A handful of baseball tryouts will be taking place across the state in the coming months, in search of youth, high school and collegiate level players with Filipino heritage. The goal is to gather top talent for upcoming international play, as well as to start fielding a database of players that could possibly fill a team for the World Baseball Classic, which should return in 2023. The WBC was cancelled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has earmarked a return for next year.
The first of these tryouts was held at L.A. Valley College in mid-December of 2021 and had a total of 40 prospects attend, all of whom were made up of high school, college, and pro baseball players with Filipino-American heritage. The next tryout is set for Sunday, January 23, and will be held at Chabot College in Hayward, CA.
“We had a great turnout, for it being our first event,” says Filipino National team manager Bill Picketts, who is also the head coach at Pierce College in Los Angeles. “Since having that first tryout, which was really more of a workout, we have been getting contacted by a good number of players and families from around the country. I have no doubt in my mind we will find the talent we are looking for as more and more of these events come to fruition.”
With the goal of recruiting new talent, the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association worked with Los Angeles-based firm, Fil-Am Nation Select, to organize the tryouts to scout the latest Filipino-American talents in the US. Of course, the tryouts are also done with the Philippines’ World Baseball Classic squad’s coaching staff, consisting of Picketts and assistant coaches Rainel Caranto, Vince Sagisi, and Sebastian Miles.
The baseball tryouts are only one of the multiple efforts of Fil-Am Nation Select to aid national team programs by providing pools of talent from the US. With more tryouts being planned, the Valley News will be collaborating with Coach Picketts and his staff to ensure the information gets out for all Filipino-American players in the area.
**Look for an updated article coming soon featuring Picketts and his take on what needs to happen in order to compete at the World Baseball Classic and more.
More information on upcoming events for all Filipino-American athletes, including the baseball tryout in Hayward, can be found by following @filamnationselect on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/filamnationselect.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.