China Spring High sports phenom gets MLB treatment at The Dream Series

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:08 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHINA SPRING, Texas (KWTX) - A local three-sport high school athlete is enjoying basketball season, fresh off a state title in football, and has just returned from an invitation to the The Dream Series, an event put on by Major League Baseball to showcase the most elite, predominantly black, baseball players in the country.

Dean Hannah, 15, a sophomore at China Spring High School, was one of only 80 players invited nationwide to attend The Dream Series at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Angels.

“It was really awesome to get coaching from former MLB players and coaches, and having current MLB players come in and talk to us, and then also being in front of MLB scouts,” Hannah said. “It was a great opportunity.”

The Dream Series was founded in 2017 and is a four-day, invite-only annual showcase that’s become a flagship of MLB’s growing slate of diversity programs aimed at getting more Black athletes interested in baseball.

Dean Hannah at The Dream Series
Dean Hannah at The Dream Series(Courtesy Photos)

It’s run by former American League Manager of the year Jerry Manuel.

According to the event’s website, the program focuses on “developing the player on-and-off the field through seminars, mentorship, scout evaluations, video coverage and the highest level of instruction, all while providing a platform for the players to perform for scouts and collegiate coaches.”

Hannah said it was that and so much more. He got a chance to interact with former and current MLB players, including Cincinnati Red’s pitcher Hunter Greene, who once participated in The Dream Series as a player.

Greene invited Hannah to his home, and even gave the player a pair of cleats.

“The coolest part off the field was when Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Red’s pitcher, invited us to his house,” he said. “We just hung out, ate. He gave us Nike cleats and a letter of inspiration because he came up through it , got drafted out of high school, went to the Reds and so now he’s the starting pitcher for them. I mean, he’s doing his thing up there and it was just really cool to meet him, talk to him, get a picture with him, and just to know how his path was coming up through it. "

Dean Hannah with Hunter Greene
Dean Hannah with Hunter Greene(Courtesy Photos)

Hannah also enjoyed getting to know the other star athletes from around the country.

“The fun part about The Dream Series was being around all the kids,” he said. “I mean, just having fun with them. Spending time with them. A lot of them are going to get drafted out of high school, and then some of them are already committed to schools, and so learning from them, seeing what their routines are, how they think, and just learn from kids my age, younger, older, whatever, and just being able to enjoy being around them. "

The experience came at no cost for Hannah’s family with USA baseball picking up all expenses.

Notable guests who participated in the 2023 Dream Series include former Major League managers Mike Scioscia and youth consultant Jerry Manuel.

Hannah is ranked the #2 first baseman and #5 catcher in state of Texas for the class of 2025 by Perfect Game USA, and he’s ranked in top 15 in both positions nationwide.

He’s a long snapper and wide receiver for the reigning Texas state champion football team and a guard and forward on the varsity basketball team.

Hannah was named China Spring ISD District Newcomer of the Year in baseball last season and maintains a 3.7 GPA.

His parents, Rachel and Keith, say they’re proud of their son’s humble nature through all his young success and believe the best is yet to come.

“We’re proud that he remains very focused on his dreams, goals and academics and that he takes great pride in representing our family name, school and community. He always gives the Glory to God,” Hannah says.

Hannah is verbally committed to play baseball for the University of Texas at Austin.