Osakis' Drew Fearing couldn't believe the letter he got in the mail a few weeks ago inviting him to participate in a one-day camp at Target Field.
Twins scout Mark Wilson saw Fearing play during the Class A state tournament this past spring, where he made a nice impression. Fearing also plays through the Minnesota Blizzard Baseball Academy in the winter and owner Adam Barta had a conversation with Wilson about Fearing's ability.
The sure-handed shortstop has stats that compare to almost anybody across the state at the Class A level. He hit .473 with 31 runs and 35 RBIs in 23 games this past season, but he still wasn't expecting to be a part of the 34 elite prospects who were invited to the camp at Target Field on August 9.
"I was really honored and blessed when I opened [the letter]," Fearing said. "Not going to lie, I wasn't expecting it at all. It was pretty awesome playing with guys who were committed to Tennessee and people who were throwing 90 miles per hour. They were all really great ball players and I'm blessed to be thought of as one of those guys."
Players took batting practice and scrimmaged, with each pitcher facing about four hitters at the six-hour camp. Fearing got three at-bats against different guys who all touched the upper-80s on the radar gun. He lined a base hit over the shortstop's head in his first at-bat before striking out and grounding out to short in his final two times at the plate.
"It was different," he said. "I've faced guys throwing that hard in the Blizzard, but that is pretty much about the only time I've faced that fast of pitching before. You just have to start everything early. Make your decision faster. They all have better curveballs. They're just talented kids."
The camp was an opportunity for scouts to get an up-close look at some talented prospects. It's also an opportunity for the players to see how they fare against some other top players from around the state.
Fearing devotes a lot of time to baseball year around and always has confidence when he steps on the field. He admits that a camp like this only adds to his confidence heading into his senior year.
"Yeah, it does," he said. "I didn't think I would be able to play with those guys. They're the best in the state and then I got offered to play with them. I thought it was pretty special, and I just felt blessed to be invited to something like that."
Fearing hopes to narrow down exactly where he will be playing his college baseball. He's hoping for at least a partial scholarship offer at the highest level he can play at.
He recently went to a camp at North Dakota State University, where he felt good about how he played. The University of North Dakota is also showing some interest, along with plenty of Division II and Division III teams.