The All American Prospects Blue won the 2008 World Wood Bat Association World Underclass championship Monday afternoon in Fort Myers, Florida, with a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Super 17’s.
The championship game victory completed an amazing run by the All American Prospects pitching staff. After allowing only 2 runs during the 4 game pool play, the All American pitchers spun 4 consecutive shutouts over a 26 hour period during the playoffs.
All American Prospects reached the finals by defeating Southwest Florida Baseball 3-0 in the first playoff round, the East Cobb Astros Gray 6-0 in the quarterfinals and the Orlando Scorpions in the semifinals, 5-0.
The New Jersey Super 17’s made the playoffs as a wild card team after finishing with a 3-1 pool play record. The defeated the East Cobb Astros Orange 3-2 in the semifinals after soundly defeating a heavily favored Kansas City Royals Scout Team 5-0 in the quarterfinals. The FTB Black Racers had already fallen in the first playoff round, 11-5.
The depth of the All American Prospects staff showed when shortstop Yordy Cabrera started the championship game. For Cabrera, the team’s cleanup hitter and perhaps the top defensive player in the entire 2010 class, it was his first appearance on the mound in the tournament despite his steady 91-92 mph fastball.
Cabrera’s stand in at shortstop, Alex Hernandez, keyed the Prospects offense against New Jersey. He reached on an error in the first inning, stole second and third base and came in to score on a single by CF Enrique Perez. Hernandez doubled with one out in the 3rd inning and then scored on a double by 3B Nick Castellanos.
Cabrera threw 5 innings to get the victory, striking out 10 New Jersey hitters. LHP Andrew Grifol finished up with 2 scoreless innings, striking out 3, for the save.
All American Prospects LHP Austin Perez was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher. Perez had a 2-0 record in 10 scoreless innings, including a complete game shutout against the high powered Orlando Scorpions line up in the semifinals.
Cabrera and Castellanos shared the Most Valuable Player honors. Cabrera hit .400 (6-15) at the plate despite being consistently pitched around and was outstanding defensively in addition to his final game pitching heroics. Castellanos was the team’s offensive engine all weekend, hitting 9-21 and scoring 9 runs while driving in 7, to go along with 6 stolen bases.