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Riley Greene, Logan Gilbert (Also) Representing Orlando in MLB All Star Game

The Detroit Tigers might be 15 games behind the Guardians in the AL Central, but they will have two All Stars in Riley Greene and Tarik Skubal in Arlington next week.  Both Greene and Skubal are among the most exciting young stars in the game.  Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners lead the AL West with a 49-43 record.  Yet, just one pitcher, Logan Gilbert, will be representing them in the All Star Game.  While Mariners fans may think they deserve more love, Logan Gilbert has put together a stellar season thus far.

Riley Greene

When the American League All Stars commence for the festivities next week, a lesser known common fact about Greene and Gilbert is that they’re both products of the Orlando area.  We’ve covered Greene’s story here at Legends on Deck, featured in Greene, Grissom and the Hagerty Way. He’s a product of a powerhouse Hagerty (Oviedo) baseball program that’s produced a strong list of current MLB players.  The list includes; Vaughn Grissom (Red Sox),  Zach Eflin (Rays) and Ryan Mountcastle (Orioles).  We’ve had Hagerty Head Coach Mike Sindone on the LOD Podcast (see Episode 15) and we attended the Greene and Grissom number retirement ceremony back in 2023.  There’s something special about what they’ve done over at Hagerty is a relatively short amount of time.  Greene was the fifth overall pick for the Tigers in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Logan Gilbert

Over on the west side of town, Logan Gilbert, came out of Wekiva High School in Apopka.  Crosstown rival Apopka High School is the alma mater of another former MLB (6x) All Star in Zack Greinke.  Gilbert went on to another Central Florida pitching hub for college, Stetson University (Deland).  Stetson has created somewhat of a pitching factory in recent years, including Cy Young Award winners Jacon deGrom and Corey Kluber.  Gilbert, the two time Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year would be selected 14th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. He made his debut with the Mariners in 2021 and since been a steady force in Seattle’s starting rotation.

Local Legends

While Orlando is one of the largest metropolitan areas in America without professional baseball (MLB or MiLB), it has fast become one of the hubs for emerging baseball talent.  The high school baseball and travel baseball scene in Central Florida is rich for scouting, feeding into college programs and eventually into the MLB Draft.  In years past, it was Ron Karkovice and Joe Oliver out of Boone High School and the late, great knuckleballer Tim Wakefield of Melborne (Eau Gallie).  Then it was Johnny Damon (Dr. Phillips), Mike Maroth (Boone), Jason Varitek (Lake Brantley) and AJ Pierzynski (Dr. Phillips) in the 1990s.  In the past two decades, the number of professional ballplayers from the area has grown exponentially.

Turn on a major league game any night of the week and you might spot Greene’s Tigers teammate Kerry Carpenter or Royals pitcher Brady Singer (both of Eustis).  Then there’s Jesse Winker, Nick Gordon or Brad Miller out of Olympia.  There’s also long list of names currently working their way through the ranks college and minor league baseball, including the second overall pick of the 2023 Draft, Dylan Crews (Lake Mary).

As the region continues to populate, high level amateur baseball continues to flourish in the Orlando area.  Today, the baseball community across Central Florida should celebrate the accomplishments of Riley Greene and Logan Gilbert.  Tomorrow, the number of local legends the region can claim as their own will surely continue to stack up.

Be sure to check out all related podcasts pertaining to baseball in Central Florida from Legends on Deck:

Brian is the Co-Owner/Managing Editor at Legends on Deck and Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. He's been writing about baseball at LOD since 2017. He grew up in the Detroit area and is a lifelong Tigers fan. However, he shares some affinity for his son George's favorite team, the Atlanta Braves. Brian also has a particular interest in the amateur side of the game, including high school, college and collegiate summer league baseball. Brian and George also love collecting and selling baseball cards. You can find them selling on eBay (@Kossball) or posting on George's Instagram (@Kossball). Brian lives in Horizon West (Winter Garden), Florida with his wife (Grace), three daughters and son George. You can also reach him at brianmkoss@gmail.com

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