DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced today the launch of its Athlete Development Program (ADP), a four-day on- and off-field invitation-only development opportunity for athletes that will be held at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The inaugural ADP will be open to elite-level 13-and-under aged baseball players from June 19-22.
The ADP will feature unparalleled instruction provided by USA Baseball national team coaches, college coaches and select premier high school coaches from across the country. The addition of this program, beginning with the 13-and-under age group, will round out the organization's development pipeline by offering a pathway to a national team or national team development opportunity extending from the 12U National Team program through the Collegiate National Team.
"USA Baseball is pleased to announce the addition of the Athlete Development Program to our current catalog of events that focus on the overall athletic and personal development of baseball players," said Ashley Bratcher, USA Baseball's Senior Director of Baseball Operations. "With the creation of this new initiative, we now offer national team-level instruction to more athletes than ever before with plans for additional ADP age groups in the future."
Each day at the ADP will feature advanced on-field skills development with positional and team fundamental drills, and ongoing evaluation by USA Baseball national team coaches. Over the course of the program, athletes will be placed on a Stars or Stripes team and face-off in a best-of-three-game series at the National Training Complex to practically implement the instruction provided during training.
The National Training Complex, in partnership with the Town of Cary, has been the official home of USA Baseball since 2007 and numerous current Major League Baseball players have ventured through its gates, including Chris Archer, Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. The Town of Cary received the National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2016. The award honors U.S. communities that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.
USA Baseball will also provide an off-field component for the athletes that will focus on education regarding the NCAA and the recruiting process, umpire interaction, nutrition and wellness guidance, strength and conditioning education, media training, and character and leadership development.
Beginning in March, invitations to the inaugural ADP will be extended to 36 13-and-under aged athletes who have previously participated in national team identification events. As the program grows and incorporates additional age groups, the National Team Identification Series and the recently announced Futures Series will be among the identification events for the ADP.
Participating athletes will be provided with an individual player assessment report by the coaching staff following the four-day event and this year's 13U ADP participants will be evaluated for the opportunity to be invited to the 2020 14U National Team Development Program.
Two-time national team coach Butch Chaffin will serve as the Field Coordinator for the 13U ADP in 2019. Chaffin is currently the head coach at Cookeville High School (Cookeville, Tenn.) and was an assistant coach for the 2010 18U National Team and 2017 12U National Team that won its third-consecutive World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup. Prior to coaching at Cookeville High School, he was an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech for four years and was a professional scout for the Kansas City Royals.
Joining Chaffin on staff are eight coaches who-in addition to serving on the instructional staff-will direct the Stars and Stripes teams.
Davidson College Head Coach Rucker Taylor will manage the Stars team and is joined by two-time USA Baseball alumnus Doug Creek, who will serve as the pitching coach. Former 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) coach David Houseton (Covenant Day School; Matthews, N.C.) and five-time USA Baseball coach and manager of the 2015 12U National Team that won its first WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup, Tanner Vesely (Corona del Sol; Tempe, Ariz.), will be the assistant coaches.
John McCormack is currently the head coach at Florida Atlantic University and will serve as the manager for the Stripes team. Scott Grove (The First Academy; Orlando, Fla.), who has been a coach at the 14U NTDP and 15U National Team Trials, as well as led his school to the 2014 National High School Invitational title, will be charged with managing the pitchers. Former 12U National Open coach Wes Brooks (Oxford High School; Oxford, Ala.) and two-time Collegiate National Team alum and current assistant coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Roger Kieschnick, will round out the Stripes' staff as assistant coaches.
For more information on USA Baseball and the Athlete Development program, follow @USABaseball on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), and visit USABaseball.com.
2019 13U ADP Staff:
Butch Chaffin, Field Coordinator (Cookeville High School; Cookeville, Tenn.)
Rucker Taylor, Stars Manager (Davidson College)
Doug Creek, Stars Pitching Coach
David Houseton, Stars Assistant Coach (Covenant Day School; Matthews, N.C.)
Tanner Vesely, Stars Assistant Coach (Corona del Sol High School; Tempe, Ariz.)
John McCormack, Stripes Manager (Florida Atlantic University)
Scott Grove, Stripes Pitching Coach (The First Academy; Orlando, Fla.)
Roger Kieschnick, Stripes Assistant Coach (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Wes Brooks, Stripes Assistant Coach (Oxford High School; Oxford, Ala.)