Baseball: Carmel Catholic’s Amrein showcases versatility
Carmel Catholic's Duncan Amrein races to the ball during the showcase at Stevenson on Saturday. | Ruthie Hauge ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 22, 2012 7:49PM
Before he participated in Friday and Saturday’s Northwest Suburban Baseball Tournament — also known as the Stevenson Showcase — Carmel’s Duncan Amrein got some advice.
His older brother, Zach, had played in the same showcase five years earlier. A member of Carmel’s sectional-winning squad in 2007, the 6-foot-5 player took his talents to the College of Lake County before playing two years at Illinois State.
The advice dispensed was sound, if not unexpected.
“(Zach) said, ‘It’s your attitude. If you are not doing well, how do you respond?” ’ recalled Duncan Amrein. “When you strike out, do you go back with your head down or jog back? When you are pitching and you give up a hit, do you go back to the dugout with your head down?”
The 6-foot-1, 173-pound senior-to-be was one of Carmel’s most productive hitters (.464 batting average, 27 RBIs, 1.283 OPS) and pitchers (2.23 ERA) in 2012— and he has designs on taking his talents to the college ranks.
The two-day showcase at Stevenson High School could be classified as the official coming-out party for members of the Class of 2013. Started by former Hersey coach Harvey Foster in 1998, the event has grown from having a few dozen college coaches in attendance to including well over 100 pro and college scouts, representing conferences such as the Big 10, Big East, MAC and the Ivy League. Players run through drills such as infield and batting practice, testing their athleticism and aptitude. They then play games, sharing a dugout with rival high school players, each of whom were nominated for the event by high school coaches.
After running a strong 6.92 in the 60-yard dash, Amrein threw one scoreless inning, and also knocked a base hit for the East Suburban Catholic All-Stars.
“I had the best year of hitting I’ve had in a long time,” said Amrein, who bats left-handed and throws righty. “When I was younger, I was more of a hitter. Now that I’m getting taller, I’ll be more of a pitcher who will be a hitter. I can go farther in pitching.”
Amrein is playing for the U17 Northern Knights travel team this summer. In the same program is Alex Young, a teammate on the 2012 Carmel Corsairs who turned down million-dollar offers to pitch in college at TCU next season.
“My brother got the most letters (after the showcase),” Amrein said. “I just want to play. Baseball is my life.”
Off the notepad: Amrein was joined at the Stevenson Showcase by Carmel teammates Matt Ryan, Mike Stahoviak (.318, 27 RBIs in ’12) and Tyler Murphy (.330, 24 RBIs). Summer league coach Mike Miller and former varsity coach Joe May also were in the dugout representing the Corsairs.
Ryan pitched one inning Friday, peaking at 86 mph, according to one coach’s radar gun. Ryan was the Corsairs’ second-best pitcher in 2012, compiling a 1.94 ERA in 47 innings, which led the team. He’s playing for Long Shots, in Downers Grove, this summer — along with the Carmel summer team. Ryan had already heard from some college coaches by the time Saturday rolled around.
“You get recognized when you sprint,” Ryan said. “I had two emails from coaches (at Seton Hall and Western Illinois) who were there, and they liked how I hustled.”