USA Baseball recently announced that it will host the second annual Prospect Classic in late June and early July across the Triangle-area of North Carolina. The event showcases USA Baseball’s Collegiate and 18U National Teams, and presents fans and members of the baseball community with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the top prospects for upcoming MLB First-Year Player Drafts on the field at the same time.
New for 2012, the Prospect Classic is expanding from two to four games, with Games 1-2 featuring “Stars” and “Stripes” teams, each made up of a combination of Collegiate and 18U players as drafted by a USA Baseball selection committee. Rosters for the first two games, featuring a total of 62 players, will be announced on the morning of June 29. Games 3-4 will pit the 22-man Collegiate National Team against the 28-man 18U team in a model similar to the inaugural event in 2011. As in 2011, the Prospect Classic will serve as part of the selection process for the 18U team, which will cut down from 40 to 28 players on July 1.
“The response from fans and scouts alike to last summer’s Prospect Classic was extremely positive, and we’re looking to build upon that in 2012,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “This year’s event features more games, and by combining the teams for two of them, we’re once again providing followers of the MLB Draft a unique opportunity to catch amateur baseball’s top prospects in action.”
The series will be held June 29, at 3:05 p.m., June 30, at 7:05 p.m., and July 3, at 6:05 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.
Games 1-2 will each air on a delay, at 12 p.m. ET, July 2-3, on MLB Network. Fans are encouraged to check MLBNetwork.com for their local channel listings. The coverage furthers USA Baseball’s presence on MLB Network, which includes exposure of USA Baseball alumni during MLB Network’s telecast of the MLB First-Year Player Draft and the live presentation of the Golden Spikes Award.
Additionally, all Durham games will be broadcast live online at USABaseball.com and MLB.com. USA Baseball partnered with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) in 2006 to develop and launch USABaseball.com, a premier online presence for its news, scores, video highlights, and more.
“The Durham Bulls organization is incredibly proud of our relationship with USA Baseball, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the annual Prospect Classic,” said Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling. “It’s a tremendous event that not only demonstrates the bright future of our game, but also showcases the Triangle region as a cornerstone of American baseball.”
The 2011 Prospect Classic featured 26 players currently in MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo’s top-50 2012 draft prospect list, including six of the top 10 and 13 of the top 25. The list features collegiate standouts Mark Appel and Deven Marrero (Nos. 1 and 2, respectively), and prep right-hander Lucas Giolito (No. 7). Mayo — MLB.com’s draft and prospect expert — will return to headline the broadcast team for the event.
The 2012 Collegiate National Team will be led by Tennessee skipper Dave Serrano, while former New York Yankee and World Series MVP (1998) Scott Brosius returns to head the 18U club for the second summer in a row. Joining the event as honorary coaches are fellow Fall Classic most valuable player David Eckstein (2006), 1993 A.L. Cy Young Award winner and two-time USA Baseball alum Jack McDowell (1984 18U, 1985 Collegiate), among other notable players and coaches.
Other prominent alums from the 18U National Team program now in the big leagues include Joe Mauer (2000), B.J. Upton (2001), Buster Posey (2004), Justin Upton (2004), Clayton Kershaw (2005), and Bryce Harper (2009), while Ryan Howard (2000), Mark Teixeira (2000), Dustin Pedroia (2002-03), Justin Verlander (2003), Troy Tulowitzki (2004), David Price (2005), and Stephen Strasburg (2008) are among the Collegiate team alumni starring professionally.
More information on the event, including daily schedules, ticket information, videos, and more can be found online at www.USABaseball.com/ProspectClassic.
|About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, World Cup and Pan American teams (and all other USA Baseball professional teams); and the Collegiate, 18U, 15U, and Women’s National Teams, all of which participate in various domestic and 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.
Thanks to the Durham Bulls for this capcom story & graphic.