IMG Academy’s baseball team just secured its first-ever undefeated season. The Ascenders, 25-0 record capped off a season where they were recently named the 2023 MaxPreps national champions.
Led by star pitcher Cameron Johnson, who’s the 24th-ranked according to Prospects Live, and the 41st-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline. It’s safe to say Johnson, is a very likely first round pick in next month’s MLB Draft.
But what about the guy catching all that heat from Johnson, the young mound marauder?
That’s right IMG Academy star catcher, Zion Rose, is definitely a name to remember in next month’s three day festivities in Seattle, Washington at Lumen Field. The Chicago native himself is the 41st-ranked prospects by Prospects Live, and the 144th-ranked draft eligible prospect according to MLB Pipeline’s eligible draftees.
Johnson Raves About 2023 Season: One For The Ages
Rose, who does all the dirty work behind the plate, was recently asked the Ascenders epic 2023 season. The Louisville commit was short and sweet in his response with this.
“It’s been an amazing year,” Rose said.
And with so much more still to unfold based on next month’s draft, Rose, just like many other prospects, will have a decision to make. If drafted, does he go to college or jump right into the professional ranks of the sport.
Rose who was a standout at the MLB Dream Series in January, used that to catapult into a great senior season. In fact, one scout mentioned that Rose is more than a catcher and can affect the game in many positions around the diamond.
“I like the swing,” the scout said. “He has bat speed, uses the whole field and he has pop. He can run and play multiple positions. I wouldn’t bet against him to catch. He has something to prove.”
Rose Isn’t Moving From Behind The Plate
“People ask me questions, ‘Do you play outfield?” Rose said. “I say, ‘No, I catch. I’m a catcher. ‘But also, I don’t take away from my ability that I can play the outfield. I can still do that. But I’m a catcher.”
— PodUnfinished (@PodUnfinished) June 21, 2023
Johnson Made Sure To Bring Family Business To Florida
Moving from Chicago to Bradenton, Florida was a huge change for Rose, who admitted it was a difficult being away from his family.
“Yeah, it’s been a little hard being away from my family.”
But Rose always had something with him to remind him of the “Windy City.”
Rose’s family owns a shea butter line called “Nature’s Dezzert,” and Rose reportedly brought some of that with him to Florida.
Rose has been selling the scents on campus.
“We have 12 or 13 scents and they all smell amazing.”
“I just bring down duffel bags of it and sell it here. They call me ‘Shea Butter Man’ on campus.”
Rose says the family started the business because his younger brother had really bad eczema, and over-the-counter stuff wasn’t working. He also says as a salesman is like dealing with different pitchers, can’t have the same script.
Rose is a salesman to the core pitching the product with this line.
“I’ve been full games of catching, and people are like, ‘How do you smell so good after catching a full game? I’m like it’s the product.”
Zion is set to get paid on the diamond, but we also know he’s a salesman at heart. That’s an easy sell to MLB teams looking for the first impactful catcher since Charles Johnson.