DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the coaching staff and evaluators for the 2019 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) on Monday. Three-time USA Baseball national team assistant coach and nine-time NTDP field coordinator, Eric Kibler, will once again take the reins as the field coordinator in 2019.
- USA Baseball announced the coaching staff and evaluators for the 2019 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) on Monday. Three-time USA Baseball national team assistant coach and nine-time NTDP field coordinator, Eric Kibler, will once again take the reins as the field coordinator in 2019.
The NTDP offers 40 athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experiences. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field educational seminars, an intrasquad series between Stars and Stripes teams, and exposure to professional scouts, college recruiters and the 18U National Team staff and task force.
Wake Forest University Associate Head Coach Bill Cilento and Clemson University Head Coach Monte Lee will join Kibler on the NTDP staff, serving as the managers for the Stars and Stripes teams, respectively.
"We are bringing in a phenomenal staff that features some of the best coaches in the country," 17U NTDP Program Director Frank Jagoda said "Our players are going to have an opportunity to work with some of the most innovative teachers that our game has to offer. We are really looking forward to spending the week working with the players and watching them grow, because that's what the National Team Development Program is all about."
Kibler returns as an NTDP field coordinator in 2019 for a fourth consecutive year and ninth-time overall. After serving as the first-ever USA Baseball NTDP field coordinator in 2012 for the inaugural 14U and 17U programs, he once again launched an NTDP program in 2018 with the inception of the 16U age group. Kibler has worked with the 14U program three times (2012-2014), the 16U program once (2018) and the 17U program five times (2012-2014, 2016-2017) in the seven-year history of the NTDP.
His USA Baseball experience also includes three seasons as a national team assistant coach. Kibler helped lead the 16U National Team to gold medals in 2009 and 2010 at the International Baseball Federation World Youth Championships and the COPABE Pan American "AA" Youth Championships, respectively, as well as helping the 2015 18U National Team to a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup.
An Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Famer, Kibler is the most decorated coach in Arizona High School baseball history as he led Horizon High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to six state titles, 17 regional titles and three runner-up finishes in the state baseball tournament in his 38-year career.
The field coordinator, with the assistance of additional coaches and evaluators, will assess 40 athletes during the NTDP week and are made up of former professional players, respected collegiate and high school coaches, and professional scouts.
The Stars team will be managed by Bill Cilento in the four-game intrasquad series and he will be joined by Indiana University Pitching Coach Justin Parker and Cleveland Indians Infield Coordinator Kai Correa, who will serve as the team's pitching coach and assistant coach, respectively.
Monte Lee will manage the Stripes squad and his staff will include University of Notre Dame Assistant Coach Chuck Ristano and New York Mets Area Scout Cesar Aranguen. Ristano will serve as the pitching coach for the Stripes while Aranguen will serve as the team's assistant coach.
Steve Smith, Edgar Varela and Jack Wilson will also join Kibler on the staff and serve as additional evaluators for the event. Smith is the pitching coach at Auburn University and returns to USA Baseball as the pitching coordinator after serving as the Collegiate National Team Manager in 2005 and its pitching coach in 1998. Varela is in his second season as the Minor League field coordinator for the Minnesota Twins and will serve as the hitting and catching coordinator. A former MLB All-Star, Wilson is currently the head coach at Thousand Oaks High School (Thousand Oaks, California) and he will serve as the roving hitting coach in 2019.
The 2019 17U NTDP will take place July 21-25 in the Chicago metropolitan area and will feature intrasquad scrimmages at Wrigley Field, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame and Miller Park.
USA Baseball will utilize a rolling invitation process for the 17U NTDP participants in 2019. The athletes will be selected from the 2018 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS), the 2019 17U National Team Championships in Arizona and through recommendations from scouts, coaches and the amateur baseball community.
For more information on the USA Baseball National Team Development Program, visit USABaseball.com
and follow @USABaseballNTDP on Twitter.
The full NTDP staff and their bios are as follows:
Name; NTDP Position; Current Position
Cesar Aranguen; Stripes Assistant Coach; New York Mets Area Scout
Bill Cilento; Stars Manager; Wake Forest University Associate Head Coach
Kai Correa; Stars Assistant Coach; Cleveland Indians Infield Coordinator
Eric Kibler; Field Coordinator
Monte Lee; Stripes Manager; Clemson University Head Coach
Justin Parker; Stars Pitching Coach; Indiana University Pitching Coach
Chuck Ristano; Stripes Pitching Coach; Notre Dame University Assistant Coach
Steve Smith; Pitching Coordinator; Auburn University Pitching Coach
Edgar Varela; Hitting/Catching Coordinator; Minnesota Twins Minor League Field Coordinator
Jack Wilson; Roving Hitting Coach; Thousand Oaks High School Head Coach
Cesar Aranguen is in his eighth season as an Area Supervisor for the New York Mets. Prior to his time with the Mets, he served as the Assistant Director of Latin America Operations with the Milwaukee Brewers for two years. Aranguen began his coaching career at Barry University, where he was an assistant coach for five seasons. He was also a four-year starter for the Buccaneers.
2019 marks Bill Cilento's 10th season at Wake Forest University and his first as Associate Head Coach. He has coached 56 student-athletes that have gone on to play professional baseball in that time. Prior to his coaching the Demon Deacons, Cilento spent three seasons as the hitting and infield coach at Brown University, where he helped the Bears to their first-ever Ivy League Championship and NCAA regional berth. He also had coaching stints with the University of New Orleans and Siena. Cilento was a four-year starter and a member of two MAAC regular season championship teams at Siena.
