Palm Desert High School senior-to-be Jeremiah Estrada has received a lot of honors for his work on the baseball diamond.
The slender pitcher who can already hit the low-90s on the radar gun added another prestigious piece to his resume this week when he was given a roster spot in the PG All-American Classic game. This is an exhibition game for elite high school seniors from across the country and will take place Aug. 14 at Petco Park in San Diego.
How elite is this field?
Since its inception in 2003, 123 players who participated in the PG All-American Classic have made the major leagues, including some of baseball’s biggest names. For example, 12 of the players in Tuesday’s All-Star Game participated in the PG All-American Game as high schoolers. That list includes Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Kris Bryant, Madison Bumgarner, Jose Fernandez, Eric Hosmer, Corey Seager, Addison Russell, Aaron Sanchez, Francisco Lindor, Dexter Fowler and Dellin Betances.
“I’m so excited and honored,” Estrada said. “I mean these are some of the top players around and to be a part of it is the result of a lot of hard work and practice, but again, I’m truly excited and blessed. I mean when you see the names of people who have played in this game and to be considered like them is a great feeling.”
Estrada, the Desert Sun’s baseball player of the year, is coming off another stellar season. He compiled a 10-3 record with a 1.00 ERA in 77 innings. Estrada struck out 112 batters and walked 24.
Most of the players on the roster in this game usually wind up being pretty high draft picks, but Estrada said he’s not really thinking of it like that.
“To be honest, right now my focus is on the high school season — high school and then college,” said Estrada who already has a scholarship to pitch at UCLA. “I want to have a great high school year and then get ready to have a great college career. Whatever happens in the draft happens, but my focus is on high school and college right now.”
Another part of this particular all-star game is that it was created with the sole focus of raising money for Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, with the proceeds going to support research for pediatric cancer. Since 2003 more than $900,000 has been raised.
That part of the honor was not lost on Estrada.
“Part of it is visiting the hospital and hanging with some of the kids that maybe can’t do all the things they want to do,” Estrada said. “Being able to help them is also a blessing, just like being in the game.”
The game will start at 5 p.m. on Aug. 14 and air live on the MLB Network.