UConn's Pat Winkel and Ben Casparius, Amity's Juju Stevens among players at MLB Draft Combine

The MLB Draft Combine began Thursday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Carry, NC and features a handful of Connecticut players.

Juju Stevens (Amity), Pat Winkel (Amity/UConn), Ben Casparius (Staples/UConn), Christian Moore (Suffield Academy), and Mike Sirota (The Gunnery) are among the 167 players scheduled to participate.

Stevens, an outfielder, is the lone Connecticut high school prospect attending. Committed to the University of Missouri and a GameTimeCT 1st Team All-State selection, Stevens slashed .452/.521/.968 with eight home runs for Amity this spring.

Winkel, a 2018 graduate of Amity will be in attendance as a collegiate player after three years as a UConn catcher. Winkel was the GameTimeCT player of the year in 2018 and was drafted that year by the Yankees in the 31st round.

Winkel started at catcher as a freshman at UConn in 2019, missed the 2020 season due to injury and was named to the ABCA First Team Northeast All-Region team as well as the All-Big East second team after slashing .284/.357/.525 with 11 home runs in 2021.

Winkel’s college teammate, righthanded pitcher Casparius, will also be attending the combine and has been identified as a potential early-round selection.

Casparius graduated from Staples in 2018 and was named the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year after leading his team to a state championship.

After spending his freshman year at the University of North Carolina, Casparius transferred to UConn and led the Big East in starts (15), wins (8), innings pitched (91.2 and strikeouts (127).

Both Moore and Sirota will showcase their talents as well after playing at Connecticut prep schools this season. Both are from New York.

The combine will continue through Friday as players display their talents in a pro-style showcase workout, with strength and conditioning assessments, and medical assessments.

An amalgamation of scouts, former players, and front office executives will be in attendance to evaluate for the upcoming 2021 MLB Draft beginning on July 11th.

The draft will be 20 rounds, half as long as recent years but still an expansion of last year’s five-round draft.

Live coverage of the combine will begin on Friday at 1 p.m. on MLB Network to provide breakdowns, player analysis and player interviews throughout the afternoon.