Baseball: Lodi’s Plascencia representing the 209

Lodi batter Omar Plascencia watches the baseball speeding toward home plate in Wednesday's TCAL game against Lincoln at Zupo Field on April 3.

Omar Plascencia showcased his skills for the Lodi High baseball team this spring.

Now the Lodi High senior, who has already made his decision on attending college, will be displaying his talents in front of the Oakland A’s and Major League Baseball scouts.

Plascencia, a catcher, is one of 27 high school baseball players who has been selected to play in the Area Code Games. Those contests will take place Monday through Friday at Blair Field on the Long Beach State campus.

Plascencia is the only San Joaquin County high school baseball player listed on the roster. He is one of more than 200 high school baseball players who will graduate in 2020 to 2022 taking part in the games.

“I first heard about it last year,” Plascencia said. “I heard of it, but I didn’t know you could be invited to it.”

The Oakland A’s selected Plascencia for their Area Code team. The A’s are one of the six MLB teams taking part; the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and the Washington Nationals are the others.

Plascencia and the other baseball players will display their fielding, hitting, pitching, throwing and baserunning skills in front of the six MLB teams, plus scouts from the other 24 MLB squads. All six teams will play five games each.

Kevin Mello, a scout for the A’s who will over see the Northern California team, notified Plascencia toward the end of last week of the selection.

“I didn’t have his number in my phone,” said Plascencia of the phone call that displayed on his caller ID. “He told me that I made the team. It was just a surreal. It was just a big sigh of relief.”

Prior to making the trek to Southern California this weekend, Plascencia was one of 120 high school baseball players in the 209 area code who tried for the Area Code Baseball Games at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton last month. The Stockton Ports, who are part of the A’s organization, play their home games at Banner Island Ballpark.

During the tryouts, Plascencia said he and the other ball players were tested in the 60-yard dash, batting practice in which players could only take 10 swings and catcher pop times. The latter drill determines how fast a catcher can throw the baseball from his mitt to second base. Plascencia was clocked between 1.86 and 1.92 seconds.

“I think that the velocity was 82 mph,” said Plascencia, who is listed at an even 6-foot and 190-pounds on the A’s roster.

Plascencia is looking forward to displaying his skills for the A’s, the other five teams and MLB scouts next week.

“More of a showcase style of play than a team style of play,” Plascencia said. “I’m trying to show what I got in front of those guys. That’s the name of the game.”

Plascencia already has a game plan in place after he graduates from Lodi High in the spring of 2020. Carrying a 3.9 grade point average, he has committed to UC Davis.

“We’ve been contacted since last fall,” Plascencia said. “They have best package academically and athletically. It’s a good swap.”

This summer, Plascencia, who transferred to Lodi High after his freshman year at Bear Creek High, has been playing for the Lodi Mavericks, a traveling baseball squad. The summer season recently ended, and the Mavericks will be gearing up for the fall season in September.

During the high school baseball season last spring, Plascencia batted .417 with an on-base percentage of .611 for Lodi. He also had 21 RBIs, 19 walks and six doubles. Plascencia and the Flames won the Tri-City Athletic League title, and made the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for a 10th consecutive year.

Contact Mike Bush at mikeb@lodinews.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.

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