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2017 set to be a Banner Year for the USA-LABC

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The USA-LABC tryout season has kicked off with tryouts in Oregon and Florida. January 13-16 will see national trials coming to the Northeast in the states of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

 

The 2016 campaign saw a rise in Latino power, as the United States failed to win an international title in any age bracket. This was the first time since 2012 that such had occurred, resulting in a revamping of player recruitment.

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January 1, 2017

"We were not successful - period. We could not produce the timely hits and just could not command the baseball the way we wanted. But this year is going to be different because of the added national support and increased organizational assistance we are getting from top level baseball organizations across the Nation." Stated USA-LABC Director of Team Operations Jim Parque.

 

Although no USA-LABC national team won a title, four age divisions saw the United States in medal rounds.

 

"Our club played a tremendous ballgame in the Semis. Great at bats, competing for every pitch, and giving it all they could was not enough to win - but plenty for our coaches." Stated 10U USA-LABC head coach Scott Richards.

 

Historically, the 10U and 12U divisions are dominated by the Dominican Republic. The 18U has been dominated for the past two years by St. Croix and St. Thomas, with the 16U age division title being held by the United States since 2013.

 

"We were looking for a four-peat, but we just could not pull it out in the end. Our guys came up one hit too short and our pitching struggled in the later innings. But it was a great game that tested our club tremendously." Stated USA-LABC 16U coach Jeff Tucker.

 

After the 2016 LABC finished, the USA-LABC national staff began planning for 2017 by contacting some of the best baseball organizations in the country. Such included the California Lookouts, DBats, Marucci USA, Stiks, and many others. In an effort to find better talent that could close out games, this has proven to be of value.

 

"Our goal is to find baseball players whom compete. There is a lot of talent in the United States, but the prospect pool decreases significantly when focusing upon baseball smarts. We have joined forces with top travel baseball organizations and facilities all across the Nation, and it has been a tremendous asset to our cause." Stated Parque.

 

Parque went on,

 

"I see great swings and strong arms at tryouts. But what I cannot see is how the athlete competes. My staff and I look into the little things that define a competitive and prepared athletes, and it starts with how they show up, what their body looks like, and whether they compete during the tryout."

 

Latin baseball is powerful, explosive, and comes from a completely different perspective than the States. Being from 3rd world nations, Latin players compete for a future to earn money and this develops a mentality of "live or die".

 

"Our athletes are talented and some are the best in their State. However, it is an entirely different ballgame when your competition is looking to earn a living at baseball, rather than playing it for fun." Stated USA-LABC national team coach Scott Richards.

 

To combat the aggressive mentality of Latin teams, the USA-LABC has gone towards selecting a more physical athlete whose game is based upon speed, rather than power.

 

"If we speed the game up, we neutralize velocity on the bump and power in the box. Speed kills and presses the defense to perform quicker - resulting in more errors and scoring opportunities." Stated Parque.

 

Thus far, most USA-LABC national team rosters are forty percent complete, with 25 tryouts scheduled in the coming months.

 

"We feel great about what is coming to tryouts and whom is hosting them. These people know what we are looking for and what is at stake. The outcome is going to be positive and 2017 seems to be shaping up to be a year for the United States." Stated Parque.

 

 

 

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