USA Baseball Names 2017 12U National Team Staff
David Sharp to lead the U.S. at the U-12 World Cup in Taiwan
DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced the 2017 12U National Team staff on Wednesday, highlighted by the naming of Huntsville High School (Huntsville, Ala.) Head Coach David Sharp as the manager. Sharp was an assistant coach on the 2015 12U National Team that won a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 World Cup.
The U.S. will look to defend its gold medal in 2017 at the WBSC U-12 World Cup in Taiwan from July 28 - August 6.
"USA Baseball is proud to name David Sharp the manager of the 12U National Team," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director at USA Baseball. "He has proven to be an incredible asset to the 12U National Team program over the years and we are confident in his ability to lead an experienced staff and a group of youth athletes to a successful performance at the World Cup this summer."
Joining Sharp on staff is pitching coach, Todd Fine, and assistant coaches Butch Chaffin and RJ Farrell.
Sharp heads into his fifth year as the head coach at Huntsville High School following a 2016 season that ended with a 7A Area 7 Championship and an appearance in the Alabama state baseball playoffs. In addition to his success in the state of Alabama, Sharp led the Panthers to an appearance at the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) in 2014.
His experience with USA Baseball began in 2014 with the inaugural USA Baseball 12U National Open and the USA Baseball 11U National Team Identification Series (NTIS), and most recently he served as an assistant coach for the 12U National team in 2015 and 2016, helping the U.S. win a gold and silver medal, respectively. Sharp was honored as the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010.
Pitching Coach Todd Fine's résumé is laden with USA Baseball experience, highlighted by three stints as the pitching coach for the 12U National Team in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He has also coached at the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars and the 18U National Team Trials. Fine is the founder and CEO of Top Tier Baseball based out of Chicago, Illinois, where under his guidance he has coached over 200 Division I baseball players and 50 Major League Baseball draft selections.
Cookeville High School (Cookeville, Tenn.) Head Coach Butch Chaffin will serve as a national team coach for the second time in his career in 2017. Chaffin previously served as the pitching coach for the 2010 18U National Team and has also served on the task forces at the Tournament of Stars, the USA Baseball National Team Championships and the 2016 National Open. Prior to coaching at Cookeville High School, Chaffin worked as an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech for four years and scouted professionally for the Kansas City Royals.
Rounding out the coaching staff is RJ Farrell. Farrell is in his fourth year as the head coach at Rancho Cucamonga High School (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) where five of his players have gone on to play collegiate baseball. Prior to coaching at Rancho Cucamonga High School he was an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Patten University (Oakland, Calif.) from 2006 - 2008. He has worked with USA Baseball at the 11U NTIS, 12U National Open and the USA Baseball Futures Invitational, and also served as a 12U National Team Trials coach in 2016.
The 12U athlete identification process began with the 2016 11U NTIS and will continue with the Futures Invitational at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina from June 29 - July 2; followed by the 12U National Open in southern California from July 16 - 18.
The 2017 USA Baseball 12U National Team will hold its Trials and Training from July 19 - 21 before traveling to Taiwan for the 2017 WBSC U-12 World Cup from July 28 - August 6.