Thursday, June 28, 2007

USA Baseball names National Team


CARY, NC — USA Baseball announced its 22-man roster for the summer of 2007, featuring the best college freshmen and sophomores in the country. The team, which will play in the Pan American Games in Brazil in July and at the World Port Tournament in August, is highlighted by two-year veterans 3B Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) and OF Roger Kieschnick, and newcomers 1B Justin Smoak (South Carolina), OF Jordan Danks (Texas), 1B Brett Wallace (Arizona State) and RHP Jacob Thompson (Virginia).

"After a successful first week, the team is really starting to come together. There is still a lot of work to do, but I think this group of guys can do it," said Manager Mike Weathers (Long Beach State). "I look forward to working with this group this summer."

Ryan Flaherty is batting a team-best .471 after finishing off his season at Vanderbilt with a 35-game hit streak. Smoak is batting .368 with a team-best three doubles, three homers, a 1.000 slugging percentage and team-leading eight RBIs. Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) leads the team with seven runs, while batting .313.

Team USA finished off its first week of the season in the North England Collegiate Baseball League, going 5-1. Seven pitchers did not allow an earned run, as the staff ERA is 1.62 after two shutouts and two one-run games.

The roster features six All-Americans in: Alvarez (a two-time first team selection), Smoak, Wallace, RHPs Thompson, Ryan Berry (Rice) and Brian Matusz (San Diego), and LHP Josh Romanski (San Diego). Berry was the 2007 National Freshman of the Year, while Wallace was the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Three additions were also made to fill out the team of 22 in RHP Joe Kelly (UC Riverside), LHP Mike Minor (Vanderbilt) and OF/1B Jeremy Hamilton (Wright State).

Kelly was added to the 20-man roster after it was learned that USA veteran 2B Jemile Weeks (Miami) could not play due to injury. Kelly had a 2.08 ERA in two appearances after serving as the closer for the Big West Champion Highlanders during the season.

Minor and Hamilton were added to the 22-man roster, which will continue to play for the team, except in Brazil, when the roster is reduced to 20 players for the five-game tournament. This summer Minor did not allow a run in 4.0 innings of work, striking out a team-best seven, while Hamilton batted .308.

Roster available here

No comments: