USA Baseball recently named its roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 team. The 28-man roster is made up of 15 pitchers and 13 position players, six of whom are former national team alumni with seven highly regarded MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospects.
Brooks Pounders, a 2009 graduate from Temecula Valley High School, is one of six Team USA alumni on the roster and is the lone returning member from the inaugural Premier12 roster that won the silver medal in 2015. As a junior in high school, Pounders committed to play college baseball for the University of Southern California Trojans, but the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft and the former Golden Bear has been playing in the pros ever since. Born Sept. 26, 1990, Pounders is currently a free agent and has played for the Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Colorado Rockies and New York Mets.
Also returning to a USA Baseball national team is Erik Kratz, catcher with the New York Yankees, and Andrew Vaughn, infielder with the Chicago White Sox, as well as Tanner Houck, right handed pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, and his Collegiate National Team teammates Bobby Dalbec, infielder with the Boston Red Sox and Tyler Johnson, right handed pitcher with the Chicago White Sox.
The Boston Red Sox lead all Major League clubs with four players from its farm system; the Philadelphia Phillies have three prospects on the roster, while the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics all boast a pair of prospects on the roster as well. The remaining players are a part of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals systems, and right-handed pitcher Brandon Dickson joins the roster as a member of the Orix Buffaloes in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league.
Taking the reins for the USA Baseball Premier12 team is current USA Baseball Senior Director of Player Development Scott Brosius. Joe Girardi, who was named the manager of Team USA in August, announced last week that he stepped down so he could pursue open managerial opportunities in Major League Baseball. Brosius is a three-time World Series champion and two-time USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year.
The U.S. will begin the WBSC Premier12 in Guadalajara, Mexico, from Nov. 2-4 as a member of Group A with the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands. The Top 2 nations from Group A will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from Nov. 11-16.
The tournament is the first opportunity for Team USA to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory, excluding Japan, will join host-country Japan and WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier champion Israel in the six-team Olympic tournament. The final two Olympic berths will be decided in March 2020.
“It is an honor to welcome a group of immensely talented athletes to Team USA as we begin the qualification process for Tokyo 2020,” USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. “Our goal during the selection process was to identify and piece together a roster that included a combination of both young and veteran baseball players that complement each other on and off the field. These 28 men are exemplary talents and individuals, and we are confident they will represent the United States proudly on the international stage.”
For more information on USA Baseball and the WBSC Premier12 team, follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The full roster, including coaching and administration staffs, can be found here:
USA Baseball Premier12 Roster
(Name; Position; Hometown; 2019 Organization)
Jo Adell; OF; Louisville, Ky.; Los Angeles Angels
Clayton Andrews; LHP; Petaluma, Calif.; Milwaukee Brewers
Alec Bohm; INF; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia Phillies
C.J. Chatham; INF; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Boston Red Sox
Jake Cronenworth; INF; St. Clair, Mich.; Tampa Bay Rays
Bobby Dalbec; INF; Seattle, Wash.; Boston Red Sox
Brandon Dickson; RHP; Montgomery, Ala.; Orix Buffaloes
Parker Dunshee; RHP; Zionsville, Ind.; Oakland Athletics
Xavier Edwards; INF; Mineola, N.Y.; San Diego Padres
J.P Feyereisen; RHP; River Falls, Wis.; Milwaukee Brewers
Brian Flynn; LHP; Tulsa, Okla.; Kansas City Royals
Taylor Gushue; C; Boca Raton, Fla.; Washington Nationals
Tanner Houck; RHP; Collinsville, Ill.; Boston Red Sox
Spencer Howard; RHP; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
Tyler Johnson; RHP; Midlothian, Va.; Chicago White Sox*Erik Kratz; C; Telford, Pa.; New York Yankees
Wyatt Mills; RHP; Spokane, Wash.; Seattle Mariners
Mark Payton; OF; Orland Park, Ill.; Oakland Athletics
Brooks Pounders; RHP; Riverside, Calif.; New York Mets
Clayton Richard; LHP; Lafayette, Ind.; Toronto Blue Jays
Brent Rooker; OF; Germantown, Tenn.; Minnesota Twins
Connor Seabold; RHP; Laguna Hills, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
Noah Song; RHP; Pomona, Calif.; Boston Red Sox
Caleb Thielbar; LHP; Northfield, Minn.; Atlanta Braves
Daniel Tillo; LHP; Sioux City, Iowa; Kansas City Royals
Daulton Varsho; C/OF; Chili, Wisc.; Arizona Diamondbacks
Andrew Vaughn; IF; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Chicago White Sox
Drew Waters; OF; Woodstock, Ga.; Atlanta Braves
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.