This past Saturday, I attended the Ocean State Bandits Showcase Day at West Warwick’s McCarthy Field. Ocean State Bandits Baseball is an Rhode Island based AAU program run by David Roy and in conjunction with the Rhode Island Baseball Institute. The Bandits program draws top talent from schools all across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Saturday was a showcase event that drew attention from area scouts, college coaches, and proud parents.
I arrived just after 1 pm and took a stroll around McCarthy Field to get a broad sense of what a showcase event looked like. There were players and coaches scattered throughout the field at various stations. There were pitchers and their designated catchers warming up in the bullpen area along the third base foul line. There were players running 60 yard dashes for times. There were infielders prepping for infield drills and practice. On the mound, a group of coaches stood behind the pitcher’s mound as a Bandits player showed off his arm talent. The sounds of “70 miles per hour” and “83 miles per hour” could be heard by an app on one of the coach’s phones or monitoring devices. The entire showcase event was being live streamed to social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. In the outfield, Coach Adam Tremblay showed off his fungo skills by “crushing” fly ball after fly ball.
In the stands, parents watched as their son took the field to showcase his baseball skills. Behind home plate, a group of college coaches from Rhode Island College, Lasell, and other surrounding areas took notes, raised their radar guns, chatted about players, and watched intently to pick out their next shortstop, pitcher, catcher, and/or outfielder.
One of the first things I noticed was the uniforms. Every single player and coach wore their Bandits gear from head to toe. The hats matched. The player’s uniforms matched. The coaches all wore Bandits shirts or warm-up jackets or long sleeve shirts. Also, there was hustle from station to station. Players warming up were doing so with purpose. Even the practice and prep work was done with effort. I got the sense from observing the coaches and watching the players that they were focused on baseball and showcasing their talents as well as their work ethics. Coaches are certainly looking to spot talent, but also effort and character in these events. Kudos to the players and coaches for showing up ready to play and showcase.
After the pitcher and catcher showcase, players made their way to infield and outfield positions on the field. From there, Coach Roy ran the team through an extensive infield and outfield practice. Fly balls hit to the outfield and outfielders were to catch or field the baseball and then throw to a designated base. Each fielder received about 10 to 15 fly balls. The outfield exhibition showcased their athletic ability, tracking the baseball, arm strength, and footwork. Coach Roy moved from right to center to left field before moving to the infield. I caught the beginning of the infield portion before it started to rain.
Here are the roster sheets from Saturday’s Ocean State Bandits Showcase event:
The Ocean State Bandits Showcase event was a very impressive display of talent. Coaches were organized. The players hustled and showed off their baseball skills. The weather unfortunately did not cooperate, as it began to rain steadily starting at about 2 pm. Overall, I was really impressed with the Bandits organization from top to bottom, as they proved why they are one of the best AAU baseball programs in Rhode Island.
Contact information for the Ocean State Bandits: