The NTDP offers 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 USA Baseball national team staff and task force.
Florida International University (FIU) Head Coach Mervyl Melendez and current area scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks Dan Ramsay will join Brown on staff and serve as the managers of the Stars and Stripes teams, respectively.
"We are incredibly excited about this staff and we have no doubt that these coaches will provide our athletes a first-class experience," said 18U National Team Program Director Frank Jagoda. "The 16U National Team Development Program serves as a great stepping stone for the players at this age level and our staff cannot wait to start working with them."
Brown completed his ninth season at the helm of Nova Southeastern (NSU) in 2019, where he has guided the Sharks to NCAA South Region Tournament appearances in seven of his nine years. He was named the 2016 Division II National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) after leading his team to the program's first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship. Since 2011, Brown has averaged over 35 wins a year with the Sharks and has had 18 players selected in the MLB Draft, including a program-record 10 in 2017.
Before taking the head role at NSU, Brown served as an area scout for the Houston Astros in 2009 and 2010, as well as an assistant coach at Broward Community College in 2008. He played professional baseball for four seasons in the Miami Marlins minor league system from 2003-2006 before starting his coaching career.
The field coordinator, with the assistance of additional coaches and evaluators made up of former professional players, respected collegiate and high school coaches, and professional scouts, will assess 36 athletes during the NTDP week.
The Stars team will be managed by Melendez and he will be joined by Pitching Coach Mike McRae, who is currently an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and Assistant Coach Frank Maldonado, who just finished his fourth season at the helm of Greensboro College.
Ramsay will guide the Stripes team and his staff will include Centre College Head Coach Drew Briese as the pitching coach and 17-year MLB veteran and Oaks Christian School (Westlake, Calif.) Head Coach Royce Clayton as an assistant coach.
University of Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Bell and Jacksonville University Head Coach Chris Hayes also join Brown's staff for the NTDP as the pitching coordinator and defensive coordinator, respectively.
The 2019 16U NTDP will take place July 31-August 5 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
USA Baseball and the coaching staff utilized a rolling invitation process for the 16U NTDP roster that was announced on July 11, selecting athletes from the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS), the 2019 16U National Team Championships in Arizona and Florida, as well as 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 coaching staff and their bios are as follows:
Name; NTDP Position; Current Position
Mike Bell; Pitching Coordinator; University of Pittsburgh Head Coach
Drew Briese; Stripes Pitching Coach; Centre College Head Coach
Greg Brown; Field Coordinator; Nova Southeastern Head Coach
Mike Garza; Stripes Assistant Coach; University of Virginia
Chris Hayes; Defensive Coordinator; Jacksonville University Head Coach
Frank Maldonado; Stars Assistant Coach; Greensboro College Head Coach
Mike McRae; Stars Pitching Coach; VCU Assistant Coach
Mervyl Melendez; Stars Manager; FIU Head Coach
Dan Ramsay; Stripes Manager; Arizona Diamondbacks Area Scout
Mike Bell finished his first year as the head coach at Pittsburgh in 2019, following seven years as an associate head coach at Florida State. Bell joined Florida State in 2012, where he oversaw the pitching staff and helped guide the Seminoles to two College World Series appearances. Under his guidance, the Florida State pitching staff led the country with 635 strikeouts in 2018 and he has coached 25 draft picks since 2012, including six in 2017 and 2014 first round selection Luke Weaver. In his first five seasons with the Seminoles, Bell's staffs posted an ERA below 3.50 - the lowest three-year total since 1999-2001 - and a sub-3.00 ERA for the first time in 10 years following the 2013 season. The Sarasota, Florida, native also coached at Oklahoma and Tennessee prior to his time with at FSU. He helped to lead both programs to the College World Series and set program strikeout records at both stops with 568 at Tennessee in 2005 and 583 at Oklahoma in 2010. Following a successful career as a player at Florida State that saw the Seminoles reach the College World Series in 1994 and 1995, Bell was selected in the 20th round of the 1995 draft by the Montreal Expos. He spent six years in the minor leagues, including reaching the Double-A level with the Baltimore Orioles' organization.
