A team bursting with impact prospects will represent the United States at the 2010 Pan American Qualifying tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The team will scrimmage Sept. 25-28 at USA Baseball's National Training Center against teams from Puerto Rico and Canada, then plays in the tournament Oct. 1-10. The event serves as a qualifier for the 2011 Pan Am Games, with the top eight teams earning entry, and the top six teams also qualify for the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup.
The roster includes some of the best prospects in the minor leagues who are not on 40-man rosters, with the Royals contributing six players. Manager Ernie Young (White Sox) can run out a lineup with speedy outfielders Brett Jackson (Cubs) and Mike Trout (Angels), as well as hard-hitting infielders in first baseman Eric Hosmer (Royals), third baseman Mike Moustakas (Royals) and second baseman Cord Phelps (Indians); and ersatile USA Baseball veteran Todd Frazier (Reds), who is listed on the roster as an outfielder and who played for the college national team in 2006.
The bigger news Thursday is the quality of arms made available to Team USA, whose international fortunes often hinge on what pitchers it gets from major league organizations. In recent tournaments the U.S. has won, such as the 2006 Olympic qualifier and the 2007 and 2009 World Cups, the Americans have had go-to starters, such as Kevin Slowey (who started the '06 Olympic qualifier in Havana and beat Cuba), Brian Duensing and Jeff Karstens (2007 World Cup) and Cory Luebke and Brad Lincoln ('09 World Cup).
This year's roster also has impressive arms, with three power pitchers in Cubs righthander Chris Archer and Royals lefties Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery. That group rivals the '08 Olympic team, which had Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Stephen Strasburg (who was a college sophomore at the time) in its rotation, in terms of talent.
Archer had as strong a season as any pitcher in the minors, going 15-3, 2.34 with 149 strikeouts in 142 innings. Montgomery reached Double-A and went 7-5, 2.61 in 93 innings overall while striking out 88, and Duffy returned with a vengeance after nearly quitting baseball in spring training, going 5-3, 2.75 in 62 innings with 69 strikeouts. It's rare for Team USA to get one power arm with low mileage in terms of innings; this team will have two.
The roster also includes a potentially exciting bullpen, featuring hard throwers in lefty Tim Collins (Royals) and righthanders Justin De Fratus (Phillies) and Anthony Carter (White Sox), both of whom have fastballs that reach at least 94-95 mph when they are at their best.
USA Baseball supplemented the prospects on the roster with a solid slew of veterans, including several with big league and Team USA experience. That group includes 2008 Olympic team alum Brian Barden (Marlins), ex-big leaguers such as shortstop Brian Bocock (Phillies) and first baseman/DH Brad Eldred (Rockies); lefty Royce Ring (Yankees), an ex-big leaguer and two-time Team USA member; and righthander Todd Redmond (Braves), who won three starts for the '09 World Cup team.
Canada is expected to announce their roster next week.
The entire U.S. roster:
|Player||POS||B-T||Ht||WT||DOB||CURRENT ORGANIZATION||2010 LEVEL|
|Chris Archer||RHP||R-R||6-3||180||09/26/88||Chicago Cubs||Tennessee (AA)|
|Bruce Billings||RHP||R-R||6-1||200||11/18/85||Colorado Rockies||Tulsa (AA)|
|Anthony Carter||RHP||L-R||6-3||180||04/04/86||Chicago White Sox||Birmingham (AA)|
|Tim Collins||LHP||L-L||5-7||155||08/22/89||Kansas City Royals||Omaha (AAA)|
|Justin De Fratus||RHP||S-R||6-4||215||10/21/87||Philadelphia Phillies||Reading (AA)|
|Danny Duffy||LHP||L-L||6-3||195||12/21/88||Kansas City Royals||Northwest Arkansas (AA)|
|Bryan Henry||RHP||R-R||6-3||205||02/15/85||Arizona Diamondbacks||Mobile (AA)|
|Andre Lamontagne||RHP||S-R||6-5||210||03/24/86||Milwaukee Brewers||Huntsville (AA)|
|Mike Montgomery||LHP||L-L||6-5||180||07/01/89||Kansas City Royals||Northwest Arkansas (AA)|
|Royce Ring||LHP||L-L||6-1||220||12/21/80||New York Yankees||Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)|
|Todd Redmond||RHP||R-R||6-3||215||05/17/85||Atlanta Braves||Gwinnett (AAA)|
|Everett Teaford||LHP||L-L||6-1||155||05/15/84||Kansas City Royals||Northwest Arkansas (AA)|
|Brian Jeroloman||C||L-R||6-1||200||05/10/85||Toronto Blue Jays||Las Vegas (AAA)|
|Jordan Pacheco||C||R-R||6-1||190||01/30/86||Colorado Rockies||Tulsa (AA)|
|Brian Barden||IF||R-R||5-11||200||04/02/81||Florida Marlins||New Orleans (AAA)|
|Brian Bocock||IF||R-R||5-11||185||03/09/85||Philadelphia Phillies||Lehigh Valley (AAA)|
|Brad Eldred||IF||R-R||6-5||290||07/12/80||Colorado Rockies||Colorado Springs (AAA)|
|Eric Hosmer||IF||L-L||6-4||215||10/24/89||Kansas City Royals||Northwest Arkansas (AA)|
|Mike Moustakas||IF||L-R||5-11||230||09/11/88||Kansas City Royals||Omaha (AAA)|
|Cord Phelps||IF||S-R||6-2||200||01/23/87||Cleveland Indians||Columbus (AAA)|
|Todd Frazier||OF||R-R||6-3||220||02/12/86||Cincinnati Reds||Louisville (AAA)|
|Jamie Hoffman||OF||R-R||6-3||235||08/20/84||Los Angeles Dodgers||Albuquerque (AAA)|
|Brett Jackson||OF||L-R||6-2||210||08/02/88||Chicago Cubs||Tennessee (AA)|
|Mike Trout||OF||R/R||6-1||217||08/07/91||Los Angeles Angels||Rancho Cucamonga (A)|