CARTERSVILLE, Ga. - The Perfect Game Super25 tournament series has started with a bang, drawing well-established organizations from around the country to participate in the new tournament series’ inaugural events, including Chad Raley’s Marucci Elite organization.
In the midst of changing the culture of Marucci Elite from an organization who’s roster is traditionally scattered with top high school players from all corners of the country to an organization concentrated with players from the Southeast, the Louisiana-based club seems to mesh perfectly with the concept of the PG Super25.
“It matches perfect with what we’re trying to do with our teams – trying to create that team atmosphere and get the guys to play the game the right way and not feel entitled. We’re trying to revamp the culture of the game and focus more on winning and playing hard,” said Raley. “It’s gonna be a perfect marriage for what we’re trying to accomplish as an organization.”
Raley’s organization will be active in the Super25 Deep South Region, with multiple teams in each of the 15u-17u age divisions.
“It was a perfect option to give the kids something to continue to play for. I like the Super25 format. It’s kinda like college baseball,” Raley said. “From the first day of practice Super25 is gonna be all we talk about everyday -- making it to the Super25 National Championship.”
Raley and the organization have established a strong relationship with Perfect Game since he started taking Marucci Elite to Perfect Game events when Marucci Elite was first formed.
“It was always the Perfect Game events that were scouted the most and were the most competitive, so we’ve been active with Perfect Game,” said Raley. “I feel like, as an organization, if you really want to do what’s best for the players, you have to attend (Perfect Game) events because you’re gonna see the best competition and there’s gonna be the most scouts in the stands.”
Despite getting started just five years ago, Marucci Elite, known as Louisiana Elite prior to 2009, is a nationally recognizable organization that has made headlines since the summer of its’ establishment.
The first Marucci Elite team was a 22-man roster. Fifteen of those players were Major League Baseball draft picks that year. The talent pool would continue to fill for Raley. Last year Marucci Elite was the travel ball organization to six Perfect Game All-Americans, including the All-American Classic’s MVP, Jakson Reetz.
“We’ll probably have four to five first-rounders this year – Aaron Nola, Jakson Reetz, guys like that.”
Even with Marucci Elite’s transition to a more regionally-focused club, the organization will continue to land high-end quality talent and will return nationally ranked players like Seth Beer (class of 2016 No. 4) and Greg Pickett (class of 2015 No. 25).
Marucci Elite’s 15u program finished this past year ranked No. 8 in Perfect Game’s 15u travel ball team rankings, while the 16u team finished at No. 13 for their age group, and the 17u team receiving the highest ranking within the organization at No. 5 after a WWBA National Championship semifinal appearance.
The reputation Raley and Marucci Elite have worked to earn combined with the talent-rich Southeast region is a recipe for continued dominance. Marucci Elite will be a force to be reckoned with in the PG Super25.
“We plan on advancing to the National Championship.”