As the summer travel ball season winds down and players get set to return to school Perfect Game USA updates the 2011 Travel Team Rankings with the fall season set to begin in the coming weeks.
The summer tournament season was a busy one at Perfect Game, with the WWBA National Championships drawing 808 total teams to Marietta, GA in late June and July. Additionally, the BCS Finals in Ft. Myers, FL drew another large crowd of quality teams. These two massive national tournaments, along with several other highly competitive tournaments showcased the most talented players in the country, with many making a name for themselves for the first time.
Perfect Game has added a
fall tournament to it's schedule with the 2011 Labor Day Classic
September 2-5. The tournament season again culminates with a pair of highly anticipated; the WWBA Underclass World Championship in Ft. Myers, October 7-10 and WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, October 20-24.
Click here to see the 2011 Perfect Game Tournament schedule.
The perennial powerhouse East Cobb Astros 14u entered the summer as the #1 ranked 14u team in the nation and their play on the field has justified their lofty ranking. The Astros captured their second straight 14u WWBA National Championship title in June, their fourth title in the past five years. They followed that up with impressive showings against older competition with a third place finish at the 15u WWBA and another deep playoff run in the 16u WWBA. A case could be made that this is the strongest 14u Astros squad in years.
Lamorinda National heads up the rest of the pack, moving up to #2 after capturing the AAU National Championship. Combined with the USA Baseball 14u Cup title, the Northern California based club has picked up right where it left off as one of the top 13u teams in the nation last year and beginning the season as the #5 ranked 14u team in the country.
The East Cobb Titans captured the #3 spot after winning the 14u BCS. WWBA National Championship runner-up Kentucky Baseball Club edged out Chicago-based The Gravel for the #4 spot. The Gravel followed up a Junior Olympics (East) championship with a CABA World Series championship and a solid showing at the 14u BCS. Fellow Chicagoland powerhouse Schaumburg Seminoles earned a top 10 spot (#6) after taking two of three from the Astros at the CABA National Championship.
Click here for the entire 14U Travel Team Rankings
The rankings have the same top two teams as the pre-summer poll but the East Cobb Astros jump to the #1 spot after winning both the 15u WWBA National Championship and 15u BCS tournaments and were also very competitive in the 16u WWBA. Dulins Dodgers, formerly the #1 team had a stellar summer in PG events, finishing runners-up at the 15u WWBA and 3rd at the 15u BCS.
The East Cobb Longhorns started their summer by winning the 14u/15u Perfect Game/East Cobb Invitational and had third place finishes at both the 15u WWBA and BCS. The Longhorns come in third followed by the Orlando Scorpions 2014 in 4th and the East Cobb Titans at 5.
The Schaumburg Seminoles ended their season with an impressive showing in the CABA tournament beating the East Cobb Astros and are the highest ranked Midwest Team in the 15u age group.
Click here for the entire 15U Travel Team Rankings
South Florida Elite Squad Black tops the 16u rankings after a dominant run thru the playoffs at the 16u WWBA National Championship. In the final day of the tournament they picked up four wins to take the title, outscoring four tough opponents (All American Prospects Gray, Excel Blue Sox, Houston Banditos Black, and Orlando Scorpions Underclass Purple) by a combined 22-4 tally including an 8-0 shutout of the Scorpions in the championship.
The Houston Banditos Black come in 2nd after their third place finish in the 16u WWBA. Though they fell to SF Elite Squad, the Banditos put together what is possibly the most impressive run thru pool play in WWBA history. In the five games, the Banditos outscored their opponents 63-0, never playing more than five innings. Canes White, coming in at #4 also had a most impressive showing with a 50-3 run differential in pool play before falling to the South Charlotte Panthers in round two of the playoffs.
The #3 ranked team is the Orlando Scorpions Underclass Purple who finished runners up at the 16u WWBA. 16u BCS Champion SF Prospects come in at #12, while BCS runners-up Midland Braves check in at #16. Six teams from the state of Florida are in the Top 25 to lead all states.
Click here for the entire 16U Travel Team Rankings
With the East Cobb Braves 17u’s domination in 18u events opens the door for a group of incredibly talented teams to make a case for the #1 spot. Florida Travel Ball earned that honor with arguably the most talented roster in the nation. With a second place finish at the 17u WWBA National Championship, FTB edges out the Texas Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils have been a perennial powerhouse for a while now and their 2011 edition may be their most talented yet. A deep run at the 17u WWBA National Championship (quarterfinals) followed by capturing the 17u BCS title make the Sun Devils a strong #2.
The Houston Banditos feature as much talent as FTB and the Sun Devils, with arguably the best lineup in the nation and an improved pitching staff the Banditos looked like serious title contenders at the 17u WWBA National Championship. The most exciting team in the country ran into one of the most skilled and consistent teams in the nation, #7 Palm Beach PAL. The Orlando Scorpions 17u Purple come in at #4 led by one of the deepest and best pitching staffs in the country, followed by #5 San Gabriel Valley Arsenal. The Arsenal are the top ranked team from talent-rich southern California and when they are at full strength can match up prospect for prospect with just about anyone.
The East Cobb Astros 16u just missed the top 5, sliding in at #6 after reaching the quarterfinals of the 17u WWBA National Championship, before running into #1 FTB. The 16u Astros also made the playoffs of the 18u WWBA and the 17u BCS.
Click here for the entire 17u Travel Team Rankings
The East Cobb Braves 17u accomplished nearly everything a travel ball team can hope to achieve this summer. Starting with winning the 17u/18u Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational in June, taking third at the 18u WWBA National Championship and winning both the 17u WWBA and a share of the 18u BCS, the Braves asserted themselves as a legitimate national powerhouse. The Braves are as deep as they are talented, which combined with their experience set them apart this summer.
With a true national roster, the Midland Redskins come in at #2 as they gear up for the Connie Mack World Series, where they are a strong favorite. The Redskins, who double as the Royals Scout Team at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter look to yet again be a strong contender in that elite field. 18u WWBA National Champions, the San Diego Show find themselves at #3 after knocking off the EC Braves in an intense 18u semifinal matchup. The Show made are one of the premiere organizations on the west coast and with many of the same players from the 18u title team made another impressive run at the 17u the following week.
The East Cobb Yankees slot in right behind the Show at #4 with a strong team that finished second in the 18u WWBA and a roster littered with recent draft picks. Dulins Dodgers round out the top 5 after reaching the 18u WWBA semifinals, before being knocked off in a hard fought semifinal matchup with the EC Yankees. The defending champion Florida Bombers slipped from #1 to #7 after an early upset in the 18u WWBA playoffs after a highly impressive romp through pool play.
Click here for the entire 18u Travel Team Ranking