The Confederation of Pan American Baseball (COPABE) has announced that the Junior 18U Pan American Championships have been rescheduled for Nov. 18-27 in Cartagena, Colombia.
The dates of the event were moved after a natural disaster occurred in a nearby town known as San Francisco. Thousands of residents have been displaced due to structural damage to houses and buildings in the neighborhood. The mayor of Cartagena felt a postponement of the event was necessary as the government focused on a response to the disaster.
USA Baseball will still have players return to the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. on Sept. 12 for workouts and exhibition games. The final 20-man roster will be announced at the end of that week and all players and coaches will return to their respective homes. The team will then reconvene in Miami on Nov. 11 for a training period before flying to Colombia on Nov. 16.
UPDATED: 8:07 p.m. ET
With a 9-0 victory over Cuba in the 2011 IBAF World 'AA'/16U Youth Championships, Team USA claimed its sixth straight gold medal in international competition. Righthander Keegan Thompson (Cullman, Ala., HS) continued a dominating tournament performance by throwing a complete-game shutout against Cuba, striking out 12 while allowing just four hits and one walk. He went 2-0, 1.29 with 18 strikeouts in 14 innings at the tournament in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico.
"Keegan Thompson is legit," head coach Ernie Padron said. "He didn't let up. He was pounding the strike zone. He had three innings with single-digit pitch counts. He had command, mound presence and he went 4-for-5 at the plate—his out was a one-hop shot at the second baseman."
Thompson has an athletic frame a 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and works with a low-90s fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. Padron said his command and demeanor stood out against Cuba.
"He could throw wherever he wanted to throw, everything," said. "The composure he exhibited for a 16-year-old was mind boggling."
Infielder Zach Collins (American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.) was named MVP after hitting .536/.618/.964 with 16 RBIs in 28 at-bats. Outfielder Austin Meadows (Grayson HS, Loganville, Ga.) set a 16U record with 26 RBIs and was named to the all-tournament team.
A member of the 2013 class, Meadows is arguably the best draft prospect on the 16U team. He has a physical frame at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, and showed an ability to hit for average and power, and run for Team USA. [...] Continue Reading »
The USA Baseball 16U team begins play in Mexico Aug. 19 in the IBAF World 'AA' 16U Youth Championships.
This year marks the 14th edition of the tournament and the US enters as defending champions. They will face off against 10 other teams, since the Phillipines recently withdrew from the competition.
The US will begin pool play in Group A against Mexico, Brazil, Chinese Taipei and Australia. Group B features Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Japan, Indonesia and the Netherlands. The top four teams from each group go on to a second round-robin format, with the final two teams playing for the championship.
"For such a short time, they like each other—they pull for each other," 16U head coach Ernie Padron said about his squad. "They're very disciplined, on time and doing all the little things that help you get together as a team. It's a good group."
The 20-man team gives a sneak peek at some of the top players for the 2013 and 2014 classes. . . and even a pitcher from the 2015 class.
[...] Continue Reading »
When Montclair Prep of Van Nuys, Calif. cut its entire athletic program, all of its athletes essentially became free agents in Southern California's prep landscape. While coaches at other schools couldn't directly contact athletes because of recruiting rules, it has still made for interesting developments. The baseball world has had its eye on lefthander Max Fried, a potential first-round pick for the 2012 draft. Early speculation was that he would head to Studio City's Harvard-Westlake High to join righthander Lucas Giolito in the rotation. That has turned into a reality as the school announced Fried's enrollment in a press release this evening.
“I am extremely grateful to Montclair Prep for the great experiences I had there – both in the classroom and on the field," Fried said. "The decision by the school to cancel the sports program was a shock to me and my family. I was looking forward to having a great senior year there. Because both school and sports are important to me, I decided to explore the opportunity to pursue both at another school. Harvard-Westlake represents the best balance of academics and athletics and I am excited to begin my senior year there.”
With Giolito being arguably the top prospect in the 2012 class, the Wolverines automatically boast the top rotation in the country. It's reminiscent of Houston's Cypress Falls High rotation that had righthander Clint Everts and lefthander Scott Kazmir. Everts went fifth overall to the Expos while Kazmir fell to the Mets at the 15th pick because of signability. [...] Continue Reading »
CHICAGO — Mother Nature wasn't on Under Armour's side today.
During warmups and for the first couple innings of the Under Armour All-America Game presented by Baseball Factory, the weather was beautiful. But dark clouds started rolling in during the third inning and heavy downpour caused a 90-minute break in the action. With steady rain during the final three innings, the game was eventually called in the eighth when outfielder Fernelys Sanchez from Washington High in New York was drilled in the back by a pitch that slipped out of the pitcher's hand.
The National team beat the American team, 6-4.
"For us, it was important to try and get as much as the game in as possible," Baseball Factory spokesman Jason Budden said. "It's unfortunate that we had to end early, but we were able to get all the primary pitchers to throw and all position players got in the game. It was a great outing. I thought the kids showed great and I'm really excited with how it turned out, even with the weather."
The pitcher on the mound in the eighth inning was righthander Jamie Callahan. His stuff wasn't as sharp as he's shown in the past and he had trouble locating, giving up two walks and two singles before drilling Sanchez right at the top of the spine.
[...] Continue Reading »
CHICAGO — Fans watching the Under Armour All-America Game on MLB Network only get to see the tip of the iceberg. Obviously that's the highlight of the weekend, but there are several other great moments along the way. . .
Dream Come True
For the first time this year, the Under Armour All-Americans had Topps baseball cards produced. Each player signed 250 cards for Topps and they will be distributed as inserts in upcoming product releases.
For this baseman David Thompson from Westminster Christian High in Palmetto Bay, Fla., it was a dream come true.
"It was a pretty surreal moment," third baseman David Thompson said. "I always dreamed about having a baseball card, and now I do."
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