Tournaments | Story | 10/2/2019

WWBA Under World up next

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Joe Mack (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA Underclass World Championship Event Page

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Two-hundred-and-ten of the best underclass teams from states east of the Great Plains, Puerto Rico and Canada will converge on playing fields sprinkled across Southwest Florida from Thursday, Oct. 3 through Monday, Oct. 7 for the 18th annual running of the Perfect Game WWBA Underclass World Championship.

This year’s field includes dozens of teams whose rosters are bloated with the top prep prospects from the classes of 2021 and 2022, with a smattering of top 2023s also looking to make appearances at the blockbuster event. It’s a tournament that annually attracts hundreds of college coaches and recruiters from across the country as they work to bolster their recruiting classes for 2021 and beyond.

The Florida-based Scorpions 2020 Founders Club and Georgia-based East Cobb Astros 17u were declared co-champions at last year’s WWBA Underclass World after rain halted play during the championship game with the score tied at 1-1 in the eighth inning.

East Cobb Astros teams had previously won Underclass World Championship titles outright in 2002, ’04, ’05 and ’06 and Scorpions’ teams won the championship in 2009 and 2013. The EC Astros program is back this year with the Astros 16u and Astros 17u, and the Scorpions return with 2021 and 2022 Founders Club squads.

All of the power programs from the eastern part of the country will have teams competing, including Virginia-based Canes Baseball with four entrants: American 17u, National 16u, National 17u and Prospects 17u; Canes National 15u finished the summer ranked No. 1 in the PG 15u National Travel Team Rankings.

Team Elite out of Georgia has six teams in the field, and the rosters of those teams will undoubtably feature players who helped Team Elite place teams in the top-5 of the end-of-summer 16u, 15u and 14u rankings.

Other notable organizations with multiple entrants include Elite Squad (Florida), Dirtbags (North Carolina, Virginia), Florida Burn, FTB (Florida), Iowa Select, Nelson Baseball School (Georgia), Next Level Baseball (New York) and Tri-State Arsenal (New Jersey).

Formidable programs that usually just enter one team include Chicago White Sox ACE (Illinois), Dulins Dodgers (Tennessee), East Coast Sox (Mississippi), MLB Breakthrough Series (New York), Team Georgia, Top Tier (Illinois) and the Virginia Cardinals.

The East Cobb Astros 17u bring firepower galore to the event, with 21 prospects from the class of 2021 ranked as top-500s or higher, including No. 19 shortstop/right-hander Christian Moore (Brooklyn, N.Y.; Tennessee), No. 21  catcher/infielder Joe Mack (Williamsville, N.Y.; Clemson), No. 44 shortstop Kristian Campbell (Marietta, Ga.; Georgia Tech) and No. 80 outfielder/first baseman Christian Smith (Atlanta; Vanderbilt).

Not to be outdone, the Canes National 17u has 19 top-500 2021s on their roster, paced by No. 13 infielder/outfielder Alex Mooney (Rochester Hills, Mich.; Duke), No. 43 shortstop Kurtis Reid, No. 48 outfielder/middle-infielder/right-hander Daylen Lile (Louisville, Ky.; Louisville) and No. 62 corner-infielder Gavin Kash (Sour Lake, Texas; Duke).

MLB Breakthrough Series 2021 is a team with a roster that includes 11 D-I commits, and four class of 2021 prospects ranked in the top-86 nationally and four from the class of 2022 ranked in the top-84.

No. 5-ranked outfielder Tyree Reed (Vallejo, Calif.), No. 11 catcher Ian Moller (Dubuque, Iowa; LSU commit), No. 24 middle-infielder Noah Smith (Chicago; Louisville) and No.  and No. 86 corner-infielder Eldridge Armstrong (Simi Valley, Calif.) are the top ‘21s for the Breakthrough Series team.

Its 2022 class is led by No. 2 shortstop Termarr Johnson (Atlanta), No. outfielder/right-hander Elijah Green (Windermere, Fla.; Miami), No. 83 outfielder/first baseman Jaden Noot (Oak Park, Calif.) and No. 84 right-hander/outfielder Kassius Thomas (Northridge, Calif.).

Other top 2021 prospects who will be closely watched over the Underclass World’s five-day run include Elite Squad 2021’s No. 17 shortstop Alex Ulloa (Cutler Bay, Fla.; Miami), 5 Star National 2021 Moss No. 20 catcher Jackson Baumeister (Jacksonville, Fla.; Florida State), Louisiana Knights No. 25 shortstop Drake Varnado (Port Neches, Texas; Arkansas) and Baseball Performance Center No. 28 right-hander Chase Petty (Somers Point, N.J.).

Ace right-hander Dylan Lesko (Buford, Ga.) is the No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2022 class and is rostered with the East Cobb Astros 16u. No. 3 Cannon Baseball Academy 2021 American left-hander Brandon Barriera (Coconut Creek, Fla.; Vanderbilt), 5 Star National Burress No. 11 third baseman Sal Stewart (Miami; Vanderbilt), 5 Star National Burress No. 12 shortstop Nicolas Perez (Isabela, P.R.; Florida State) and Canes National 16u No. 17 shortstop Cole Young (Wexford, Pa., Duke) are among the other top 2022s featured.

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