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In search of big league talent

When Springstead High baseball coach Chuck Moehle helped organize a Kansas City Royals professional baseball tryout camp in Spring Hill last year, he underestimated the attendance. "I was expecting about 30 or 40, maybe, but when I got there that day, it seemed like they were coming out of the woodwork," said Moehle, who helped Royals scout Joe Caro arrange the one-day tryout session.

There were 127 players from throughout Central Florida who attended. None was signed on the spot, though Caro told about a half-dozen he would continue to follow their amateur careers.

Caro, the head baseball coach at Tampa Plant High, now works as a scout for the California Angels organization. He has scheduled three Angels tryout camps this month, including one at Springstead High on June 23. The others are planned June 8 at the University of Tampa and June 15 at Sarasota Riverview. All begin at 9 a.m.

"Like I told our younger guys, it's a real good opportunity to get looked at, to see how you stack up against people your age and some who are older and more experienced," Moehle said.

The tryouts are open to players aged 15-22, Moehle said. Members of American Legion teams must receive releases from their coach or post commander before participating.

Moehle expects another good turnout this year, though he's not sure how many will attend.

Players interested in the Spring Hill tryout should report to the Springstead High diamond and be ready to perform by 9 a.m. All are expected to be timed in the 60-yard dash and given the opportunity to display their throwing arm. Some will be selected to play in simulated game action.

Players are asked to bring their own gloves and cleats, and to label any personal equipment they bring.

For more information, call Moehle at (904) 683-2843.