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Updated: Jun 18th, 2010
Day 1 Report - Junior Olympics West
By: Jeff Spelman |

Phoenix - By the time pre-tournament workouts were in full-swing Friday, temperatures climbed to 107 degrees in Phoenix on the first day of the USA Baseball 14U/16U West Championships.

All 108 teams in the tournament ran 60-yard dashes and took a defensive workout Friday at either the Padres or Mariners complex in Peoria. The teams will spread throughout the Northwest suburbs of Phoenix over the next week to play games in Peoria, Surprise and Glendale. Games begin at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

During the event, the approximate 2,000 players here will be competing for invitations to the 14U and 16U National Team Trials. At the same time, a similar event will take place on the East Coast in Florida. From both events, USA Baseball will choose 40 players from each age group.

The 14U will compete in the COPABE “A”/14U Pan American Championships July 23-August 1 in Nicaragua. The 16U team will try to win gold at the COPABE “A”/16U Pan American Championships Oct. 8-17 in Mexico.

Early Buzz for New Team

This is the inaugural year for the 14U division at the USA Baseball Championships in both Arizona and Florida.

On the first day of workouts in Arizona, there was already an early “buzz” for Team CalTex, a new team that combines eight top players from both California and Texas. The team took an impressive defensive workout at the Padres Complex Friday.

Coach Mike McNeil’s squad could send a large amount of players onto the 14U National Team Trials. We’ll follow them over the next few days and report back with highlights of their top prospects.

The team includes 10 members of the Class of 2014 (rising freshman) along with six players in the Class of 2015 (rising 8th graders).

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 Baseball.
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