Buford High School right-handed pitcher Nate Taylor was selected and competed in the 2023 Hank Aaron Invitational on July 30 at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.

Taylor, a senior at BHS, was one of 44 talented high school baseball players to be picked to compete in this year’s event. The 44 players selected were hand-picked from a group of approximately 200 high-school aged players who participated in a week-long player development event held July 23-28, 2023, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla.

The event is sponsored by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF) in partnership with USA Baseball. According to MLB Youth Development Foundation, the Hank Aaron Invitational is “the premier diversity-focused baseball development experience for high school-age baseball players in the United States.”

During the week in Vero Beach, “participants receive training, instruction and mentoring from former Major League Players, coaches and baseball executives.”

The event began in 2015 and was originally called the Elite Development Invitational. At the World Series in 2018, it was renamed the Hank Aaron Invitational to acknowledge and honor the late Hall of Famer. Each year, 44 players are selected out of the pool of around 200-250 high school-aged baseball players from around the nation that participates in the first week’s player development session. The number 44 is a nod to Aaron’s jersey number.

This year, the states with the most players selected for the 2023 Hank Aaron Invitational game were Florida (10), Texas (nine), Georgia (seven), California (six) and Illinois (four).

In addition to Taylor, six other high school baseball players from Georgia got to play in the game at Truist Park on Sunday evening. Those players were Jakobi Bowen (Greater Atlanta Christian School), Dennis Butler (Kell HS), Trey Calaway (Dutchtown HS), Josh Evans (Peachtree Ridge HS), Cross Redden (Redan HS) and Bruce Wyche (Union Grove HS).

Taylor is committed to play for the Georgia Tech baseball program after graduating from Buford in 2024. He is 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and plays both right-handed pitcher and first base.

For more information about the 2023 Hank Aaron Invitational and full team rosters, click here.

Featured photo: Buford right-handed pitcher competed in the 2023 Hank Aaron Invitational at Truist Park on July 30, 2023. Special photo

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