That’s why Keith, who is coming off a dominant junior season as a pitcher for the Callaway Cavaliers, was so eager to participate in the USA Baseball 17-and-under championships that was held in Palm Beach County (Fla.) last month.
The tournament included 64 elite teams from across the country.
“Playing against teams like that, it shows you where you sit on the totem pole, how high you are, or how low you are,” Keith said.
Keith sat pretty high.
Playing for a team called the Georgia Prospects, Keith started two games as a pitcher, and he won them both.
Keith also played first base in the games where he didn’t pitch.
Keith’s team finished with a 4-4 record and made it to the round of 16 before falling to a team from Southern California.
“It’s always fun playing that type of competition,” Keith said. “It’s very nice. It’s a lot tougher than high school. That’s why it’s great to go out and experience it.”
A year ago while playing for Team Georgia, Keith participated in the USA Baseball 16-and-under championship, and he said his performance was much better this time around.
“I feel like I did a lot better this year than I did last year,” Keith said. “And I pitched against better teams this year. We had a really good team this year.”
Keith said he enjoyed being around players who are at the top of the high-school heirachy.
“I got to meet a lot of great people and play against people that will end up getting drafted, and play with people who will get drafted,” Keith said. “It was a great time.”