17U 2021 Season Preview
The 17U team is currently preparing for an important summer as it's one of the final times many players will have to showcase themselves outdoors for college coaches and the team is riding a high heading into the spring as they completed the fall season with a record of 13-6.
The offence came out very aggressive this fall and it showed as the club scored 10+ runs in seven games, highlighted by a nine run inning on the road against the Windsor Selects. The team showed the ability to hit for power as well with four home runs this past fall (Repath 3, Hilliard 1), adding another 26 extra-base hits.
"Our guys came to play every day and it showed in our results. This team is a very close group on and off the field and it shows every day at the park," explains 17U Head Coach, Jason Booth.
The 17U's saw many players display their offensive abilities many ways...Tyler Shea and Tyler Kelly with bat handling. Base-running exploits from Will Jackson and Matthew Moscuzza. Sam White, J.P. Tibbits, Haydn Hilliard and Tyler Repath were team leaders in many offensive categories and pushing them are Jesse Myers, Daniel Savage and Joe Handley. The team is also expecting big contributions, both offensively and defensively, from Eric Sadko, Jonah Wing and Giancarlo Bernardo.
On the bump, Ryan Heu is expected to push for a top of the rotation spot, along with Brendan Clarke who's recovering from injury. Tibbits is another arm who's expected to contribute on the mound and the emergence of Brendan Cleary has added another exciting arm to the staff. Philip Arturi has also been impressing everyone around the team with his hard work and gains which could also see him push everyone for added innings.
Mikael Aqui, Ryan Parent will also be solid arms that contribute down the stretch as they can pound the strike zone and generating weak contact.
The 17U coaching staff is also very pleased with the depth they've built behind the plate with Giancarlo Bernardo, Tyler Repath and Sam White.
The team believes a big part of the added offence and strong fall season came from new additions in Tyler Hill, Will Jackson and Ben Peterson. These players three players give the team a lot of depth and confidence in each player from top to bottom.
Coach Booth says he expects his team to play an exciting brand of baseball this coming season and that their aggressiveness on both sides of the ball will be what allows the team to rack up the W's this summer.
"Our brand of baseball is going to be fast and exciting, and we're going to be very aggressive on the bases. This team is going to pitch well and play strong defence... We're going to be aggressive on the mound and put a lot of balls in play," says Booth.
Although the club hasn't been able to accumulate a ton of exposure over the past year due to COVID-19, Coach Booth says a big part of their goals this year will be developing players and having them ready to be showcased to college coaches and programs.
"As always, we will be balancing wins and exposure as our two goals for the season. We will push everyone to excel on the diamond while getting our boys the best opportunity for exposure to college coaches through tournament play, regular season games and video as well as Blast and Rapsodo metrics."
There are still a lot of uncertainties when it comes to playing baseball this summer but there's one thing we do know... this 17U team is going to be difficult to compete against. It's a balanced roster no matter where you look and they can attack you in many different ways.
We look forward to getting a glimpse at the 17U squad in the coming months as the summer slowly creeps up on us and we begin to head outdoors.