USA Baseball Names Michael Cuddyer 2023 18U National Team Manager

Image credit: Michael Cuddyer (Courtesy USA Baseball)

USA Baseball named former 15-year big leaguer and two-time all-star Michael Cuddyer its 2023 18U National Team manager today.

It will mark Cuddyer’s first time serving as a manager for Team USA as the team looks to defend its gold medal at the 2023 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 World Cup in Taiwan. The event will take place from Sept. 1-18.

Before Cuddyer’s professional career, he played for the 18U National Team in 1996 and 1997. He also served as an assistant coach for the 2021 18U National Team.

“Any time you have an opportunity to don the stars and stripes is extremely special,” said Cuddyer in a USA Baseball release. “In 1996, the 18U National Team was the first time I was able to come to the realization that I could play with the best players in the world. I am beyond grateful to be able to share in the journey of this year’s team members on our quest to defend the gold medal.”

Cuddyer played for the Twins, Rockies and Mets throughout his MLB career and led the National League in hitting in 2013 when he made his second all-star team and also won a Silver Slugger award. He was a career .272/.343/.451 hitter who totaled 197 home runs, while primarily playing right field. 

Like every year since its inception, the PDP League, which takes place from June 26-July 3 in Cary, N.C., will serve as the primary identification event for the 18U National Team. In addition to helping select Team USA, the PDP League is a must-attend event for amateur scouts and will be one of the first prominent national events for the high school class of 2024. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael Cuddyer back to Team USA to be our manager in 2023,” said 18U National Team Program Director Brett Curll in the release. “As someone who has played and coached for the U.S., Michael realizes the importance of representing our country in international play. His experience as a standout player in amateur baseball will be extremely relatable for our players at this point of their careers, and his successful major-league career speaks for itself. We are looking forward to beginning the process of defending our world championship with Michael leading the charge.”

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