As the calendar flips to June it is a busy time in the baseball world. The MLB season is already a third complete and has already seen its share of surprise teams, star performances and exciting young players, the college baseball season enters its most exciting stretch, as regionals begin today, leading up to the College World Series at Omaha's new TD Ameritrade Park, The high school baseball season is complete in many warm weather states and is wrapping up in the Midwest and Northeast in the coming weeks.
Right in the middle of all this is the 2011 MLB Draft, which starts on Monday night. This draft class looks to be one of the most talented in years with exciting players from both the college and high school ranks. But on Wednesday when the draft completes, teams will begin working on signing their new draftees, as well as look ahead to the 2012 Draft, a short 363 days away.
The summer tournament season is already underway at Perfect Game. The 2011 16
and 18U Memorial Day Classic
wrapped up Monday with the Tampa Bay Warriors taking home the 18U title, and the newcomer Carrollwood Gators winning the 16U title. The tournaments heat up quickly with the second annual Perfect Game/East Cobb Invitational featuring a 14/15U
, and 17/18U
age division from June 9-12 in Marietta, GA, and a new tournament, the PG Desert Classic played at the new Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, AZ, featuring a 14U
The backbone of Perfect Game's tournament schedule will again be the WWBA National Championships held throughout July in Marietta, and the BCS Finals, which are played in Fort Myers, FL. Perfect Game has also added a fall tournament to it's schedule with the 2011 Labor Day Classic September 2-5. The tournament season again culminates with the WWBA World Championship
in Jupiter, October 20-24.
Click here to see the 2011 Perfect Game Tournament schedule.
With the summer season upon us, it is time to release Perfect Game's 2011 Travel Team Rankings, featuring the Top 25 teams in the 14U-18U divisions.
The East Cobb Astros again top the 14U rankings. The perennial power won the 2010 14U WWBA Championship
as they did in 2007 and 2008, and finished 3rd in the 2010 BCS Finals
. Dulins Dodgers take the second spot, as they followed up the 2009 14U WWBA Championship
with runner-up finishes in both the 14U WWBA and 14U BCS in 2010.
The Houston Sox, who were very impressive in last year's 14U tournament before falling to the East Cobb Astros, come in third. So Cal NTT, winner of last year 14U BCS Finals is 4th, and an up and coming California team, Lamorinda Baseball has been very impressive already this season and comes in #5.
Click here for the entire 14U Travel Team Rankings.
The top of the rankings look very similar to the 14U bracket with Dulins Dodgers and the East Cobb Astros again holding the two top slots, with the Tennessee-based Dodgers claiming the top spot. The teams look to have two of the top 15U teams in the country again, Dulins was runner-up in last year 15U WWBA
and as mentioned above, last year's 14U team was one of the best in the country.
The Astros 15U team picked up a third place finish in last years 15U BCS
, and is the 4-time defending CABA champ. The talent and depth on last year's 14U squad should ensure that this year's 15s should be as strong as ever.
Houston Banditos Black are the third ranked team, followed by 2010 14/15 Perfect Game/East Cobb Invitational
champ Florida Flash, who also were impressive in last weekend's 16U Memorial Day tournament with a roster of mostly 15U players.
One of the top organizations top to bottom in the country is the South Carolina-based Diamond Devils, who come in at #5. This group will try to stake their claim as the top team in country, something their 17U team did last summer by winnings the WWBA National Championship
Click here for the entire 15U Travel Team Rankings.
Last year's 15U Indiana Prospects were one of the most impressive teams of the summer, rolling to a BCS title and finishing third in the WWBA, showing top prospects and a deep staff of power arms. A year older, they are the team to beat in 16U this year and look to have added even more talent.
Louisiana-based Marucci Elite comes in second after they were champions of the 16U Perfect Game/East Cobb Invitational
last June as well as the Underclass World Championship
Houston Banditos Black again come in third and look to be very strong again, taking advantage of the baseball hotbed of Houston. NorCal comes in #4 with an impressive roster that could make the Bay Area a must visit area for cross-checkers in two years. Dulins Dodgers after an impressive 2010 season and a loaded roster including top prospects from outside of TN come in 5th. 2010 16U WWBA
Champion Canes Baseball will try to repeat their run to the title in Marietta start the year at 6th.
Click here for the entire 16U Travel Team Rankings.
Marucci Elite features some of the top players in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and had an impressive summer of 2010, winning the 16U Perfect Game/East Cobb Invitational and following that up with an impressive run to the 2010 Underclass World Championship title. They look to have a very impressive roster of SEC commits with a pitching staff that may go a dozen deep.
The Houston Banditos make another appearance in the top five, this time at #2 with a deep and talented roster of, a number of them already committed to Big 12 schools.
The East Cobb Astros 16s come in third after winning the 17U BCS in impressive fashion last summer, rolling thru pool play before beting Palm Beach PAL 17U 12-1 in the semi-finals and Orlando Scorpions 17U Purple 10-2 in the championship. They feature the top players from the talent-rich Atlanta area.
Canes Baseball is 4th featuring the top players from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. They could have as many as a dozen players on the roster that are committed to Division 1 schools.
Last year's 17U WWBA National Champion runner-up FTB Mizuno returns a ton of talent from last year, and had a great run in Jupiter in last year's WWBA World Championship. They come in as the top team in Florida, a distinction that usually also means they are one of the favorites to win the National Championship.
Click here for the entire 17U Travel Team Rankings.
The top two squads from last year's final rankings are again at the top with the Florida Bombers topping the rankings followed by the East Cobb Braves 17s. The two teams met in the championship game of last year's 18U WWBA with the Bombers pulling out a 4-3 victory in a heated battle.
The Midland Redskins, winners of 2010 Connie Mack World Series come in 3rd, followed by the runner-up in that tournament, the D-Bat Mustangs. The Orlando Scorpions follow them up at #5.
Click here for the entire 18U Travel Team Rankings.
Check back throughout the summer for updated rankings before the fall tournament season begins.