CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball recently named the 50-man roster for the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program, as well as the 44-man roster for the 15U National Team Training Camp, which both took place between August 1-6 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. Three local players from Southwest Riverside County made the trip, with high hopes of getting invites to future events.
Jacob Melendez, an infielder, and left-handed pitcher from Perris, represented the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program roster, while Andrew Jimenez, an infielder and right-handed pitcher from Wildomar, and Taytum Reeves, a catcher and infielder from Menifee, represented the 15U National Team Training Camp roster. All three are former development program participants.
The Athlete Development Program (ADP) allows athletes to connect with USA Baseball coaches, task force, and national team staff to better prepare for a future national team experience. Participants take part in on-field skills development with positional and team-fundamental drills, and a series of intrasquad games to assist in developing the athletes as both a player and a person. Additionally, the athletes participate in off-field educational seminars while gaining additional exposure to professional scouts and college recruiters.
This year’s 13U/14U teams are named after USA Baseball alums and former development program participants Dylan Crews and Termarr Johnson. Crews, who was named USA Baseball’s 2023 Golden Spikes Award winner, is a four-time Team USA alum and two-time gold medalist. He played for the 2017 15U National Team, 2018 18U National Team, and 2021 and 2022 Collegiate National Teams after participating in the National Team Development Program (NTDP) in 2016 and 2018.
Crews–who was recently selected second overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2023 MLB Draft–helped the stars and stripes win gold medals at the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier and the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier in 2018.
Johnson is a two-time alum, as he was a part of the 2019 15U National Team which won gold at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier after participating in the 2018 14U NTDP. He was also a member of the 2021 18U National Team, where he led the team in batting in a friendship series victory over Canada, before being selected fourth overall in the 2022 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“We are excited for all the athletes who will participate in this year’s development program,” USA Baseball Director of Player Development Jim Koerner said. “Our coaches and task force members worked extremely hard at last year’s National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup, and this summer at the National Team Championships, to identify the top talent at the 13, 14, and 15-year-old age levels.”
These roster announcements come following the conclusion of the National Team Championships in Arizona and North Carolina, which–along with the NTIS Champions Cup–serve as the main identification events for the ADP. Twenty-six athletes on the roster played in this year’s National Team Championships, while 21 were selected from last year’s NTIS Champions Cup. Overall, 30 athletes are new to USA Baseball programming this year.
The National Team Identification Series (NTIS) also serves as the main identification event for the 15U National Team. The final 20-man roster at the 15U level was named on August 5 before competing in an international friendly competition with the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
“Throughout this identification process, we have seen many extremely talented baseball players from all across the country,” said Ben Kelley, USA Baseball’s 15U National Team Program Director. “The forty-four players on the Training Camp roster have proven to be some of the nation’s best, and we were excited to have them compete for a coveted spot on the final twenty-man roster.”
Jimenez and Reeves both made the 15U National Team 20-man roster, which was reported to us earlier this week, which will be led by seven-time Team USA coach Rob Shabansky, who is making his second managerial appearance for the United States. Shabansky is joined on staff by pitching coach Casey Scott and assistants Derek Simmons and John Weber.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.