USA Baseball Announces 2023 13U/14U Athlete Development Program Staff

Mike Kinkade, AJ Battisto to serve as coordinators alongside USA Baseball Director of Player Development Jim Koerner

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the coaching staff for the 2023 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP), highlighted by the naming of 2000 Olympic gold medalist Mike Kinkade and Georgia Southern Pitching Coach AJ Battisto as hitting and pitching coordinators, respectively. They will join field coordinator Jim Koerner, USA Baseball's Director of Player Development, in leading the on-field programming during the event.

The ADP, which will welcome 50 athletes to the USA Baseball National Training Complex, will feature advanced on-field skills development with positional and team-fundamental drills, along with ongoing evaluation by the coaching staff. The participants will also be split into two teams and compete head-to-head in a series of games. Additionally, the athletes will participate in off-field educational seminars while gaining additional exposure to professional scouts and college recruiters.

Joining Kinkade and Battisto on staff will be managers Mike Gambino and Paul Janish, pitching coaches Kirk Champion and Brett Tomko, and assistant coaches J.D. Pruitt and Casey Scott.

“We are incredibly excited about the staff that will guide and teach the athletes invited to this year’s 13U/14U Athlete Development Program,” said Koerner. “The ADP continues to be an unparalleled experience for young players to learn and grow on and off the field at a pivotal time in their development. We have assembled a group of well-respected coaches from various levels of baseball, and, under their guidance, we anticipate hosting a great event this summer for fifty of the best young baseball players in the United States."

The full coaching staff for the 2023 13U/14U ADP is as follows (coaches' bios enclosed below):

2023 13U/14U ADP STAFF

  • Field Coordinator: Jim Koerner
  • Pitching Coordinator: AJ Battisto (Georgia Southern University)
  • Hitting Coordinator: Mike Kinkade
  • Manager: Mike Gambino (Penn State)
  • Manager: Paul Janish (Rice University)
  • Pitching Coach: Kirk Champion
  • Pitching Coach: Brett Tomko
  • Assistant Coach: JD Pruitt (Coastal Alabama Community College)
  • Assistant Coach: Casey Scott (Bishop Verot High School)

The 2023 13U/14U ADP will take place from August 3-6 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. USA Baseball will utilize a rolling invitation process for the 13U/14U ADP participants in 2023. Joining 24 players selected from last year's USA Baseball National Team Identification Series Champions Cup, athletes will primarily be selected from the 2023 13U and 14U National Team Championships in North Carolina and 2023 14U National Team Championships in Arizona. Additionally, players will be selected through recommendations from scouts, coaches, and the amateur baseball community.

For more information on the USA Baseball Athlete Development Program, visit or follow @USABDevelops on Twitter.


A.J. Battisto returns to USA Baseball this summer as an assistant coach at the 2023 ADP. Battisto is currently in his second season as the pitching coach at Georgia Southern University. In his debut coaching for the Eagles, he helped lead the team to a 41-20 overall record and a second-place finish in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. The team also hosted its first-ever NCAA Regional in 2022, where Battisto’s pitchers gave up just nine runs in their three games. Prior to GSU, Battisto coached at the University of New Orleans for two separate stints as well as at North Carolina Central University. He has coached several pitchers who have gone on to sign contracts with MLB organizations, including Eric Orze and Devin Sweet. Before entering the coaching ranks, Battisto had a seven-year career in the minor leagues, making 167 appearances and going 21-10 with a 3.62 ERA and nine saves. He played collegiately at Georgia Southern, posting a perfect 12-0 record in three seasons with the Eagles. Battisto previously served as a pitching coach for Team Gray at the 2021 PDP League.

Kirk Champion returns to USA Baseball this summer for the first time since 2011. He has served as a pitching coach for the Professional National Team on six separate occasions, highlighted by Team USA's gold-medal run at the 2009 IBAF World Cup. In his coaching debut for the stars and stripes in 2001, he helped lead the squad to a silver medal at the World Cup where the pitching staff posted a collected 1.45 ERA and 79 strikeouts. He was also on staff with the 2006 team which qualified or the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, as well as the 2010 Pan Am Games Qualifier and 2011 Pan Am Games where the U.S. earned silver. Aside from his accomplishments on the diamond with USA Baseball, Champion has been a part of the Chicago White Sox organization since 1989, and has held numerous roles during his time. Currently, he is the director of minor league pitching instruction, a position he has held since 2018.

Longtime Boston College Head Coach Mike Gambino brings his vast experience to the dugout as a manager at the 2023 ADP. Since taking the reins at BC in 2010, Gambino has amassed over 280 wins in his 13 seasons as head coach. In 2016, he led the Eagles to 35 wins, the second-most in program history, and the school’s first-ever Super Regional appearance. He was named the ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year and a D1Baseball finalist for Coach of the Year for his efforts that year. A 1999 Boston College graduate, Gambino previously served as an assistant coach for the Eagles from 2003-2005 before taking a position as a regional scout for the Detroit Tigers. After two years in that role, he headed to Virginia Tech, where he was the recruiting coordinator for four seasons. Gambino played for Boston College from 1997-2000, starting 166 games and compiling a career .313 clip. The Garrison, New York, native was a first-team All-Big East, All-New England, and All-Northeast region honoree after his senior campaign. Following his collegiate career, Gambino played two seasons in the Boston Red Sox minor league system. He returns to USA Baseball after debuting as a manager for Team Light Blue during the 16U/17U NTDP last summer.

