Local baseball player Christian Ruff is looking for a chance to be scouted by top baseball recruits this summer after being invited to attend the Baseball Factory Omaha National World Series camp.
The training camp takes place at Iowa Western Community College from June 25-30.
“You showcase your skills in front of the staff of baseball factory,” Ruff said about the training camp. “It’s when the best athletes around the world go and play against each other with 100-plus college coacheswatching.”
Ruff currently plays baseball at Wayne County but also played briefly at First Presbyterian Christian Academy and Savannah Christian.
The senior Yellow Jacket catcher made 181 putouts on 812 total chances with one error this season, according to state posted on Game Changer.
Offensively, he has a .451 on-base percentage.
Ruff said he has pitched in the past but prefers to play catcher.
Ruff, 18, said he started playing baseball at age 4. During the summer season, Ruff plays for Chain baseball, but this year he has a chance to attend the elite camp, looking to make an impression on college scouts.
“I want to attend Auburn University,” Ruff said.
According to baseballscoutz.com, Ruff is ranked 98th among catchers in Georgia.
At the training camp, Ruff will receive daily skill-specific training and hands-on instruction from Baseball Factory’s professional staff. Participants also get to attend one College World Series game and play in a competitive tournament.
Ruff’s grandfather, Joel Blanks, has started collecting donations to help cover some of the travel expenses for his grandson’s trip.
He said Ruff was the only player selected to represent Wayne County.
“It makes me and his entire family very proud of him,” Blanks said. “It validates all we have told him over the years about his abilities and his understanding of the game.”
Blanks said being a catcher requires a lot of mental acuity in addition to physical skills.
He said he thinks Ruff will benefit from the training, which should help him take his skills to the collegiate level.
Ruff said his ultimate dream is one day to play for the Chicago Cubs.
Anyone wishing to help pay for Ruff’s trip should go to www.facebook.com/jablanks and send Blanks a private message.