Tournaments : : Story
Handicapping the PG WWBA Championship
Friday, October 20, 2006
Who will get the Rings?
Here is a quick look at one man?€™s opinion of the top 30 teams in this year?€™s 80 team PG WWBA World Championship. The tournament starts with 5 games on Thursday Oct. 26th and the championship game will be Monday afternoon Oct. 30th at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter Florida. The other 50 teams (not listed above) have lots of highly ranked prospects. A couple of them are likely to be big surprises in Jupiter this year. Then there are the many individual surprises that pop up each year in this event. Looks like it should be a good one!
Many top prospects will be playing for other teams in the 80 team tournament.
Players in bold attended either the Perfect Game National Showcase and/or the Aflac All American Classic.
Handicapping the World Wood Bat Championship
1 - Reds Scout Team
Top Players: OF Michael Burgess, SS Justin Jackson, 3B Derek Dietrich, 2B Ryan Dent, C Yasmani Grandal, 1B Eric Hosmer, LHP Walker Kelly, RHP Jarrod Parker, RHP Sam Runion, RHP Tommy Toledo, RHP Seth Blair and Many other top prospects.
The nucleus of the Midland Redskins summer club has an incredible starting lineup featuring 5 AFLAC All Americans in Burgess, Dietrich, Jackson, Runion and Grandal. The rest of the team is almost as talented.
Michael Burgess Justin Jackson Derek Dietrich Ryan Dent Yasmani Grandal
2 - East Cobb Astros
Top Players: OF Jason Heyward, 3B Hunter Morris, OF Chris Epps, 1B Chase Davidson, RH Jake Cowan, LHP Josh Smoker, LHP Jack McGeary, RHP Austin Bailey, LHP Nathan Vineyard, RHP Brian Dupra, RHP Gary Gilheeney, LHP Brett DeVall, RHP Zeke Spruill and the rest are top prospects too.
It would be hard to argue that any team can match up pitcher for pitcher with the Astros staff. The same essential group allowed 1 run at last year?€™s World Championship and 2 runs at the 2006 World Junior Championships.
Heyward Morris Epps Smoker McGeary Bailey Vineyard
3 - Ohio Warhawks
Top Players: SS Christian Colon, 1B Freddie Freeman, SS Mike Moustakas, OF Isaac Galloway, OF Danny Carroll, RHP James Mahler, RHP Scott Moviel, RHP Drew Storen, They are loaded with top prospects throughout the lineup.
The Warhawks finished 2nd at Jupiter in 2004 and are a perennial contender for the championship. Scoring runs should not be a problem for a high powered offense. Look for a couple of big surprises.
Christian Colon Freddie Freeman James Mahler
4 - ABD Bulldogs
Top Players: SS Nick Noonan, 3B Josh Vitters, OF Brett Krill, OF Sequoyah Stonecipher, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Daniel Elorriaga-Matra, IF-RHP Ryan O?€™Sullivan, LHP Forrest Moore, RHP Cole Cook, RHP Kyle Ocampo, RHP Matt Sisto and many other top prospects.
The 2005 third place Bulldogs are without MVP Chris Parmelee, now with the Twins, but return what is for sure a stronger overall team. In fact, this looks like one of the best ABD teams ever.
Noonan Vitters Krill Stonecipher Rizzo Elorriaga-Matra Moore
5 - South Florida Bandits
Top Players: RHP Rick Porcello, CF Stephen Brooks, SS D.J. LeMahieu, RHP Nathan Striz, RHP Anthony Ranaudo, OF Wes Manning, C Keith Weinkofsky, C Shawn Zarraga, 1B Jaren Matthews, SS Greg Sherry and other top prospects.
The South Florida Bandits are actually mostly from New Jersey and other parts of the country, but New Jersey is one of the hot up and coming states for young talent. This team is absolutely loaded.
Porcello Brooks LeMahieu Striz Weinkofsky Zarraga Matthews
6 - Houston Heat
Top Players: SS Kevin Ahrens, OF David Alleman, RHP Paul Demny, LHP Aaron Daab, RHP Barrett Loux, RHP Justin Jackson, LHP/1B Bobby Stone, RHP Brandon Finken and many more top prospects.
The Heat always bring the heat, in the form of some of the top players from always talent rich Southeast Texas.
Kevin Ahrens Paul Demny
7 - All American Prospects
Top Players: C-1B Danny Rams, SS Rolando Gomez, OF Jeff Eubank, OF Joey Hage, C Nikko Navarro, 1B-LHP Iden Nazario, RHP Kevin Quackenbush, LHP Chris Hernandez, RHP Ryan Weber, LHP Anthony Ferrera, OF-RHP Rey Delphry and several other top prospects.
The reigning 2-time WWBA 17U National Champions bring a very talented group of players to Jupiter, including a very deep pitching staff.
