FULLERTON, Calif. - USA Baseball announced the 2019 18U National Team on Saturday, following the conclusion of the 2019 18U National Team Trials. The final 20-man roster will compete in the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in Gijang, South Korea, August 30-September 8.
The 18U National Team will be playing for a record-fifth consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup gold medal after winning the last four events in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The program has won eight straight international tournament titles dating back to 2011.
"We are really excited about the twenty players that we have just chosen for this year's 18U National Team," said 2019 18U National Team Manager Jack Leggett. "It's been a great trial period with a great group of kids that has worked extremely hard. The decisions were really tough, but we feel like the twenty that we have now show us a lot of versatility, a lot of talent and a lot of really good attitudes, so we are really looking forward to competing for a world championship."
Five members of the 2019 18U National Team have suited up for the red, white and blue previously, including Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) who has been named to his fourth national team. Crow-Armstrong, Max Rajcic (Fullerton, Calif.) and Drew Romo (Spring, Texas) return to the 18U National Team for the second consecutive year after winning a gold medal with the program at the 2018 COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships.
Additionally, Crow-Armstrong, Lucas Gordon (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Alejandro Rosario (Miami, Fla.) were teammates on the 2017 15U National Team that won a gold medal at the COPABE Pan Am "AA" Championships in Cartegena, Colombia.
The 20-man roster also features 10 athletes that have participated in the National Team Development Program (NTDP), including seven members of the 2018 17U NTDP.
Eleven members of this year's 18U National Team are new to USA Baseball national team programming in 2019 and were identified by participating in the inaugural 2019 Prospect Development Pipeline League (PDP) League, which serves as the primary identification event for the 18U National Team. In total, 18 members of the final roster participated in the PDP League this summer at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Famer Jack Leggett, who guided the 18U National Team to the program's eighth consecutive gold medal in 2018, returns to lead Team USA in 2019. He is joined on staff by the pitching coach, Scott Bankhead, and assistant coaches Gerald Laird and Gregg Ritchie.
The 2019 18U National Team will begin training in Fullerton, California, from August 18-21 before traveling to Taichung, Taiwan, to continue training with three friendlies against Chinese Taipei from August 24-27. Team USA will then open play in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup against South Africa on Friday, August 30, at 6 a.m. ET in Gijang, South Korea.
For more information on the 18U National Team, follow on Twitter at @USABaseball18U.
2019 18U National Team
(Name; Position; Hometown)
^Mick Abel; RHP; Portland, Ore.
^Jack Bulger; C/OF; Bowie, Md.
*^Pete Crow-Armstrong; OF; Sherman Oaks, Calif.
*^Lucas Gordon; LHP; Los Angeles, Calif.
^Hunter Haas; IF; Phoenix, Ariz.
Colby Halter; UTL; Jacksonville, Fla.
Kyle Harrison; LHP; Danville, Calif.
Robert Hassell; OF/LHP; Franklin, Tenn.
^Austin Hendrick; OF; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Ben Hernandez; RHP; Chicago, Ill.
Ed Howard; IF; Chicago, Ill.
^Nolan McLean; UTL/RHP; Willow Spring, N.C.
*^Max Rajcic; RHP; Fullerton, Calif.
*^Drew Romo; C; Spring, Texas
*^Alejandro Rosario; RHP; Miami, Fla.
Jason Savacool; RHP; Syracuse, N.Y.
Nate Savino; LHP; Sterling, Va.
Tyler Soderstrom; C; Turlock, Calif.
Milan Tolentino; IF; Mission Viejo, Calif.
AJ Vukovich; IF/OF; Mukwonago, Wis.
*Denotes National Team alum
^Denotes National Team Development Program participant