Current Rice University Associate Head Coach, USA Baseball alum, and longtime major-league infielder Paul Janish will join a coaching staff for the first time this summer at the 2023 ADP. Janish played parts of nine seasons in Major League Baseball, where he spent time with the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, and Baltimore Orioles from his debut in 2008 through his retirement in 2017. Prior to his career in the majors, Janish starred as a middle infielder at Rice, hitting .313 with a .384 on-base percentage and 134 RBIs across his three seasons with the team. He was named to the Western Athletic Conference’s All-Star team in both 2002 and 2004, and in 2003, he helped lead the Owls to their first College World Series Championship in school history. During his time with the Owls, he was a member of the 2003 Collegiate National Team that earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games. He joined the coaching staff of his alma mater immediately following his retirement from professional baseball, and during his tenure, two of the infielders that he coached–Ford Proctor and Trei Cruz–were selected in the third round of their respective MLB Drafts.

Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medalist Mike Kinkade brings a plethora of baseball experience to the 2023 ADP as a hitting coordinator. Kinkade was a crucial member of the 2000 Olympic Team on its run to the gold medal, recording a .207 batting average with six hits, three RBIs, and four runs scored in the tournament. He made his second appearance for the red, white, and blue with the 2006 Olympic Qualifying Team, where he hit .333 with a team-leading 11 RBIs. Kinkade was selected in the 19th round of the 1994 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and made his big-league debut with the New York Mets in 1998. In his six-year Major League playing career, the Livonia, Michigan, native played in 222 games and collected a .256 batting average, 56 runs scored, 13 home runs, and 48 RBIs. Following his playing career, Kinkade served as a member of the Seattle Mariners’ minor league coaching staff from 2011-2014, including managing the Peoria Mariners in 2012. He then coached the Whitman County American Legion Program from 2016-2019 and was the head coach for Pullman High School (Pullman, Wash.) from 2018-2019 before becoming an assistant coach at Cal State University Bakersfield during the 2020 season. Kinkade also served as a member of the coaching staff at the inaugural MLB Draft Combine, the Women’s NTDP, the first-ever Girls Camp in 2021, and at the PDP League in 2022.

J.D. Pruitt will serve as an assistant coach at the 2023 ADP. Pruitt is the head coach at Spanish Fort High School (Spanish Fort, Ala.), where he has been at the helm since 2018. Prior to his time there, he was the head coach at Enterprise (Ala.) High School and an assistant baseball coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Troy University. Pruitt starred as a player at both George W. Long High School (Skipperville, Ala.) and the University of Montevallo, which led to him being selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 23rd round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He spent two years in the minor leagues with the A’s, hitting .240 with seven home runs and 29 runs batted in in 101 games.

Casey Scott joins the ADP staff for a second time as an assistant coach in 2023. This will be his third stint as a coach for a USA Baseball development program, after he was a pitching coach at the 2021 ADP as well as the 2019 14U NTDP. He is currently the head coach at Bishop Verot Catholic High School (Fort Myers, Fla.), who has competed at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational the past two years in Cary, North Carolina. Prior to becoming the skipper of the Vikings, he spent a season as an assistant coach for the State University of New York at Cortland. Prior to his time in Cortland, Scott spent four seasons as the head coach at Ave Maria University in Florida. He also served as head coach of the Syracuse Jr. Chiefs of the New York Collegiate Baseball League, where he led the squad to a league title and was named the league’s Coach of the Year in 2012. Scott began his coaching career as an assistant coach at SUNY Brockport after playing there collegiately.

Brett Tomko brings 14 years of Major League experience to the dugout this summer as a pitching coach at the 2023 ADP. A second-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1995 MLB Draft, Tomko pitched in 397 big-league contests during his lengthy career, finishing with exactly 100 wins and 1,209 total strikeouts. He recorded double-digit win totals on five occasions, topping out at 13 victories in both 1998 and 2003. Tomko suited up for 10 different clubs, including three stints with the San Diego Padres. He was drafted out of Florida Southern College, where he played just one season but left an indelible mark. In his lone campaign with the Moccasins, Tomko went 15-2 with a 1.35 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 126.1 innings en route to becoming the first player ever to be named the NCAA Division II Pitcher and Player of the Year. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player at the DII championships after leading the Mocs to their eighth national title with a complete-game shutout in the championship game. In 2014, the NCAA DII Pitcher of the Year Award was named the Brett Tomko Award in his honor. Tomko previously served as a pitching coach during the 16U/17U NTDP in 2022.