Traveling abroad to represent the United States and USSSA is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many. In just a few short weeks, USSSA will be sending its High School Varsity National Team to Prague, Czech Republic, to compete in the 31st annual “Prague Baseball Week” Tournament, which is held at the Eagles Praha Stadium. All international expenses are covered for the team members by USSSA.
2012 marks the third annual Team trip over seas for the USSSA National Team and its second consecutive trip to Prague. Last year the highly talented USSSA National Team placed third in the Prague Baseball Week tournament which included national teams from the Czech Republic, Poland, and France. The players received the opportunity to play against the very teams which participate in the World Baseball classic
Last year’s talent consisted of players such as Wyatt Matheson (University of Texas), Bryant Hodge (University of Oklahoma), LJ Newman (South Carolina- Upstate), and Donnie DeWees (University of North Florida). Returning to this year’s trip is Chris Elander (Florida International) and fleet footed Donnie DeWees (North Florida). The revamped 2012 team is looking forward to a strong performance this year. “I just want to go out there and win, to show everyone else how good the U.S. is”, explains National Team member Cre Finfrock. With the depth of talent on this year’s roster, a championship and every team member’s dream is definitely within reach.
With the team getting ready to set sail from New York on June 23rd, USSSA is making the final few preparations for the trip. The detailed scout log to follow is to update everyone on the success of each team member’s 2012 spring season and other highlights. Meet the 2012 USSSA High School Varsity National Team
Hybner is a 5’10’’ 155 pound Junior at St. Paul High School in Shiner, Texas. Cole had a tremendous year posting a .32 era in the regular season. He started his team off right in the postseason leading the Cardinals to an 11-1 victory with 13 k’s while also going 1-3 at the plate. Cole hit .565 on the season with a .655 OBP. Hybner was both a TAPPS All District and All- State team member for Texas. In the post season he was named to the Texas State All- Tournament Team where he picked up a win in the State Semi- Final game. He relies on the devastating amount of late movement that comes with his fastball to produce swings and misses. Cole is a very hardworking and respectful young athlete who is still searching for his perfect school.
Bleday was undefeated through the regular season this year as well as having double digit strike outs in every start. He accumulated an astounding 101 strike outs in just under 50 innings as well as going 6-0. He had a record book game against Eisenhower HS on April 13, 2012 where he led his team to a 9 inning 2-0 masterpiece. He scattered three hits and one walk while striking out 23. His heroics continued into the post season when he hit an extra inning home run to keep his team’s dreams alive.
Donnie is a 5’11’’ 185 lb center fielder out of Crystal River High School in Florida. 2012 marks his 2nd year as a USSSA High School Varsity National Team Member. DeWees hit a .440 clip in his 2012 season with 4 homeruns and a .510 OBP. This speedster helped lead his team to a 17-9 record. He was a three sport superstar in baseball, football and soccer (won Citrus County soccer player of the year and was all county in all three sports). Due to this performance he was nominated for “All County Athlete of the Year” and was the Offensive MVP for his varsity team. Donnie excelled in the classroom where he won the award for highest GPA on the football team and graduated Suma Cum Laude. DeWees will look to contribute as a freshman next year at the University of North Florida.
Quote: “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”
Deler is a Junior middle infielder out of Boone HS in Florida. BBCOR didn’t seem to faze this 5’10’’ 165lb short stop as he went on to finish his spring hitting .366 with a team leading 2 home runs and 18 walks. The three year varsity standout will be playing FTB in the summer and hopes to play the best talent to prepare himself for the next level. Derek has committed to the Florida International University where he also looks to continue his academic excellence.
Turley is a 2013 graduate out of Olathe, KS. Turley is primarily a catcher with solid defensive actions and a strong arm. His pop time is consistent around a 1.90 with game actions being very similar. Turley hit .352 on the year which is very respectable for such a good defensive catcher. Turley looks forward to showing America’s game of baseball to competing countries this summer in Europe.
Camacho is a small framed (5’9’’ 165lbs) pitcher out of El Paso, Texas. He has surprising arm strength: his fastball regularly sits 88-92. He manages to mix up speeds very well. He demonstrates five pitches for strikes. His 2012 campaign consisted of 9 wins 1 loss and a .90 ERA. He is currently finalizing his plans for school next year.
