Players from the Peninsula Oilers and other Alaska Baseball League teams will get a chance to show off in front of pro scouts this weekend as they gather in Anchorage for the annual Wood Bat Invitational tournament.
"For me this is the chance to showcase the kids to Major League scouts," Oilers' manager Gary Adcock said. "It's easy for them to evaluate the players at the Bucs' tournament, because they're all there in one spot."
Besides the Oilers and the host Anchorage Bucs, The Bay Area Stars -- a collection of junior college players from Northern California -- the Anchorage Glacier Pilots, the Mat-Su Miners and Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks will face off in a five-day round-robin tournament at Mulcahy Stadium. The Oilers' first game is today at 5 p.m.
The Oilers have made it to the championship game in the tournament three years running, but have lost all three times, Adcock said.
"We've had the same philosophy those years, too," he said. "We want to show off our players; give them a chance to showcase their skills."
But winning is still on the mind of the competitive Oilers skipper.
"We still want to win games and win the tourney," Adcock said.
Oilers general manager Mike Baxter feels the same way.
"When we play, we want to win," Baxter said. "But we also want to reward our players for their hard work."
Both Adcock and Baxter said the entire line-up will get a chance to play during the event.
Baxter said the Wood Bat Invitational was not a "win at all costs" event, but qualified that statement later.
"If we make it to the championship game, then it may become all or nothing," he said.
Adcock is also going to use the Wood Bat tourney to do some final scouting of additional player to fill out his roster for the National Baseball Congress World Series next week.
The Oilers get the first and fourth choices in a supplemental draft of other league players that the team may bring to the tournament.
Adcock said he has his eye on a couple of players, but declined to say who they were for fear of tipping his hand to whatever team places second in the ABL.
Speaking of the NBC Series, Adcock does have to manage at the Wood Bat Invitational carefully, because three days later, he has to bring a ready team to Wichita, Kan.
"I have to balance being competitive with keeping a healthy team," he said. "I have an obligation to the community and the Oilers to win everything. The main goal is to be healthy and ready."
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