Prep Baseball Report

Team USA 18U Trials Notebook

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

After the Tournament of Stars, USA Baseball selected a 40-man roster for the 18U National Team to compete in a trials period, which took place last week. That group of players was whittled down to 28. All players have departed Cary, NC, and the 28 will get back together in mid-August in California for a second phase of trials. A final 20-man roster will be selected for the WBSC World Cup in Osaka, Japan.

The first phase of trials consisted of workout sessions and intrasquad scrimmages. Here are a few notes from last week…

+ OF/LHP J.J. Bleday (Moseley HS, FL) is a legitimate two-way prospect, but it has become increasing clear in the last couple weeks that he’s a position player first. He was just 1-for-9 during the Tournament of Stars, but showed that he had a classic left-handed swing. It all came together for him at trials where he went 6-for-11 in four games with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored. He routinely makes contact—he didn’t strikeout in four trials games—using an easy, balanced swing. He also has a strong arm from the outfield, which translates to a high-80s fastball on the mound. He is committed to Vanderbilt.

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