Cordell of Hagerstown, MD was named to the Area Roundup All- PVC Team in 2012. In 53 innings this spring he posted a 2.90 ERA with 65 strike outs and a mere 17 walks. He went 9-2 in 12 appearances. His fastball is in the mid to upper 80’s range. After he graduates this spring he will be attending Potomac State College out of West Virginia where he hopes to move onto a competitive NCAA program.
Godinsky is senior infielder from Sycamore HS in Illinois. At 5’11” 205, Godinsky flashes a good glove from third with above average speed at the position; he played short stop in high school. This spring Godinsky hit a .380 clip with 6 home runs and 12 doubles. Matt was also one of Sycamores go to pitchers on the mound. He posted a 5-3 record with a 3.50 ERA and 55 punch outs. Matt is heading off to Grinnell in the fall.
At 6’ 175 pounds Connor Crile is an excellent defensive catcher from North Marion HS in Florida. In his Junior campaign Connor hit .351. Connor runs very well for his position, 7.0 60. Connor’s accolades on the year consisted of: North Marion HS Varsity Defensive Player of the Year, All- Marion County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Selection, and All- County First Team as a catcher.
Elander is a senior at Hagerty HS in Oviedo, Florida. This is Elander’s second year traveling with the National Team. Last year in Prague he played a pivotal role in the pitching rotation as well as in the outfield. On the mound his fastball ranges 87-89 with tail action. His slider might be his best pitch with its late breaking action. One of his biggest assets on the mound is his ability to consistently throw strikes. Elander shows a quick bat and good actions in the outfield. It is tough to get a fastball past him. He will be playing baseball this fall at Florida International University.
Hornbacher is an Amateur Baseball Report frequent as he has attended numerous events and been a multi- crowned USSSA All- American. He played in the 2010 Gold Medal Games and in Prague last year. He is a 6’1” 210 framed first basemen. He shows good power and ability to drive to the gaps. His bat made huge strides at last years All- American Games. He makes the necessary plays at first base.
Palmer is a middle infielder and pitcher out of Jesup, Georgia. He is the brother of Tyler Palmer who was the Marlins 4th round draft pick in 2011. Palmer has very smooth actions at short with even softer hands than his brother. He shows good strength behind his throws as well as decent foot speed. Aaron has physically matured even further since last year and his raw power is showing. He is a definite fastball hitter like Tyler Palmer. On the mound he pounds the strike zone with three pitches and a mid 80’s fastball. Palmer had a big year on the mound for Wayne County HS in 2012.
Kruczynski is a tall framed pitcher from Franklin, WI. At 6’5’’ 175 Evan posses a fastball that ranges mid to upper 80’s with solid off speed pitches. He has a lot of room to fill out and there should be a spike in his velocity in the near future. He will play baseball at Eastern Carolina.
Gonzales is a small framed pitcher from Pflugerville HS in Austin, TX. At 5’6’’ 145 Emilio has a sneaky fastball that jumps on hitters and a deceptive motion. The pause in his delivery tends to throw off hitters. His slider is very sharp with a late break. Shows good command.
Garza is a middle infielder out of Othello, WA. He flashes great defensive actions with plus footwork and speed. His throws are accurate and have carry. Sound hitter with a good idea at the plate.
Rizquez is a Venezuelan native, however he currently lives in Canada and attends St. Jean de Brebeuf HS. He is an athletic 5’11” 160 pounds with more room to fill out. His left handed stick is quick and has tremendous upside. He keeps things simple and lets his smooth swing do the work. Defensively he is a top notch outfielder. Rizquez and his family are currently deciding on a few different schools to attend next year. Seven pro teams have taken interest in him in the form of questionnaires.
Galik is a native to Downers Grove, Illinois where he attends Downers Grove South. He is a 6’0’’ 165 pound outfield/pitcher. At the plate he is consistent and shows the ability to produce line drives. He gave his high school quality at bats again this spring. Can play a little of everything; does it all well. He also gets the job done on the mound. Fastball has jumped in velocity over the winter. Still shows great command of all his pitches.
Woodruff is a 6’ 230 pound senior out of Houston Texas. Nate has put together a monster senior campaign with numerous complete game shut outs. Nate attacks hitters and finds frequent swings and misses. Through mid-May, Nate had .91 ERA and was 6-0 off the bump. His most notable game was a 7 inning no hitter against Stratford High School. Nate is a good student and is still in the college selection process. His current focus in training is getting faster and fit.