Kai Correa will make his USA Baseball coaching debut with the 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) in 2019. Correa is currently the short-season defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Indians organization after serving as the Infield Coach for the Arizona League Indians in 2018. Prior to his time with the Indians, Correa spent three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado, leading the Bears to their first-ever WAC tournament appearance in 2015. Correa played at the University of Puget Sound and was named captain as a senior before joining the coaching staff as the head assistant coach following his graduation in 2011.
2019 marks the ninth-time overall and fourth consecutive season that Kibler has served as the field coordinator for an NTDP. After serving as the first-ever USA Baseball NTDP field coordinator in 2012 for the inaugural 14U and 17U programs, he once again helped launch an NTDP program in 2018 as the field coordinator for the inaugural 16U NTDP. In addition to his time with the 16U event in 2018, Kibler has worked with the 14U event three times (2012-2014) and the 17U event four times (2012-2013, 2016-2017) in the seven-year history of the National Team Development Program. He has also served as an assistant coach on three national team staffs during his time with USA Baseball, helping lead the 16U National Team to consecutive gold medals at the 2009 International Baseball Federation World Youth and the 2010 COPABE Pan American "AA" Youth Championships. He was also a member of the staff that led the 18U National Team to a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in 2015. Kibler started the baseball program at Horizon High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.) in 1980 and served as its head coach until 2018. An Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Famer, Kibler is the most decorated coach in Arizona High School baseball history as he collected a state-record 808 wins and led the Huskies to six state titles, 17 regionals and three runner-up finishes in the state tournament during his 38 years with the program. Thirty-four of the athletes that played for him were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and 151 went on to play college baseball.
Monte Lee will make his debut with the USA Baseball National Team Development Program (NTDP) in 2019, but he is no stranger to leading programs as he brings 16 years of head coach experience to the event. He is currently in his third season as the head coach of Clemson University, where he has led the Tigers to the NCAA Regionals in all three years. Prior to his time at Clemson, Lee led the College of Charleston for seven seasons, recording a .656 winning percentage while appearing in the NCAA Regionals four times. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Spartanburg Methodist College in 2001, before serving in the same capacity at the University of South Carolina for six seasons. Before starting his coaching career, Lee was a standout on the diamond for the College of Charleston, finishing his playing career in the top-10 in school history in career doubles, total bases and RBIs. In addition, he became the first-ever position player drafted from Charleston when he was selected in the 39th round of the 1999 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Justin Parker will make his USA Baseball coaching debut in 2019. The Indiana University assistant coach is in his first season with the Hoosiers and is responsible for the team's pitching staff. Parker previously served as the pitching coach at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where he sent nine pitchers to the professional ranks in his two seasons with the Golden Knights. He began his coaching career in 2011 at Wright State and spent six seasons with the Raiders, highlighted by a Horizon League Championship in 2016. Parker was drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and spent three years playing professionally in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.
Chuck Ristano is currently in his ninth season at the University of Notre Dame, where he serves as an assistant coach and co-recruiting coordinator. Ristano heads a Notre Dame pitching staff that has produced 12 MLB Draft picks since his arrival on campus, and he guided Notre Dame pitchers to three consecutive seasons with a walks-per-nine-innings rate lower than 3.00 for the first time in program history. Prior to his time in South Bend, Ristano spent four seasons as the pitching coach at Monmouth University, helping the Hawks to NCAA regional bids and Northeast Conference titles in 2007 and 2009. He has also served as a pitching coach at Temple and Sacred Heart. He was a two-time captain and four-year letterwinner at Sacred Heart from 2001-04.
NCAA coaching legend Steve Smith returns to USA Baseball in 2019 after serving as the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team manager in 2005 and an assistant coach in 1998. Smith is currently a volunteer coach at Auburn University working with the pitching staff. Before his time at Auburn, Smith spent 21 seasons as the head coach at Baylor University, where he became the winningest coach in program history after recording 744 victories with the Bears. Smith led Baylor to 13 NCAA regionals appearances, four Super Regionals and a College World Series appearance in 1978, while also claiming three Big 12 Conference Championships. The five-time Big 12 Coach of the Year was also inducted in to the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
Edgar Varela is in his second season as the minor league field coordinator for the Minnesota Twins. Prior to that, he spent 10 years working in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Varela was a manager for the Bristol Pirates in 2014-15 and the GCL Pirates in 2016, and served as a hitting coach throughout the Pirates system for six years. He was also the Latin America hitting coordinator for one year, overseeing the hitting program from the Dominican League to Advanced-A levels. Varela played five seasons of professional baseball after being drafted in the 31st round by the Chicago White Sox in the 1998 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Jack Wilson is a 12-year MLB veteran who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and Atlanta Braves after being drafted in the ninth round of the 1998 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The 2004 MLB All-Star recorded 1,294 hits, 426 RBIs and scored 565 runs during his career. Wilson also earned the National League Silver Slugger award in 2004 after ranking first in the National League in triples (12), third in hits (201) and seventh in singles (137). He is currently in his third season as the head coach at Thousand Oaks High School (Thousand Oaks, California), where he led the Lancers to the Marmonte League Championship in 2019 for the first time since 2007.