High-school baseball gives kids opportunities to learn the game and play at a competitive level. However, a school season is limited to only a couple of months, and most teams don’t have the staff to offer players the specific individualized training that makes them more marketable to college teams.
That’s where traveling summer teams come in. Bradwell shortstop/pitcher Ryan Desbiens and outfielder/pitcher Evan Crystal have been playing for Team Elite since last season.
While both put up decent numbers last season, this year they have had more impact. Recently, the two were part of Team Elite South from Albany going through a field of 48 of the best 17-and-younger teams in the country. Team Elite went
9-0 and met another Georgia team, the Georgia Jackets, a No. 1 seed that also was undefeated.
Elite defeated the Jackets, finishing the tournament 10-0 to win the USA Baseball 17U East National Championship tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The talent level was deep as Desbiens and Crystal not only got to play in front of college and pro scouts, but also against some of the nation’s most highly recruited underclassmen, many of whom already have committed to Division I powerhouses.
Crystal and Desbiens both said that one of the things they enjoyed most was team bonding for the week, as the whole squad was housed together during the tournament. They also got to play against many Division I commits representing schools like such as the Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
The players didn’t have much time to celebrate their successes during the week because they left immediately for Fort Myers, Florida, to play in a weeklong Perfect Game showcase, again with Team Elite. After just two days of competition, they had a 2-0 record. This event began Thursday and runs through today.
Crystal and Desbiens plan to continue to play with the team throughout the remainder of the summer.