USA Baseball's 2012 Prospect Classic
CNT, 18U team to square off in four-game series in June/July
Francona to serve as honorary manager of Prospect Classic »
Watch: 2012 Prospect Classic promo »
Watch: 2011 Prospect Classic highlights »
2012 Prospect Classic daily schedules (.pdf) »
For questions about the Prospect Classic, contact USA Baseball »
DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced Wednesday that it will host the second annual Prospect Classic in late June and early July across the Triangle area of North Carolina. The event showcases USA Baseball's Collegiate and 18U National Teams, and presents fans and members of the baseball community with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the top prospects for upcoming MLB First-Year Player Drafts on the field at the same time.
New for 2012, the Prospect Classic is expanding from two to four games, with Games 1 and 2 featuring "Stars" and "Stripes" teams, each made up of a combination of collegiate and 18U players as drafted by a USA Baseball selection committee. Rosters for the first two games, featuring a total of 62 players, will be announced on the morning of June 29. Games 3 and 4 will pit the 22-man Collegiate National Team against the 28-man 18U National Team in a model similar to the inaugural event in 2011. As in 2011, the Prospect Classic will serve as part of the selection process for the 18U team, which will cut down from 40 to 28 players on July 1.
"The response from fans and scouts alike to last summer's Prospect Classic was extremely positive, and we're looking to build upon that in 2012," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball executive director/CEO. "This year's event features more games, and by combining the teams for two of them, we're once again providing followers of the MLB Draft a unique opportunity to catch amateur baseball's top prospects in action."
The series will be held June 29 at 3:05 p.m., June 30 at 7:05 p.m., and July 3 at 6:05 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) in Durham, N.C., and on July 2 at 7:05 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, N.C. Tickets are available for purchase at USABaseball.com.
Games 1 and 2 will each air on a delay, at 11 a.m. ET, July 2-3, on MLB Network. Fans are encouraged to check MLBNetwork.com for their local channel listings. The coverage furthers USA Baseball's presence on MLB Network, which includes exposure of USA Baseball alumni during MLB Network's telecast of the MLB First-Year Player Draft and the live presentation of the Golden Spikes Award. Additionally, all Durham games will be broadcast live online at USABaseball.com and MLB.com. USA Baseball partnered with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) in 2006 to develop and launch USABaseball.com, a premier online presence for its news, scores, video highlights and more.
"The Durham Bulls organization is incredibly proud of our relationship with USA Baseball, and we're thrilled to be a part of the annual Prospect Classic," said Durham Bulls GM Mike Birling. "It's a tremendous event that not only demonstrates the bright future of our game, but also showcases the Triangle region as a cornerstone of American baseball."
The 2011 Prospect Classic featured 34 players currently in MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo's top 100 2012 draft prospect list, including six of the top 10 and 14 of the top 25. The list features collegiate standouts Mark Appel and Kevin Gausman (Nos. 2 and 4, respectively), and prep stars Max Fried and Albert Almora (Nos. 7 and 10). Mayo -- MLB.com's draft and prospect expert -- will return to headline the broadcast team for the event.
The 2012 Collegiate National Team will be led by Tennessee skipper Dave Serrano, and former New York Yankee and World Series MVP (1998) Scott Brosius returns to head the 18U club for the second summer in a row. Joining the event as honorary coaches are fellow Fall Classic Most Valuable Player David Eckstein (2006), among other soon-to-be-announced notable players and USA Baseball alumni.
Other prominent alums from the 18U National Team program now in the big leagues include Joe Mauer (2000), B.J. Upton (2001), Buster Posey (2004), Justin Upton (2004), Clayton Kershaw (2005) and Bryce Harper (2009). Ryan Howard (2000), Mark Teixeira (2000), Dustin Pedroia (2002-03), Justin Verlander (2003), Troy Tulowitzki (2004), David Price (2005) and Stephen Strasburg (2008) are among the Collegiate National Team alumni starring professionally.
Additional details on the 2012 Prospect Classic:
Games 1 and 2 on June 29-30 will feature 62 players, 22 players from the 2012 Collegiate National Team and 40 players from the 18U National Team
Games 3 and 4 on July 2-3 will feature 50 players, 22 players from the 2012 Collegiate National Team and 28 players from the 18U National Team
The 2011 Prospect Classic was attended by professional scouts from all 30 clubs
USA Baseball will celebrate Independence Day with postgame fireworks on July 2 and 3