CARY, N.C. -- Twenty-three of college baseball's top underclassmen will head to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., on Thursday as the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team gets ready to open training camp.
The CNT coaching staff will be charged with the task of putting together a 24-man roster for the summer tour that will feature a five-game series against Japan and another five-game set against Cuba.
Eight members of the reporting group have already guaranteed their spot on the team, while 15 others head to North Carolina with hopes of earning a spot on the roster.
Already guaranteed a spot on the roster are: RHP Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt), RHP Ryan Burr (Arizona State), OF Austin Cousino (Kentucky), LHP Brandon Finnegan (TCU), C Grayson Greiner (South Carolina), IF Taylor Sparks (UC Irvine), LHP Tommy Thorpe (Oregon) and RHP Luke Weaver (Florida State).
The 15 hopefuls hail from coast to coast and feature: IF Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton), LHP Chris Diaz (Miami, Fla.), RHP Riley Ferrell (TCU), IF C.J. Hinojosa (Texas), LHP Matt Imhof (Cal Poly), LHP Cole Irvin (Oregon), C Nate Irving (Virginia), IF Will Maddox (Tennessee), RHP/C Daniel Mengden (Texas A&M), RHP Preston Morrison (TCU), IF Mike Papi (Virginia), IF Jake Peter (Creighton), LHP/INF A.J. Reed (Kentucky), RHP Colin Wellman (Loyola Marymount) and OF Brad Zimmer (San Francisco).
An additional three athletes whose season just ended in Omaha will be joining the team over the course of the weekend: IF Alex Bregman (LSU), RHP Nick Burdi (Louisville) and C Kyle Schwarber (Indiana).
Six other players are still representing their collegiate team in Omaha at the College World Series: C Brett Austin (NC State), RHP David Berg (UCLA), OF Skye Bolt (North Carolina), OF Michael Conforto (Oregon State), Carlos Rodon (NC State) and IF Trea Turner (NC State).
Coaching the Collegiate National Team this summer will be TCU's Jim Schlossnagle. The hitting and third base coach is Arizona State's Tim Esmay. Ole Miss' Mike Bianco will serve as the pitching coach, while Creighton's Ed Servais will coach first base and the defense. Brett Basham will serve as the bullpen coach.
TCU's Danny Wheat returns as the athletic trainer, and Brandie Davidson will be the press officer. Rounding out the CNT staff is Brian Cain, who will be the mental skills coach for the summer.