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Tournaments : : Story
Handicapping The WWBA Summer Championship
Published: Monday, July 01, 2002

Handicapping The WWBA Summer Championship
By Jackson J. Johnson (WWBA Reporter)

Many of the nations top senior division summer teams will converge on Marietta, Georgia, all looking to win the WWBA National Championship. While there are more than 20 teams with the talent to win the title, we thought it would be interesting to predict an order of finish. Just our opinion of course, but if all goes according to form look for the possibility of an East Cobb Yankee vs Perfect Game Royal Championship game. Of course, nothing goes according to form with this many quality teams.

1. Tie East Cobb Yankees

This will be the powerhouse East Cobb Yankees home turf. East Cobb is a perennial top program with many of the nations top prospects every year. Well coached and talented they get our nod as the team to beat. East Cobb history is hard to beat and this years squad is one of their best rosters ever. The Yankees produce top draft picks nearly each and every year. The Yankee roster includes 2001 draft picks, Jeremy Hermida (1st Rd) and Micah Owings (2nd Rd). Other draft picks or top 03 prospects include Tyler Greene, Matt Capps, Allen Ponder, Mitchell Boggs. Top ranked juniors are Kyle Muschara, Whit Robbins, Dustin Evans and others. Every player on their squad is a legitimate prospect.
ODDS ON TITLE 2 to 1

1. Tie Perfect Game USA Royal
PG has put together two powerful teams, but the Royal team is absolutely loaded from top to bottom. While others will be more team oriented and coached, there?€™s no denying the best team on paper. No less than 7 players will represent the USA on the Junior National team. Actually there are a few more who very likely would have made the USA team had they attended the trials. We count at least 12 players with a chance to be first round picks next June. The pitching staff is led by perhaps the nations #1 pitching prospect, Jeff Allison (MA). Fellow USA pitching team-mates Patrick Bresnahan, also from MA. and Chad Billingsley (OH) will join Allison. Team USA?€™s Jarrod Saltalamacchia (FL) and Scott Leffler (FL) will be behind the plate. Top prospects Sean Rodriguez (FL) and Lance Zawadzki (MA) will handle most of the middle infield duties. The outfield has top prospects Ryan Harvey (FL), Eric Grabowski (MA) and Team USA?€™s Chris Lubanski (PA). Other top rated pitchers include hard throwing (96mph) Ryan Marion (NC), top rated lefties include Case Dahlen (CA) and Andrew Miller (FL). Billy Muldowney (PA) will both pitch and play a position. Others include more top rated players from different parts of the country. All in all, this is one of the best rosters possible. It will still be very difficult to beat some of the powerful well coached programs entered in this event.
ODDS ON TITLE 2 to 1

3. Ohio Warhawks
This legendary program run by Ron Slusher wins national championships fairly regularly. The Warhawks have produced numerous first round picks by recruiting nation wide. Always a threat to win any tournament they?€™re entered in, they have to be considered one of the favorites in Georgia this year.
ODDS ON TITLE 3 to 1

4. Bill Hood ?€?Team Louisiana?€?
Bill Hood is another top national team every year. Many top prospects have played for this powerhouse club and this might be their best team ever coming to Georgia. Look for big time pitching prospects and extremely talented athletes. They could be there at the very end.
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5. Nor-Cal
You can never discount this strong California club at any national tournament. They are loaded with talent and play for keeps. Nor-Cal has also produced many first-rounders and present major leaguers. Nothing different this year.
ODDS ON TITLE 4 to 1

6. Indiana Bulls
The Bulls always have some of the top pitching prospects in the country. This year is no different! Well managed and loaded with talent, they can compete with anyone anywhere.
ODDS ON TITLE 6 to 1

7. ABD Bulldogs
Another top California team who has recruited some of the best talent in the country. They are loaded up and ready to make a run for the WWBA title. If this team gels, they will be there at the end.
ODDS ON TITLE 6 to 1


8. Columbia Angels
A top Texas club with great talent and top prospects. Watch out for hard throwing pitchers and outstanding position players. Add excellent coaching and you have the recipe for success. Maybe even the national title?
ODDS ON TITLE 6 to 1

9. Team Florida USA

Loaded with talent, this team was perhaps last years most powerful summer club. They have regrouped and are always a threat to win any tournament in America. They will be in the picture.
ODDS ON TITLE 6 to 1

10. Florida Bombers
Another very talented well coached group who are a threat to win any tournament. These kids are top prospects and play to win. Last look they were unbeaten this summer.
ODDS ON TITLE 6 to 1

11. Ohio Thunder
Another top recruiting class makes the Thunder one of the nations top teams again this year. Loaded with both DI and Pro prospects, keep an eye on the Thunder. They can compete with anyone in the country.
ODDS ON TITLE 6 to 1


12. Perfect Game Navy
PG Navy could be a giant surprise. They are not short on talent and if the pitching holds up they could be right there at the end, playing for all the marbles. They have some real hard nose baseball players, all at least DI prospects or better.
ODDS ON TITLE 8 to 1

13. East Cobb Astros
One of the very best young teams in America. Look out for these guys, while they may be a bit younger than most teams, they have just as many top prospects. They too are on their home turf.
ODDS ON TITLE 8 to 1

14. San Antonio Hackers

Lots of talent and a very strong pitching staff makes the Hackers a legitimate threat to compete for the title. Loaded with outstanding prospects and hard nosed players.
ODDS ON TITLE 8 to 1


15. Puerto Rico Raiders
The Raiders are the toughest team to handicap. We will see many new faces, but you can count on some great talent. The Raiders are well known for producing the best talent on the island. Don?€™t be surprised if they?€™re in it all the way.
ODDS ON TITLE 8 to 1

16. Bama Bombers
A first class very competitive club that features some great arms and several top prospects. Well coached, this team will be extremely hard to beat. If their pitching holds out, they could be in the picture.
ODDS ON TITLE 8 to 1

17. Austin Baseball Club
Another very strong Texas club. They always show up with hard throwing pitchers and outstanding players. They could be the big sleeper if their pitching holds out over the whole week.
ODDS ON TITLE 8 to 1

18. Central Florida Renegades
The Renegades won a national championship last summer and some say they might be even better this year. Good pitching and excellent baseball players, they have a chance.
ODDS ON TITLE 8 to 1


19. Sportstech Stars

Another very talented Georgia club who will feature one of the top hitting line ups and some strong arms. They have some of the nations best hitters and if they?€™re on, watch out!
ODDS ON TITLE 10 to 1

20. Diamond Plex A?€™s
A west Georgia team loaded with talent. Some of these players are not house hold names yet, but they may be shortly. Watch for them to surprise some folks.
ODDS ON TITLE 10 to 1

The rest of the 42 team field is very competitive. Several teams could be included above and others are very talented, but not quite as well known nationally as those above. It is possible that someone other than those handicapped could end up in the title hunt. One thing for sure, there will be a ton of future and current draft picks in Marietta, Georgia from July 9th to the 14th. Should be a lot of excitement and super competition for everyone involved.


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