Rams Gomez Eubank Hage Navarro Nazario Quackenbush
8 - PG Crosschecker
Top Players: OF Jiwan James, C Braxton Miller, C Robert Bono, SS D.J. Fitzgerald, 3B Pedro Albery Baez DelaCruz, RHP Matt Mitchell, RHP Taylor Reeves, LHP Jimmy Nelson, OF Kentrail Davis, RHP Matt Harvey and many others.
The PG Crosschecker team is put together by the PG Staff, headed by Kirk Gardner, of players who don?€™t have regular teams to play with at Jupiter. Especially interesting are a couple of high level prospects from the Dominican Republic. This team has the talent to challenge for the title.
Miller Fitzgerald Reeves Davis Harvey
9 - Dirtbags
Top Players: 1B David Mailman, SS Garrison Lassiter, 2B Tyler Hanover; OF Quincy Latimore, OF L.J. Hoes, 3B-RHP Greg Holt, RHP Justin Poovey, RHP Patrick Johnson, RHP Trent Rothlin, RHP Ryan Leach and several other top 08 and 07 prospects.
The Dirtbags have finished in the top 3 in three different WWBA tournaments in the past year and want more this time.
Justin Poovey Patrick Johnson
10 - Midwest Blazers
Top Players: SS Carmen Angelini, OF Jose Rodriguez, RHP Brett Zawacki; RHP Chris Wakefield; RHP Marc Recchio; LHP Nick Rice, RHP Travis Lawler, LHP Nick Jensen, RHP Cody Scarpetta, LHP Joel Delorit and several more top prospects from around the nation
The Blazers have one of the deepest and best pitching staffs in the tournament and could be a surprise team if they score enough runs.
Angelini Rodriguez Rice Jensen
11 - All Star Baseball Academy
Top Players: C Devin Mesaroco, SS Phillip Gosselin, 3B Austin Gallagher, RHP Gabe Feldman, LHP Mark Adzick, RHP Connor Hoehn, RHP Ryan McCafferty and several other top prospects.
There are plenty of top prospects on this team for All Star Baseball Academy to make a run deep into the playoffs.
Phillip Gosselin Gabe Feldman Mark Adzick Connor Hoehn
12 - Black Sox Scout Team
Top Players: 1B Aaron Westlake, OF Pablo Bermudez, C Cole Leonida, LHP Jonathan Clarance, LHP David Small, LHP Zach Brewster and many more in a loaded lineup.
The Black Sox qualified for Jupiter by winning the Kernels Championship in September and have added a number of talented prospects from all over the nation since then.
Aaron Westlake David Small
13 - Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
Top Players: OF Julio Morales, LHP Gaspar Santiago, RHP Rigoberto Lugo
The word out of Puerto Rico is that this is the best team from the island in many years. It?€™s a must see team for the professional scouts to get a good look at. They will be fun to watch.
14 - Knoxville Yard
Top Players: OF Cody Hawn, RHP-1B Paul Hoilman, IF Barton Ivy, IF Joey Delmonico, LHP Chad Bell, LHP Ryan Holland
It would be unprecedented for the Yard not to be a playoff contender at a WWBA event and they should be again this fall. Garth Iorg?€™s team always plays everyone tough.
15 - Louisiana All-Stars ?€? Team Marucci
Top Players: OF Leon Landry, SS Matt Creel, OF Paul LaVasseur, OF-LHP Chad Jones, RHP Jastin Rainwater
The All-Stars are always one of the most athletic teams at Jupiter and this year should be no exception. Always a surprise or two on this team.
16 - Chet Lemon?€™s Juice
Top Players: 1B Dalton Hicks, 1B Ryan Matthews, RHP John Bachanov, RHP Nevin Griffith and many more top prospects.
The Juice have turned over almost their entire roster since sharing the 2005 Jupiter title with the East Cobb Astros, so they are something of an unknown. It would be unlike Chet Lemon not to bring a very talented team, however.
Ryan Matthews Nevin Griffith
17 - Orlando Braves
Top Players: OF Evan Chambers, C Justin LaFavers, 3B Tyler Benzel, C Tony Caldwell, LHP John Gast, RHP Brennan Dobbins, RHP Chad Allen, RHP Greg Larson
The Braves, aka the Orlando Scorpions of summer ball, have some of the top talent from the rich Central Florida area.
Evan Chambers John Gast
18 - Southeast Texas Sun Devils
Top Players: SS Tim Ferguson, OF Johnny Dishon, 3B David Murphy, OF Alex Carrow, OF Bobby Armstrong, OF-LHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP Mark Serna, RHP Chase Dempsay, and other top 07s and 08s.
Many of this same group of players has pretty much been together for 3 years and competed well against everyone in the country. This is their last major tournament as a group and they want to go out strong.
