CARY, N.C. – Major League Baseball and USA Baseball jointly announced today the coaching staff for the 2021 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League, as well as the 96 athletes invited to participate in this year’s event. The staff, which is made up of former professional players and respected collegiate, high
CARY, N.C. – Major League Baseball and USA Baseball jointly announced today the coaching staff for the 2021 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League, as well as the 96 athletes invited to participate in this year’s event. The staff, which is made up of former professional players and respected collegiate, high school, and professional coaches, will guide and evaluate the participating athletes from July 24-31 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, and at Calfee Park in Pulaski, Virginia.
The PDP League will serve as the primary identification event for the 18U National Team in 2021. The event is an invitation-based development and assessment opportunity for high school players eligible for the following year’s MLB Draft. It provides athletes with an unprecedented amateur experience, including competitive gameplay, player development sessions, educational seminars, and other programming to prepare players for a professional baseball career.
The 2021 staff will be led by USA Baseball Director of Player Development Jim Koerner as the Field Coordinator. The 96 invited players will be split into four teams, led by Team Gray Manager Cody Ellis (Patrick Henry Community College), Team Light Blue Manager Tom Griffin (Carson-Newman University), Team Navy Manager Denny Hocking, and Team Red Manager Nick Punto.
In addition to the 2021 PDP League coaching staff, the 2021 18U National Team staff, led by Manager Jason Maxwell, will serve as additional evaluators at the event to identify athletes to be invited to the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials. Maxwell will serve as a roving instructor at the event, while 18U National Team assistant coaches Michael Cuddyer and Jack Wilson will work as the PDP League hitting and infield coordinators, respectively. The event’s pitching coordinator will be 18U National Team Pitching Coach Adam Moseley.
“We are very excited about the incredible wealth of knowledge and experience this coaching staff brings to the 2021 PDP League, as well as the extremely talented group of players that will be participating,” said Ashley Bratcher, USA Baseball 18U National Team General Manager. “The PDP League is a unique opportunity for 96 of the nation’s best athletes to grow and develop with the help of these outstanding coaches and play for a chance to represent Team USA. We cannot wait to get this staff together and get to work with these athletes as we begin the journey to our ultimate goal of winning a world championship.”
In his role as Director of Player Development, Koerner is responsible for developing on-field programming for USA Baseball’s six national teams and three national team development programs. He also produces curriculums related to player development for USABDevelops.com, the organization’s free online educational resource center. Additionally, he assists with player and staff identification for all 10 clubs in the Appalachian League and serves as a roving instructor during the season.
Joining Ellis on Team Gray’s staff will be Grambling State Head Coach James Cooper and 15-year MLB veteran Dave Hansen as assistant coaches, as well as pitching coach Doug Creek, who finished a nine-year big-league playing career in 2005.
On Team Light Blue, Griffin will be assisted by Swarthmore College Assistant Coach Andre Butler, and four-time USA Baseball alum and current Idaho Falls Chukars hitting coach, Billy Butler. Former MLB All-Star and World Series Champion Brad Penny will serve as the pitching coach for Team Light Blue.
Hocking will be joined on Team Navy by assistant coaches Homer Bush, who won a World Series with the New York Yankees in 1998, and current Flowery Branch High School (Flowery Branch, Ga.) head coach, Joey Ray. The pitching coach for Team Navy will be University of New Orleans Pitching Coach AJ Battisto.
Rounding out the 2021 PDP League coaching staff are former USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalist and current LSU-Eunice assistant coach, Roberto Vaz, and Chaparral High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.) Head Coach Troy Gerlach, who will work with Punto as assistant coaches for Team Red. In addition, 2017 World Baseball Classic champion and 11-year MLB veteran Luke Gregerson will serve as Team Red’s pitching coach.
The 2021 PDP League roster features 96 of the country’s best 18-and-under players representing 30 different states. California and Florida lead the way with thirteen players each from the two states, while Georgia boasts seven athletes on the roster, Texas claims six, and Illinois, North Carolina, and New York all have five.
Additionally, the roster includes 13 USA Baseball national team alumni and 21 past National Team Development Program participants. Karson Bowen (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) and Ryan Clifford (Raleigh, N.C.) will reunite at the PDP League after playing together on the 2018 15U National Team that earned the program’s first world championship at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Panama. Clifford was also a member of the gold medal-winning 2015 12U National Team.
In addition, six members of the 2019 15U National Team that won a gold medal at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier have been named to the 2021 PDP League roster, including Brandon Barriera (Coconut Creek, Fla.), Bowen, Termarr Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.), Louis Rodriguez (Long Beach, Calif.), Michael Romero (Menifee, Calif.), and Nolan Schubart (Durand, Mich.).
