School may have started last week at Hilton Head Preparatory School, but Jake Martin still has some summer left over to take care of.
The senior, who played last season for Bluffton High School, has been selected by USA Baseball to take part in the Mid-Atlantic National Team Identification Series this weekend at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Roughly 300 players from the 17-under and 16-under age groups will be split into four teams in each age group and play in three nine-inning games, in which they will be evaluated by USA Baseball officials, as well as college coaches and professional scouts.
At least eight players will be selected to attend the 2013 18-under National Team Trials and at least eight more will be invited to the 2013 17-under National Team Developmental Program.
"You've got to go through evaluations and then you play (three) games against the best kids in the country," Martin said of his chances at being selected. "In baseball, anyone can win on any given day."
Just to get to Cary, Martin had to make it through two previous tryouts in Columbia and Charlotte.
"It was full of great players, and I was pretty skeptical if I was going to make it or not," Martin said. They said they'd let us know in about a week. But the phone rang and they told us the next day. It was incredible. I was very fortunate. Making it any further would be a dream come true."
Martin made it to Cary once before in 2009, where Jake's father, Luke Martin, characterized the evaluations as "pretty intense."
Luke Martin said parents were be evaluated as well, based on criteria ranging from how they treated their kids to how they reacted in the stands.
Whether he's selected for the next phase or not, Jake Martin says going through the process will help him.
"You never want to get too much confidence," Jake Martin said. "I always want to play as an underdog and play up to higher competition. I want to play humble. But making this is a good feat. It definitely helps with high school."
Jake Martin said he has every intention of continuing his baseball career at the next level. He's heard from friends who didn't go on to play in college who wish they would have.
"I am definitely looking to play baseball somewhere," Jake Martin said. "I don't have any offers yet, but I'll look hard at any I get.
"I'm really looking forward to getting the opportunity to play at the next level."
Story tags: baseball, preps, USA baseball, bluffton, bobcats, Hilton Head Prep, Dolphins,