Ferguson Dishon Carrow Cervenka
19 - Sandlot/Midwest Scout Team
Top Players: SS Peter Kozma, OF David Stewart, IF Davis Duren, 3B Andy Wilkins, C Derek Norris, RHP Brad Buehler, and several other top prospects.
Midwest Scout Team does an excellent job each year of bringing together some of the top prospects in the central Midwest and this year is no exception. They have the talent to make a good run at the title.
Peter Kozma David Stewart Davis Duren
20 - Florida Bombers
Top Players: 3B Vic Ramjit, SS Tyler Pastornicky, SS Sam Mende, 3B Jacob Rogers, OF Denny Almonte, C Joel Caranza, OF J.P. Ramirez, IF-RHP Mike McGee, LHP D.J. Swatscheno
The Bombers have one of the youngest rosters in the event but also one of the most talented. They could be a surprise team if they mature quickly and they have enough pitching
Mike McGee D.J. Swatscheno
21 - New Jersey Twins
Top Players: C James Laufer, OF Nicholas Natale, OF Alex Kenny, RHP-OF David Laufer, SS-RHP J.C. Menna, RHP Evan Danieli, RHP Tim Norton
The word is out that there are tons of top players in New Jersey, so the Twins are having to share the wealth with numerous other teams.
Nicholas Natale Evan Danieli
22 - Indiana Scout Team
Top Players: 3B T.J. Baumet, SS Ethan Wilson, IF Jeff King, OF Guantlett Eldemire, RHP Burney Mitchem, RHP Brock Huntzinger, RHP Nick Cunningham, RHP Bryce Schaeffer
The Indiana Scout Team should get plenty of attention from the scouts, especially a couple of their talented right handed pitchers.
23 - Orioles Scout Team
Top Players: OF Tyler Mann, OF Peter Verdin, OF-LHP Austin Stadler, LHP Sean Tierany, RHP Gary Bulman, RHP Ryan Rivers, RHP Joseph Yermal, RHP Bryan Castro
The Orioles have quietly put together one of the deepest pitching staffs of any team at the tournament. They could be a big surprise if they get off to a fast start in pool play.
24 - Richmond Braves National 18U
Top Players: IF Sam Roberts, C Will Kent, IF Jacob Mayers, RHP-3B Tim Melville, RHP Robert Morey, RHP Will Roberts, LHP Matt Laney, LHP Greg Amorosso and several other top 07s and 08s.
The Braves are one of the most experienced teams in the field and have great upper level talent. Their main concern is depth if they advance well into the playoffs.
Sam Roberts Greg Amorosso
25 - Ontario Blue Jays
Top Players: C Jordan Wideman, IF James Kotaras, 1B Cameron Robulack, OF Kyle Fillier, SS Stephen Wickens, OF George Apyapong-Mensah, RHP Carson Pillers, LHP Evan Grills, RHP Dan Lazarou
The incredible traveling Blue Jays have the depth to go deep in the playoffs with a few breaks. They are certainly more accustomed to being on the road than any other team in Jupiter.
Jordan Wideman Cameron Robulack
26 - Southeast Select
Top Players: 3B Matt Sorrell, C Zach Maggard, RHP-OF Michael Main, RHP-1B Daniel Marrs and others.
The scouts will follow Southeast Select around carefully to see Main pitch, but the team has plenty of other good young talent as well.
Matt Sorrell Michael Main
27 - South Charlotte Panthers
Top Players: C Kolby Epley, SS Whit Merrifield, 1B Preston Shuey, RHP Kyle Greenwalt, LHP Hamilton Bennett, RHP Keegan Linza
The Panthers are a bunch of gamers who come to play, led by their ace RHP Greenwalt, the one pitcher no team in the tournament really wants to face.
28 - Southwest Florida Baseball
Top Players: SS John Tolisano, 1B Kenny Carlson, SS Kenny Crews, C Michael Zunino and other top 07s and 08s.
Just as with Southeast Select, the scouts will follow Southwest Florida to watch one player in particular, Tolisano, which should benefit all their good young players.
29 - South Troy Dodgers/Brooklyn Youth Service
Top Players: OF-RHP Greg Holle, C Jonathan Candelier and several other top prospects.
Many of the Dodgers are from NYC and fairly unknown, but everyone remembers them coming with RHP Dellin Betances two years ago. Holle and Candelier are top prospects.
Greg Holle Jonathan Candelier
30 - Diamond Devils
Top Players: OF Brian Harrison, C Trey Wimmer, RHP Thomas Fekeke, RHP B.J. Hyatt, RHP Anthony Markham
You would have to go back a long time to find a WWBA Championship that the Diamond Devils didn?€™t contend for. Strong pitching and defense are their trademarks.
Note ?€? Rosters will be filling up right up until the tournament starts. Many highly ranked players will be added to the above team?€™s rosters as well as the other 50 teams.
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