The 2021 18U National Team identification process kicks off with the 2021 PDP League. The 16U/17U NTDP also serves as an identification event for the 18U National Team and will take place from August 6-9 at the National Training Complex.
Players will then be invited to the 18U National Team Trials from August 29-September 3 in Tampa, Florida, before the 20-man 18U National Team roster is named. The 18U team will continue to train in Tampa from September 4-8 before competing at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup from September 10-19 in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. The United States will host the event for the first time since 1995, when the USA Baseball 18U National Team finished the tournament with an 8-1 record and claimed the gold medal with a 10-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in the championship game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
For more information on the PDP League, follow @BaseballPDP on Twitter and Instagram or visit the PDP League website. For full bios on each member of the 2021 PDP League staff, click here.
The 2021 PDP League staff and the full 2021 PDP League roster are as follows:
- 2021 PDP League Coaching Staff
- Name; PDP League Position
- AJ Battiso; Team Navy Pitching Coach
- Homer Bush; Team Navy Assistant Coach
- Billy Butler; Team Light Blue Assistant Coach
- Andre Butler; Team Light Blue Assistant Coach
- James Cooper; Team Gray Assistant Coach
- Doug Creek; Team Gray Pitching Coach
- Michael Cuddyer; Hitting Coordinator
- Cody Ellis; Team Gray Manager
- Troy Gerlach; Team Red Assistant Coach
- Luke Gregerson; Team Red Pitching Coach
- Tom Griffin; Team Light Blue Manager
- Dave Hansen; Team Gray Assistant Coach
- Denny Hocking; Team Navy Manager
- Jim Koerner; Field Coordinator
- Jason Maxwell; Roving Instructor
- Adam Moseley; Pitching Coordinator
- Brad Penny; Team Light Blue Pitching Coach
- Nick Punto; Team Red Manager
- Joey Ray; Team Navy Assistant Coach
- Roberto Vaz; Team Red Assistant Coach
- Jack Wilson; Infield Coordinator
- 2021 Prospect Development Pipeline League Roster:
- Name; Position; PDP League Team; Hometown
- Joe Allen; RHP/1B; Team Light Blue; Hampton Falls, N.H.
- Christian Arroyo; LHP/OF; Team Light Blue; Coral Spring, Fla.
- RJ Austin; UTIL; Team Light Blue; Atlanta, Ga.
- *^Brandon Barriera; LHP; Team Red; Coconut Creek, Fla.
- Nick Biasi; LHP; Team Gray; Hazleton, Pa.
- Tucker Biven; UTIL; Team Red; New Albany, Ind.
- *^Karson Bowen; C; Tem Navy; Anaheim Hills, Calif.
- Emaarion Boyd; OF; Team Gray; Batesville, Miss.
- Xavier Cardenas III; RHP; Team Light Blue; La Habra, Calif.
- Easton Carmichael; C; Team Gray; Prosper, Texas
- Teddy Cashman; 2B/OF; Team Red; New Canaan, Conn.
- Jake Clemente; RHP; Team Navy; Coral Spring, Fla.
- *^Ryan Clifford; OF/1B; Team Light Blue; Raleigh, N.C.
- Jackson Cox; RHP; Team Gray; Toutle, Ore.
- ^Justin Crawford; OF; Team Navy; Las Vegas, Nev.
- Zach Crotchfelt; LHP; Team Navy; Jackson, N.J.
- Caden Dana; RHP; Team Navy; Montgomery, N.Y.
- Korbyn Dickerson; OF; Team Gray; Jeffersonville, Ind.
- Brady Disbro; RHP; Team Gray; Dana Point, Calif.
- Cooper Dossett; RHP/OF; Team Light Blue; Fayetteville, Ark.
- Andrew Dutkanych; RHP; Team Red; Indianapolis, Ind.
- Robert Evans; LHP; Team Light Blue; Bronx, N.Y.
- Jackson Ferris; LHP; Team Light Blue; Mount Airy, N.C.
- Thomas Finnegan; RHP; Team Navy; Ocean City, N.J.
- Cade Fisher; LHP; Team Gray; Dalton, Ga.
- Michael Forret; RHP; Team Red; Indian Trail, N.C.
- Elijah Green; OF; Team Red; Windermere, Fla.
- ^Blaise Grove; LHP; Team Navy; Summit Point, W.Va.
- Gavin Guidry; UTIL; Team Light Blue; Lake Charles, La.
- Michael Gupton; OF; Team Light Blue; Raleigh, N.C.
- Adonys Guzman; C; Team Light Blue; Valley Cottage, N.Y.
- Dominic Hellman; UTIl; Team Light Blue; Mill Creek, Wash.
- Luke Heyman; C; Team Red; Longwood, Fla.
- Ross Highfill; C; Team Gray; Madison, Miss.
- Brad Hodges; LHP; Team Red; Fleming Island, Fla.
