Top Tier Baseball has 20 player selections for USA Baseball

Top Tier Baseball is proud to announce that earlier this month we have received 20 player nominations to be selected for the USA Baseball National Team Open, National Team Trials, National Team Development Programs at the 12u, 14u, 15u, and 16u age levels. Additionally, we will also have Two of our full time staff members, CEO Todd Fine and Youth Director, Seth Kenny as USA Baseball coaches. Top Tier’s Founder, Todd Fine is set to manage the 12u National Team for the first time in his career after being a four-time national team assistant meanwhile Seth Kenny will make his first USA Baseball Trials appearance as an instructor. 

Over the past two years, Top Tier has expanded from it’s headquarters in Chicago, IL to California and Florida partnering to form the Top Tier Gamers in southern California and Top Tier Roos in Tampa, Florida. The partnerships have broadened Top Tier’s brand across the country giving more exposure to our amateur athletes across the nation.

At the 12u age level, 12 players from the Top Tier Gamers were selected for the 12u Open Development Program. Those players include: Michael Pods, Drew Arnold, Trent Grindlinger, Luis Mejia, CJ Sampson, Brock Thompson, Gavin Flores, Kruz Schoolcraft, Jonathan Medina, Joey Erace, Cooper Hinson, and Ryan Sloan. 

Those players were 12 out of 112 participants invited to the developmental program ran by USA Baseball. Each of those players will now get a chance to compete in a three-day event from July 23-25 in California that will provide high level instruction, evaluation, and a fun environment concluding with the selection of 14 12u National Team Trials participants.

On top of that, we also have three 12 year-olds who were selected to be USA National Team Trials participants. Ethan Puig, Linken Garcia, and Julius Pfeu are currently part of the final 36 players who are fighting to make the 12u USA National Team 18-man roster. 

Moving on to the 14 year-olds, Top Tier has two players from the Roos, Aiden Miller and Chris Scinta and one player from the Gamers, Casey Borba who were selected to the 14u USA Baseball National Team Development Program (NDTP). Scinta and Miller are both set to return to USA Baseball as they are alumni of the 2016 USA Baseball 12u National Team. Similarly, to the 12u USA National Open, the 14u NDTP offers identified athletes an opportunity to connect with the USA Baseball staff to better prepare for national team experiences.

The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars, and intrasquad Stars vs. Stripes games to assist the developmental of the athletes as people and person’s. The program will begin on July 23-27 taking place at the the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Moreover, Top Tier is pleased to announce homegrown product, Vytas Valincius is the the only Illinois player to be selected as apart of the 15u Nationals Team Trials Roster. He is one of 54 athletes competing in Phase 1 of 15u National Team Trials that begins on July 29that the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. This is his second appearance at USA Baseball after failing to make the 12u final roster after suffering a broken hand during the trial stages just three years ago. Valincius will attempt to make it to Phase 2 of the 15u Trials on August 1stwhere he’d fight for a spot on the final 20-man national team roster. Griffin Phelps, Valincius former head coach is impressed with how the young prospect has grown and believes he can make a deep run down in North Carolina. “I think he has a legitimate shot to make the National Team and make it all the way through,” said Phelps. “As long as he can stay consistent and not ride the rollercoaster of up and down at-bats, he’ll have as good a chance as anybody.” 

Finally, for the 16u age division, Top Tier player Ian Moller was named a part of the USA Baseball 16u NTDP roster. The 2018 season will mark the first year players will have a chance to be a part of a NDTP program at the 16u age level. Moller, a 15 year-old is another Top Tier headquarters player who has shown his maturity playing up on the 16u Americans as a 14 year-old, and then up with the 17u Americans this summer as a 15 year-old. High School Director, Griffin Phelps had some high praise for the LSU commit. “His advanced I.Q. for his age definitely slows the game down, which allows him to compete at a level much advance beyond his age. Not to mention, he’s got the tools to be able to play at the level regardless of how old he is,” said Phelps.

Valincius and Moller make two original Top Tier players that were selected for USA Baseball, which is more than any other amateur travel baseball program in the state of Illinois. Overall, these accomplishments are just another thing added to the long list of achievements Top Tier has been able to produce with their elite talent.

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