Drew Briese returns to the USA Baseball coaching ranks in 2019 after serving as an assistant coach for the 2016 15U National Team. He has also served as an evaluator and coach with USA Baseball since 2013, including coaching at the 2015 14U National Team Development Program. Briese is currently the head coach at Centre College (Danville, Ky.) where he guided the Colonels to the semifinals of the 2018 Southern Athletic Association conference tournament in his second season at the helm. Prior to his time at Centre, Briese joined the Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Ala.) coaching staff in 2006 and helped lead the Panthers to 10 conference tournament and regular season titles with four straight NCAA Division III Regional appearances.
Greg Brown is currently serving as the head coach at Nova Southeastern University. In 2016, he was named the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Division II National Coach of the Year after leading his team to the program's first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship. Before his time with the Sharks, Brown worked as an assistant coach at Broward Community College and was an area scout for the Houston Astros. He also played minor league baseball for three years in the Miami Marlins organization. This is Brown's third coaching stint with USA Baseball after previously serving as a coach at the 2018 16U National Team Development Program and the 2013 and 2014 Tournament of Stars.
Currently the coordinator of video and scouting for the University of Virginia baseball team, Mike Garza will make his USA Baseball coaching debut in 2019. Prior to his time at UVA, Garza served as a volunteer assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy. He helped guide the Midshipmen to its second-highest win total in program history (38) and the Patriot League Championship series. Garza was selected in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and spent four seasons in the organization's minor league system.
Chris Hayes finished his third year as the head coach at Jacksonville University in 2019 and will make his USA Baseball coaching debut with the 16U National Team Development Program. Hayes has led the Dolphins to 108 wins in his time at the helm, as well as the program's first 40-win season since 2006 and its first NCAA postseason appearance in seven years in 2018. In his first year as the head coach, Hayes guided the team to a 13-game winning streak - the program's longest in 26 years - and the ASUN Championship final. Prior to being named Jacksonville's head coach, Hayes had two tenures as an assistant with the Dolphins, serving in that role from 2003-08 and then again from 2013 until taking the reins for the 2017 season. In between the two stints, he spent five seasons as the head coach of the Seminole State College of Florida. Hayes was selected in the 28th round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and spent five seasons in the organization's minor league system before starting him coaching career.
Frank Maldonado is currently entering his fifth season as the head coach at Greensboro College (Greensboro, N.C.). During his time at the helm, Maldonado led the Pride to its first 20-win season since 2012 in 2017 and an appearance in the USA South Athletic Conference Championship series for just the third time in program history in 2019. His teams also hold the Greensboro College records for most at-bats and hits. Prior to his time in Greensboro, Maldonado spent six seasons coaching at the University of Tampa, where he helped lead the Spartans to three NCAA Division II National Championships. He has also coached at the University of South Florida, California Lutheran University and Barstow Community College in his career. 2019 marks Maldonado's first year with the National Team Development Program; however, he is no stranger to USA Baseball, having also served as a scout at the USA Baseball National Team Championships in Florida.
Entering his third season as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Mike McRae has helped lead the Rams to Atlantic 10 regular season titles in 2017 and 2019. Before his time at VCU, McRae spent 14 seasons as the head coach at Canisius College (Buffalo, N.Y.) where he was a four-time MAAC Coach of the Year. Under his guidance, the Golden Griffins went from winning just four games in 2004 to claiming the program's first two MAAC Championships and making the program's first appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and 2015. This will be McRae's first time coaching for USA Baseball.
2019 marks Mervyl Melendez's third year coaching at the National Team Development Program (NTDP) after previous stints with the 2015 17U and 2016 14U NTDPs. He also helped lead the 2018 18U National Team to its fifth consecutive COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships gold medal last fall. Melendez was named the head coach at Florida International University (FIU) in 2016 after leading the programs at Alabama State and Bethune-Cookman. While at the helm of Bethune-Cookman, he won 30 or more games in nine seasons and led Alabama State to school-record win totals three times, while compiling 537 wins and a dozen NCAA Tournament appearances with the two programs. Melendez was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2016 and has earned Coach of the Year honors 11 times in his career. In addition, he became the second-youngest head coach in NCAA Division I history to record 300 career wins after reaching the mark in 2009.
Currently an Area Scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Dan Ramsay will make his USA Baseball coaching debut at the 2019 16U National Team Development Program (NTDP). He served as the manager of the Minnesota Twins Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2018 after nine years as the head coach at Whitworth University (Wash.). Under his guidance, the Bucs made three appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament and one trip to the NCAA Division III World Series in 2012. He was also named the NCAA Division III West Region Coach of the Year in 2012.