In 2009, Team USA swept gold medals in international competitions at all three high school-aged divisions—14U, 16U and 18U. The quest to repeat that feat in 2010 begins Friday in Thunder Bay, Ont. with the IBAF 'AAA' 18U Junior World Championship. After the Tournament of Stars, USA Baseball selected an 18U trials roster and whittled down to 20 before the team hit the road for some tune-ups.
Team USA went 5-0 against the Greater N.Y. Alliance All-Stars, a collection of New York-area high school seniors and college freshmen. After the New York swing, the team headed to Minnesota to play some summer teams as well as three friendlies against Canada. Team USA went 6-1 there with the one loss coming in a 4-3 decision against the Canadians. [...] Continue Reading »
USA Baseball announced the final roster for its 18U team over the weekend. The team is currently in New York to face the Greater N.Y. Alliance All-Stars before going to Minnesota for another tune-up series. The IBAF 'AAA' 18U Junior World Championship begins July 23 in Thunder Bay, Ontario with Team USA facing Australia. [...] Continue Reading »
Team USA has announced its trials rosters for the 18U, 16U and 14U teams. Between 18U and 16U, two schools are represented well with four players each making a roster. Gulliver Prep (Miami) has four players on the 16U squad in catcher Chris Chinea, infielder/outfielder Adrian Marin, infielder Eric Neitzel and lefthanded pitcher Ivan Pelaez. Gulliver advanced to the Florida 3-A finals, but lost to defending champion The Bolles School (Jacksonville). [...] Continue Reading »
With the conclusion of the Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C., USA Baseball has now announced the trials rosters for the 18U, 16U and 14U national teams. The 18U squad begins practice and scrimmages this week at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. It will then head to New York to face the Greater N.Y. Alliance All-Stars July 6-10 before going to Minnesota for another tune-up series. The IBAF 'AAA' 18U Junior World Championship begins July 23 in Thunder Bay, Ontario with Team USA facing Australia.
The 16U team trials will be held. Sept. 25-Oct. 6 at College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas. The COPABE Pan Am 'AA' 16U Youth Championships will take place Oct. 8-17 in Culiacan, Mexico.
The 14U team trials will be July 13-20 in Cary and the COPABE Pan Am 'A' 14U Championships are July 23-Aug. 1 in Managua, Nicaragua. [...] Continue Reading »
One of the players that showed the most with his bat this week was first baseman Dan Vogelbach from Bishop Verot High in Fort Myers. Over his 12 at-bats on the week, the 6-foot-1, 240-pound lefthanded hitter hit .500/.571/.750 with one of the event's two home runs. Vogelbach has good power, but also showed some pure hitting ability and only struck out once.
Vogelbach said he was seeing the ball well this week.
"I'm just trying to square everything up and be aggressive and prove I belong out here with all the best players," Vogelbach said. "I just look for that pitch I can drive and hit it hard and hopefully good things will happen with it."
[...] Continue Reading »
Technically, Saturday was the fourth day of the Tournament of Stars, but it was the third day of games. Friday consisted of mainly workouts and simulated batting practices, no games. It was more laid back for scouts and college recruiters, plus the weather was much better. On Thursday, temperatures went into the triple digits and the humidity made it much worse.
The highlight of Saturday came during the fourth game with AABC and PONY vying for a spot in Sunday's bronze medal game. Starting for PONY was Lance McCullers Jr., a well-known prospect for 2012, son of an ex-big leaguer and already a favorite among a couple Baseball America staffers.
McCullers is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound infielder/righthander from Jesuit High in Tampa. I first saw McCullers—along with dozens of scouts and recruiters—at the World Wood Bat Championships in Jupiter, Fla. in 2008. He was an incoming freshman then and hadn't thrown a varsity pitch yet. He had an 88-90 mph fastball and also showed a nasty curveball. Almost a year later he made an appearance at USA Baseball's National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. for the Labor Day Cup for Florida Travel Ball, his summer team. He showed the same nasty curve with a little more velocity and ran his fastball up to 94. [...] Continue Reading »
It was a sweltering 100 degrees in Cary, N.C. today for the second day of USA Baseball's Tournment of Stars. Players, scouts and parents were dripping with sweat from the first pitch at 10 a.m. until the final out of the fourth game close to 6 p.m. Despite the oppressive heat, a couple players stood out today. . .
The star of the first game was outfielder/righthander Bubba Starling. Starling is a two-way threat and one of the best athletes in this year's class. He had a great day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two triples.
Starling is proof that, if you're good, scouts will find you. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder hails from Gardner Edgerton High in Gardner, Kan., a town of about 10,000 near the Kansas-Missouri border.
[...] Continue Reading »
The Tournament of Stars began Wednesday morning and the setting was typical: hot, humid weather with plenty of talent, scouts and college recruiters on hand. The TOS is put on by USA Baseball at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The participants play in an eight-team tournament and are evaluated by USA Baseball staff members. A group of 32 players is then selected for a trials roster and that group is whittled down the the 18U National Team roster that will travel to Thunder Bay, Ont. for the IBAF 'AAA' 18U Junior World Championship at the end of July.
Righthander A.J. Vanegas started the game for PONY and shut down the RBI team, as PONY went on to win, 12-1. Over his four innings of work, Vanegas allowed one run on three hits. He walked four, but also struck out eight. His fastball was mostly in the 89-91 mph range and he mixed in a 74-75 mph curveball. [...] Continue Reading »
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