USA Baseball Announces 2017 Women's National Team Development Program Roster
Roster features 17 athletes new to the USA Baseball Women's National Team program
DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the roster for the 2017 Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) on Friday. The roster features 30 athletes representing 11 different states, and introduces 17 new players to the USA Baseball Women's National Team program. The 2017 NTDP is being hosted jointly with Baseball Canada and will take place August 6-14 at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.
The USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program is offered in years a women's international baseball competition is not presented and it provides athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experiences. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars, exhibition games and exposure to the Women's National Team staff and task force.
More than half of the athletes on the roster will be making their USA Baseball debut at the 2017 Women's NTDP, including four athletes who were identified from the inaugural Trailblazer Series, a first-of-its-kind girls baseball tournament presented by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that took place in April at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California.
Maycen Gibbs (Folsom, Calif.) is one of two newcomers to the women's program who have participated in a USA Baseball Women's Development Camp. She was also one of two female players on team BPA that participated at the 2017 USA Baseball 14U National Team Championships in Arizona.
In addition, of the 17 new members of the Women's National Team program, seven have participated in the USA Baseball Women's National Open, three have participated in the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series and five have previously earned invitations to past Women's National Team Trials.
"We are excited to get a look at some of the best young talent in the country and start developing these new players for future national team opportunities," said Senior Director of Baseball Operations Ashley Bratcher. "The NTDP offers a great chance for young players to grow their game under the leadership of experienced USA Baseball coaches and alumni.
"The hands-on experience in a high-level, national team environment these players will receive and facing elite-level competition is invaluable as we start to look forward to naming the 2018 Women's National Team and beyond," Bratcher added.
Thirteen alumni of the 2016 Women's National Team that represented the U.S. at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup are also on the roster. Of those 13, seven players participated on the gold medal-winning Team USA in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
In addition, six players on the 2017 roster are alumni of multiple Women's National Teams, including seven-time alum Anna Kimbrell, six-time alum Marti Sementelli and five-time alums Michelle and Samantha Cobb.
Four-time Women's National Team Pitching Coach Matt Weagle will serve as manager for the 2017 Women's NTDP. Under his direction, teams held a 2.07 and 2.16 ERA in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and a 1.29 ERA in 2016. Currently the pitching coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Weagle pitched at Franklin Pierce University from 2000 - 2003 and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.
Joining Weagle on staff will be pitching coaches Matt Mayo and Ila Borders and assistant coaches Donna Mills, Cody Kauffman, Curtis Owen, Ernie May and Malaika Underwood. Mayo, Owen and May have previously served as coaches at Women's National Team Trials and the Women's National Open.
As an eight-time alum of the Women's National Team, Underwood has participated on more national teams than any other USA Baseball alumni, including the gold medal-winning 2006 and 2015 Women's National Teams. Mills is also an alum of the Women's National Team, having suited up for the world champion Women's National Teams in 2004 and 2006, as well as the 2008 squad. The 2017 Women's NTDP will mark the first time Underwood and Mills have coached for USA Baseball.
Kauffman and Borders will also make their USA Baseball coaching debuts at the 2017 Women's NTDP.
In addition to its joint on-field programming, USA Baseball and Baseball Canada will cooperatively host a girl's baseball clinic on Saturday, August 12, from 9-11:30 a.m. The clinic will be hosted by DC Girls Baseball and will be open to girls age seven to 16. Details on the clinic and participant registration can be found at DCGirlsBaseball.com/USACanada.
2017 marks the first time that USA Baseball has partnered with an international national governing body in a cooperative effort to prepare and develop future talent for national team consideration.
The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the WBSC. For more information on the Women's National Team and the National Team Development Program, follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter.
The 2017 Women's National Team Development Program roster is as follows:
Name; Position; Hometown:
Brynn Baca; C/IF; Round Rock, Texas
*Megan Baltzell; UT/LHP; Stafford, Va.
Olivia Bricker; LHP/OF; Batavia, Ohio
Denver Bryant; IF/RHP; Albany, Ga.
Haley Chandler; IF/OF; Wakefield, Mass.
*^Michelle Cobb; IF/RHP; Wenatchee, Wash.
*^Samantha Cobb; OF/RHP; Garland, Texas
Alana Collins; IF; Greenville, Ga.
Trinity Curtis; RHP/IF; Oakhurst, Calif.
*Shelby Estocado; IF/OF; Las Vegas, Nev.
Emma Froemke; IF/RHP; Thousand Oaks, Calif.
*Alex Fulmer; OF/RHP; Little Mountain, S.C.
*Amanda Gianelloni; IF; Napoleonville, La.
Maycen Gibbs; C/OF; Folsom, Calif.
*^Jade Gortarez; IF/RHP; Riverside, Calif.
Gabbie Haas; IF/C; West Palm Beach, Fla.
*AJ Hamilton; C/OF; Tallahassee, Fla.
Thea Hanscom; RHP/IF; Hadley, Mass.
Ashli Holland; IF; Arvada, Colo.
*Amalia Hopson; UT/RHP; Sequim, Wash.
*^Anna Kimbrell; C; Fort Mill, S.C.
*^Meggie Meidlinger; RHP/IF; Sterling, Va.
Logan Moreland; IF; Woodland, Calif.
Caitlyn Naginey; RHP/IF; Windermere, Fla.
Brandee Rains; RHP/IF; Lake Charles, La.
Montserrat Sandoval; RHP/IF; San Juan Bautista, Calif.
*^Marti Sementelli; RHP; Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Homa Shafii; C/OF; Monterey, Calif.
Emily Tsujikawa; RHP; Redmond, Wash.
*^Kelsie Whitmore; OF/RHP; Temecula, Calif.
*Denotes Women's National Team alumni
^Denotes Women's National Team Development Program alumni