premier baseball talent at the Future Stars Series is another opportunity for Long to shine. And it shouldn’t be long before his name is buzzing among the nation’s baseball prospects.