- Jackson Holliday; MIF; Team Gray; Stillwater, Okla.
- ^David Horn; RHP; Team Red; Mission Viejo, Calif.
- Matthew Hoskins; RHP; Team Navy; Suwanee, Ga.
- Jayden Hylton; 1B; Team Navy; Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
- Ike Irish; C; Team Red; Hudsonville, Mich.
- *^Termarr Johnson; MIF; Team Navy; Atlanta, Ga.
- Jayson Jones; MIF; Team Gray; Savannah, Texas
- Druw Jones; OF; Team Navy; Suwanee, Ga.
- Lucas Kelly; RHP; Team Red; San Francisco, Calif.
- Michael Kennedy; LHP; Team Navy; Troy, N.Y.
- Gavin Kilen; MIF; Team Red; Milton, Wisc.
- Paxton Kling; OF; Team Navy; Roaring Spring, Pa.
- Jack Lausch; OF; Team Red; Chicago, Ill.
- Jace LaViolette; OF; Team Light Blue; Katy, Texas
- Michael Lippe; OF; Team Gray; Whitefish Bay, Wisc.
- Caden Marcum; RHP; Team Red; Paola, Kan.
- ^Kaden Martin; OF; Team Red; Knoxville, Tenn.
- Karson Milbrandt; RHP; Team Light Blue; Kansas City, Mo.
- ^Gabe Miranda; 1B; Team Light Blue; Orange, Calif.
- ^Malcolm Moore; C; Team Navy; Sacremento, Calif.
- Nazier Mule; UTIL; Team Navy; Paterson, N.J.
- Hayden Murphy; RHP; Team Gray; Chula, Ga.
- Owen Murphy; RHP; Team Navy; Riverside, Ill.
- Brady Neal; C; Team Light Blue; Bradenton, Fla.
- Drew Nelson; LHP; Team Gray; Troy, Ala.
- *^Mason Neville; OF/LHP; Team Light Blue; Las Vegas, Nev.
- Jaden Noot; RHP; Team Navy; Oak Park, Calif.
- Jack O'Connor; RHP; Team Navy; Arlington, Va.
- JeanPierre Ortiz; UTIL; Team Gray; Carolina, P.R.
- Ethan Petry; 3B/SS; Team Gray; Land O Lakes, Fla.
- Brennan Phillips; LHP; Team Gray; Owasso, Okla.
- Cole Phillips; RHP; Team Gray; Boerne, Texas
- Brock Porter; RHP; Team Gray; Milford, Mich.
- Jacob Reimer; 3B; Team Light Blue; Yucaipa, Calif.
- Ian Ritchie, Jr.; RHP; Team Navy; Bainbridge Island, Wash.
- *^Louis Rodriguez; RHP; Team Gray; Long Beach, Calif.
- *^Michael Romero; MIF; Team Navy; Menifee, Calif.
- Carsten Sabathia; 1B; Team Navy; Alpine, N.J.
- Julius Sanchez; RHP; Team Red; LaSalle, Ill.
- Oliver Santos; LHP; Team Red; Newport Coast, Calif.
- Grayson Saunier; RHP; Team Light Blue; Memphis, Tenn.
- *Nolan Schubart; 1B; Team Red; Durand, Mich.
- Noah Schultz; LHP; Team Red; Aurora, Ill.
- Matt Scott; RHP; Team Gray; Redding, Conn.
- Eli Serrano; 1B; Team Gray; Fuquay Varina, N.C.
- Chase Shores; RHP; Team Red; Midland, Texas
- Anthony Silva; MIF; Team Light Blue; San Antonio, Texas
- Tristan Smith; LHP; Team Light Blue; Chesnee, S.C.
- Tommy Specht; OF; Team Red; Dubuque, Iowa/li>
- Chris Stanfield; OF; Team Gray; Tallahassee, Fla..
- ^Riley Stanford; OF/RHP; Team Navy; Gainesville, Ga.
- *Alex Stanwich; OF; Team Navy; Tinley Park, Ill.
- ^Sal Stewart; 3B; Team Navy; Miami, Fla.
- Eliakim Stowe; RHP; Team Light Blue; Poughkeepsie, N.Y..
- Mason Swinney; UTIL; Team Gray; Hodges, Ala.
- Yoel Tejeda Jr.; UTIL; Team Red; Davie, Fla.
- Kassius Thomas; RHP; Team Light Blue; Northridge, Calif.
- Tucker Toman; MIF; Team Red; Columbia, S.C.
- Jason Torres; 3B; Team Red; Miami, Fla.
- Gavin Turley; OF; Team Gray; Chandler, Ariz.
- Cole Young; MIF; Team Light Blue; Wexford, Pa.
- *Denotes USA Baseball national team alum
- ^Denotes past USA Baseball NTDP participant