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USA Baseball to Debut Prospect Classic in July

Published:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2011

Contact: Jake Fehling – jakefehling@usabaseball.com, (919) 474-8721 x225

USA BASEBALL TO DEBUT PROSPECT CLASSIC IN JULY

Collegiate and 18U National Teams to square off in inaugural, two-game series, July 1-2 in Triangle-area of N.C.


DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced Thursday that it will debut the Prospect Classic in July, a two game series featuring its 2011 Collegiate and 18U National Teams. The event is the first of its kind for the federation, and it will offer fans and members of the baseball community a unique opportunity to see the top prospects for upcoming MLB First-Year Player Drafts on the field at the same time.

The series will be held July 1, at 7:05 p.m., at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) in Durham, N.C., and on July 2, at 7:05 p.m., at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, N.C. Tickets are available for purchase at USABaseball.com.

Additionally, each game will air on a one-day delay, July 2-3, on MLB Network. Viewers are encouraged to check mlbnetwork.com for channel number and times. The coverage furthers USA Baseball’s presence on MLB Network, following its increased exposure during the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft and the recent announcement of the Golden Spikes Award moving to a live presentation on MLB Tonight on July 15, at 6:00 p.m. ET.

“Each year our Collegiate and 18U National Team programs field some of the brightest young stars in baseball,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “The Prospect Classic will provide an unprecedented opportunity to not only watch both teams compete in a series for the first time, but to also see the future top prospects in our sport.

To illustrate the potential talent that will be showcased in the Prospect Classic, the 2010 Collegiate and 18U National Teams combined for 13 selections on the 2011 MLB Draft’s opening night, including eight of the top 20 picks and the No. 1 overall selection, Gerrit Cole. In total, 32 of the 33 draft eligible players from the 2010 clubs were picked this week. In 2009, the Collegiate and 18U teams’ respective starting batteries were Drew Pomeranz/Yasmani Grandal and Jameson Taillon/Bryce Harper, who today are among the top prospects in baseball.

Durham Bulls play-by-play announcer Neil Solondz will lead a MLB Network broadcast team featuring MLB.com’s draft expert Jonathan Mayo and former Minnesota Twins standout and 1996 U.S. Olympian Jacque Jones. A veteran of 10 big league seasons and guest analyst for MLB Network as part of its 2011 Spring Training broadcasts, Jones will serve both as a reporter and an honorary alumni coach for the game.

This summer the Collegiate team will host the Japan University All-Stars in the 38th installment of their international friendship series. The five-game series will run July 3-8, and will conclude in Omaha, Neb. where the two countries will play at the new TD Ameritrade Park on July 8, at 7:00 p.m. CT. The team will be managed by University of Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson who previously served as an assistant coach for the 2005 Collegiate National Team.

“The Prospect Classic adds another unique component to our summer schedule,” said Eric Campbell, general manager of the Collegiate National Team. “The ability to offer our athletes this experience as well as the opportunity to face a tough Japan team and to play at the new facility in Omaha, is something we’re excited about.”

The 18U National Team will compete this fall in Cartagena, Colombia, in the COPABE Pan American AAA/18U Championships. Scott Brosius, a three-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees, will make his Team USA debut as manager of the club. In 2010 the 18U team concluded its summer with a 19-2 mark, outscoring its opponents 74-14. It is the defending gold medalist of the Pan Ams, having defeated Cuba, 6-1, for the title in 2009.

“We are thrilled to be part of a series against the Collegiate National Team,” said Brant Ust, general manager of the 18U National Team. “The Prospect Classic will enhance the overall 18U National Team program and will help better prepare us for our defense of gold in Colombia.”

Other prominent alums from the 18U National Team include Joe Mauer (2000), B.J. Upton (2001), Buster Posey (2004), Justin Upton (2004), and Bryce Harper (2009). Collegiate team alumni now in the big leagues include Ryan Howard (2000), Mark Teixeira (2000), Dustin Pedroia (2002), Troy Tulowitzki (2004), and David Price (2005).

About USA Baseball

USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and World Cup Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit USABaseball.com and
GoldenSpikesAward.com.






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