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Updated: Jun 23rd, 2011
Notes from USA Baseball 14U West; Top-Ranked Player Collides
By: Jeff Spelman |

Surprise, AZ - Watching San Diego Show second baseman Jordan Pearce play baseball is a lot like reading a paragraph written in ALL CAPS - with exclamation points following each sentence!

Both immediately draw your attention and exude a high-energy, in your face type of mentality.

Pearce draws attention on the baseball field with his hustle, high energy and an unforgettable look. His appearance is puncuated by long, curly blonde hair that pours out of his baseball hat and flows down below his shoulders.

Pearce plays on one of the West Coast’s top 14U baseball teams – the San Diego Show. The Show was part of an all-California Final Four at USA Baseball’s 14U West Championship held this week in Phoenix, joining Team California in the bronze medal game.  Both teams were stocked with a core of players that will draw Division I interest in the coming years.

Pearce began the Bronze medal game reaching first base, sliding head first into second base and reaching third on a throw that sailed into centerfield. He's definitely a table-setting player at the top of a very good lineup.

ABD Wins Thrilling Championship Game

While the San Diego Show were bested 13-5 by Team California on one of the backfields in Glendale to win the bronze medal, the championship game of the 14U age group was fittingly played at the same time in a Big League ballpark, Glendale Stadium (Dodgers/White Sox). It was a thrilling championship game right until the end.

The ABD Bulldogs Navy team filled mostly with 2015 grads (rising freshmen) from Southern California, bested an even younger squad, Bomberz Baseball 13U from the Stockton/Elk Grove area of Northern California. ABD methodically added runs in each of the first four innings. ABD led 8-2 after six innings and just needed to record three more outs for the championship.

The Bomberz had other ideas. They rallied for six runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 8-8. ABD got back off the mat in the bottom of the inning and won the game on a bases loaded ground ball to the third baseman. The ensuing throw to the plate went wide and ABD won 9-8.

Still, it was quite a run for the Bomerz, reaching the 14U championship with an all 13U team.

Tracking the Prospects

When scouting the 14U age group, one of the things I look for is players who currently could be placed up with a 16U team and keep up with the speed of the game.

Kyle Robeniol of the winning ABD Bulldogs Navy is that type of player and was one of the more impressive 14U prospects. He’s a two-way LHP/OF, who made a big-time catch in right field to end a sixth inning rally in the championship. At the plate, he banged out an opposite field double. Robeniol was one of eight players from this tournament invited to attend the 14U National Team Trials later this summer in Cary, NC.

Isaiah Flowers of the Urban Youth Academy (Compton, CA) is a name to remember. He is an athletically and powerfully built 6’3” and 210 pounder who pitchers, plays first base and corner outfielder. Did I mention that he will be entering eighth grade? You could put the 2016 grad up with a top 16U and he would be one of the prospects you notice “coming off the bus.” I saw him in one at-bat and two innings at first base. That was long enough to know he will be followed closely over the next couple of years.

Top-Ranked 2013 Grad Collides, Comes Out of Game

On Thursday morning at the 16U tournament, Placentia Mustangs infielder Christopher Rivera, widely considered the top player nationally in his class, had a scary moment.

While both the shortstop and third baseman were going for a ground ball, Rivera (the SS) collided with teammate Scott Serigstad. I was covering a game on the next field over when the play happened. Both players spent several minutes on the ground being attended to by the tournament trainer and their own coaching staff.

Rivera was hit hard in the head, and the two teammates got tangled up. One parent said, “it looked like a helicopter…with legs spinning around and flying everywhere.” The trainer checked Rivera’s balance to determine if he was experiencing dizziness. With 100+ temperatures beating down from the Arizona skies, both players walked off the field on their own and were removed from the game as a precaution.

The 16U tournament has a full slate of games Friday and concludes on Saturday with games 263 and 264 of the tournament. The final two games will be played in Glendale Stadium. Be sure to check out the Prospect Wire player database in the coming weeks for hundreds of additional players from this tournament.

About Jeff Spelman
Jeff Spelman is one of the most experienced and respected people in the amateur baseball scouting world. Spelman was the early pioneer of the showcase industry in 1992 and was the founder of Team One Baseball. Team One ran the country's top showcases throughout the 1990s and early 2000s with hundreds of future MLB Stars coming through their events. In fact, Spelman's Team One Baseball was responsible for 10,000+ players going on to play college ball, saw 2,000+ selected in the MLB Draft and had alumni of his events collectively earn over $500 million in college scholarships. Spelman sold the company to Baseball Factory in 2004. Spelman also helped form the Cape Cod Classic, was in charge of player selection and helped to get it televised on ESPNU. The Cape Cod Classic later became the Under Armour All-American Game. Spelman has also served as an amateur baseball scout and writer for CBS Sports/Yahoo!, and has served as the national scouting director for Rivals.com Baseball.
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