The USA Baseball 18U team made a second round of cuts, going from 40 players down to 28. The following 28 players will come back to Cary, NC in September, where the roster will be cut down again to the final 20 before the team heads off to Cartagena, Columbia for the COPABE PanAm AAA Championships. Here is the official release on the second round of cuts. . .
DURHAM, N.C. — Following a two-week evaluation period that concluded with the inaugural Prospect Classic, USA Baseball announced the names of 28 players who have received invitations to join the 18U National Team at a second round trial, to be held Sept. 12-21, in Cary.
From there, 20 athletes will be selected to compete in the 2011 COPABE Pan American AAA/18U Championships in Cartagena, Colombia, Sept. 23-Oct. 2. Team USA is the defending champion of the tournament, having defeated Cuba, 6-1, in the 2009 title game.
Highlighting the 28-man trial roster is five-time USA Baseball Alum Albert Almora (Hialeah, Fla.) and 2010 USA Baseball Player-of-the-Year Alex Bregman (Albuquerque, N.M.). In all, 11 of the 28 invitees are alums of USA Baseball.
The USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials roster is as follows:
Rio Ruiz is a name we have heard for a while and been longing to see in person. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound third baseman strolled into USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars this week, fresh off hitting a home run at Dodger Stadium in California's Southern Section Division IV championship game. Ruiz led Bishop Amat High (La Puente, Calif.) to the title win and a No. 7 finish in the High School Top 25.
For the Lancers, Ruiz hit .455 in 101 at-bats with three home runs and 35 RBIs. He described hitting a home run at Dodger Stadium as one of the best feelings in his life and was excited to finally win a championship.
"It was amazing," he said. "That's been my goal since freshman year, to win a championship. Third year is a charm. We worked really hard, every day. Whether it's ground balls, hitting, throwing. We did the little things perfectly. Everything. Hats off to my coach. Coach (Andy) Nieto, he did a heck of a job." [...] Continue Reading »
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