CARY, N.C. -- Penn State head baseball coach Rob Cooper, who coached the 18U gold medalists from 2013, says he called Andy Stankiewicz right after he was named manager for 2014, and texted him recently to tell him to enjoy the process.
And Cooper, who won the gold medal in Taichung, Taiwan, with his squad a year ago, says the 2014 team is in good hands.
"Andy Stankiewicz is an unbelievable coach," he said. "The guy has forgotten more baseball than I know and he'll do a great job."
HOOP DREAMS: While most of the players at the Tournament of Stars have narrowed their athletic focus to baseball, Joe DeMers still plays power forward for the basketball team at College Park High in Pleasant Hill, Calif., about 20 miles from Oakland. His team even reached the state final when he was a sophomore, losing to Redondo Union. They advanced despite being the 11th seed out of 12 teams. "We were shocked to even be there," he said. "It was fun."
TGIF: After games Wednesday and Thursday, Friday will bring another pro-style workout. "It'll be multiple ground-ball work, the middle infielders will work together, the corner infielders will work together, the outfielders will work together," 18U head coach Andy Stankiewicz said. "It will allow us to watch guys work against the guys they're competing against, and allow us to give the pitchers a day off."
CAN YOU DO MORE? Flexibility on the 18U roster will be important, giving players who show they can play multiple positions value. "What you really want is all-around baseball players who are interchangeable," 18U director Shaun Cole said. "If you have a roster of baseball players, you create depth, which is huge."
TOS PITCH COUNT: The pitchers at the Tournament of Stars are on a pitch count limit, and there is a maximum of 120 pitches in a five-day period, with other per-game limits. "They're going on to colleges or to pro careers, and we want to make sure they show up healthy and ready to go," Cole said. "We don't want to hurt anybody. That's the key. I would hate to have that on my shoulders that we hurt somebody."
The per-game limits::
-- 30 pitches requires one day off.
-- 47 pitches requires two days off.
-- 75 pitches requires 3 days off.
-- Throwing two days in a row requires a day off.
FAST 60: The fastest 60-yard dash times from Tuesday (standing start, laser timed) were: Blake Perkins 6.43; Reggie Pruitt 6.49; Nick Madrigal 6.50; Tyler Williams 6.53; Trenton Clark 6.62; Danny Blair 6.63; Chad Smith 6.63; Nicholas Shumpert 6.66; Deacon Liput 6.68; D.J. Wilson 6.68; Xavier Legrant 6.69; Nick Dalesandro 6.70; Brandt Stallings 6.72; Charlie Donovan 6.72; Mitch Hansen 6.74; Kyle Dean 6.75; Cadyn Grenier 6.75; Daniel Reyes 6.75.
For live coverage of the Tournament of Stars on Twitter, follow @MikeP_TOS.