The 2012 17u ABR “Player of the Year” was recently named. Clayton Gelfand of West Linn, OR was selected based upon his athletic production and impact in the 2012 season.
Gelfand is a MIF/RHP out of Wilsonville High School in West Linn, OR.
The switch-hitting senior was named the 2012 NWOC (Northwest Oregon Conference) “Pitcher of the Year” and was selected to the All-NWOC Baseball Team after finishing the season with a .390 BA and 1.3 ERA.
Brian Wabick of the Amateur Baseball Report (ABR) and USSSA All-American Games Scout first caught a glimpse of Gelfand at the 2011 USSSA Winter Nationals Super NIT in Arizona last December. Gelfand helped lead his team, Capital City Select, to a 2nd place finish.
“Clayton is an advanced pitcher with an advanced approach. I was really impressed with his ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes low in the zone. He had the tools I was looking for in a player to invite to the USSSA All-American Games,” explains Brian Wabick who is also a former pitcher for the Astros organization.
It was not only Gelfand’s arm that caught the attention of many.
“Clayton is a two way threat that has great instincts and good hands at short. He has a sneaky 88 – 90 mph fastball that explodes on hitters. Gelfands high leg kick makes it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball,” explains USSSA National Team Head Coach, DJ Wabick, who is also a former NCAA DI All-American and 2009 Mets AA All-Star.
“He showed that he can handle the bat against top pitchers and hit for a high average with his line to line approach. He has a bright future and we can’t wait to see more of him,” further adds Wabick.
Gelfand did nothing less than impress scouts and coaches at the USSSA All-American Games this past August.
He was named a 2012 USSSA First Team All-American and selected to the 2013 USSSA High School Varsity National Team who will travel internationally. The 2010 team traveled to Osaka, Japan while the 2011 and 2012 teams traveled to Prague, Czech Republic.
Although it seems Gelfand is a seasoned USSSA and ABR veteran, he is actually only a rookie on the scene.
“The first time I heard of ABR was at the USSSA All-American Games, and then again in North Carolina for the NTIS. Only being on the USSSA circuit for this past year I have already gotten so much, and couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given,” explains Gelfand.
“Being able to receive the player of the year award was amazing. I’m really looking forward to the international experience, receiving some great coaching and play along players I will make lifelong friends and hopefully getting drafted with the exposure I get playing with USSSA and through ABR. “
Gelfand has certainly received some exposure as well. He recently committed to St. Mary’s College in California, a NCAA Division I program.
“I have chosen St. Mary’s because the coaching staff along with the education is a school that will give me the best chance to succeed after baseball is over. I believe I will come out a better player and also a better man. I haven’t signed yet. But next signing period I will.”
If he has another year like 2012, Gelfand is sure to be a threat on the international level and a possible name in the 2013 MLB draft.