Earlier this summer a handful of local youth baseball players were selected as USA Baseball released the rosters for their 2021 13U/14U Athlete Development Program, 16U/17U National Team Development Program and 18U National Team Trials.
It all starts as thousands of baseball players, ranging from age 11 and up, embark on nationwide USA Baseball tryouts over the summer months. The Temecula Valley has always had great representation in the past with quite a few local players stepping foot on the world stage for Team USA.
Founded in 1978, USA Baseball, the governing body for amateur baseball in the United States and a member of the U.S Olympic Committee, organizes the United States national baseball teams every year, and a number of those teams will compete over the summer.
Currently USA Baseball houses a developmental program which caters to a 12U National Team, players ranging in the 14U-18U category, as well as the Collegiate National Team, the Women’s National Team, and the professional team, which just competed and won silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The various teams, composed of youth players, middle and high school aged players as well as college and professional baseball players, have been competing nationally and internationally for years with the objective of competing in the Olympics. The game was last played in the Olympics and in front of the world in 2008, but was voted out before 2012, under the claim that the American-born sport was not as competitive around the world.
With USA Baseball recently revealing the names of local players chosen to participate in events for each age group, the list includes:
Temecula’s Gavin Fien (SS/RHP), who will be playing high school ball at Great Oak this year, was selected to play for 13U/14U Athlete Development Program and recently spent four days at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. A true competitor, Fien competed and made the 44-man 2021 15U National Team Trials roster as well. The 15U National Team Trials are set to take place from Aug. 27-Sept. 3 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. Fien also played for Team USA as a 12-year-old and went on to compete for a record fourth-consecutive world championship title at the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan, Taiwan. The 12U team lost a crucial game early, which took them out of contention. They concluded the 2019 WBSC Baseball World Cup with a 6-2 overall record.
Temecula’s Zach Anderson, (C/OF), who is going into his junior season with the Temecula Valley Golden Bears, was selected to the 2021 National Team Development Program, which was scheduled to take place Aug. 6-9 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. Anderson’s 16U/17U NTDP event included a Stars and Stripes intrasquad series, skill development sessions, off-field educational seminars and exposure to professional scouts, college recruiters, and USA Baseball staff and national team coaches. The 2021 16U/17U NTDP roster features players that were selected from this year’s National Team Championships in Arizona and North Carolina as well as through recommendations from scouts, coaches and the amateur baseball community. The program will be used to further connect identified athletes with the USA Baseball staff to better prepare and develop the athletes for future USA Baseball national team experiences. Of the 44 selected athletes, 16 competed at the National Team Championships Arizona while 21 participated in the National Team Championships North Carolina. Nine of the athletes previously participated in the National Team Development Program while five are USA Baseball national team alums.
Menifee’s Mikey Romero (MIF), a notable Team USA alumnus, who currently plays out of Orange Lutheran High School, made the 40-man 2021 18U National Team Trials roster, which was selected from the 2021 MLB Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League. The 2021 18U National Team Trials are scheduled for Aug. 27-31 in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. The final 18U National Team then competes against Canada in a seven-game friendship series from Sept. 3-9.
Visit www.USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about all the national teams.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.