Future Stars heads to Fla.

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ST. THOMAS - Eleven baseball players from the U.S. Virgin Islands are on their way to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a showcase and six games against top high school teams in the Sunshine State.

The players are members of the V.I. Future Stars Baseball organization, which holds showcase events to help the top talent in the territory, Tortola and other locations play in front of college and professional scouts. Some players live in the United States but have ties to the Virgin Islands.

This is the sixth year the program has made the Florida trip.

Territory high schools represented on the roster include Charlotte Amalie, Ivanna Eudora Kean, St. Croix Educational Complex and St. Croix Central.

Players will work out at various positions and take batting practice on the first morning to show off their raw skills. Canton is expecting about 25 professional and college scouts from around Florida to observe the showcase.

The Future Stars will face stiff competition through six games from Thursday to Sunday. American Heritage High School will host the Future Stars on Thursday. Future Stars president Darren Canton described Heritage as a "prestigious" program and recent history supports the description.

Heritage, located in Plantation, Fla., held the No. 1 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings for a stint during the spring. Two Heritage players made the ESPN High School All-American second team.

"That's what we usually always kind of do," Canton said. "We try to do some research before we make the schedules and sought the best schools."

The team will also face Coral Springs High School, which had a first-round draft pick last year.

"It's just exciting to see our kids get to match up against that kind of talent, which is a good draw for coaches and scouts," Canton said.

Canton attended Major League Baseball's scout school in 2006 and graduated from the 10-day program on evaluating talent.

The Future Stars website lists 14 professional players and 37 college players as alumni.

- Contact Tim Chapman at 714-9102 or tchapman@dailynews.vi.

Territory players on Florida trip

Javier Perez, Northern Oklahoma College, Complex 2011

Raymond Sankitts Jr., Complex 2014

Daren R.K. Stevens, Complex 2014

Jose Martinez Jr., Complex 2014

Manny Martinez, Central 2015

Shakeel Newton, Genesse CC (NY), Central 2011

Jedethun Joseph, Charlotte Amalie 2014

Emari Mills, Kean 2014

Jordan Scott, Arabia Mountain High (Ga.), St. Croix native

D'quan Matthews, Mundy Mills High (Ga.), St. Thomas native

D'ante Matthews, Mundy Mills High (Ga.), St. Thomas native

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