Ryan Howard. Derek Jeter. Chipper Jones. Barry Larkin – all names synonymous with greatness, legendary performances and World Series Championships. In the summer of 2019, they will serve as team captains of the 2019 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League taking place at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Eighty of the top 2020 MLB Draft eligible high school prospects from around the United States who were invited to participate in the inaugural season of the PDP League will compete on teams named after Howard, Jeter, Jones and Larkin, all of whom are also USA Baseball alumni.
PDP League team captains will be on-site at different points throughout the duration of the League to share their career stories with the players in attendance. The PDP League, scheduled for June 13th-July 4th, will provide the participating athletes with an unprecedented experience, including weekly practices and competitive gameplay, individualized instruction from MLB Club representatives serving as on-field coaches, evaluations using modern technologies tailoring individualized development curriculums for each player, as well as off-field leadership, skill-building, and educational seminars. Athletes will also have access to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, located on the campus of IMG Academy and one of only three such facilities in the world.
The PDP League will serve as a primary identification opportunity for the USA Baseball 18U National Team, slated to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea in early September. Additionally, the League will serve as a feeder for a new MLB All-Star High School Prospect Game for the best high school baseball players, taking place in Cleveland as part of MLB’s All-Star Week festivities in July.
The daily itinerary, skill-building, and gameplay responsibilities of the PDP League will fall on its Coordinators and Coaching Staffs, which includes former and current players as well as coaches on various levels of the game (Major League, Minor League & Collegiate). The PDP League staff will include:
PDP League Captains
- Ryan Howard
- Analyst, ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight”
- 2005 N.L. Rookie of the Year, 2006 N.L. MVP, 2008 World Series Champion, 3x MLB All-Star; 2000 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team member
- Derek Jeter
- CEO & Owner, Miami Marlins
- 5x World Series Champion, 1996 A.L. Rookie of the Year, 2000 World Series MVP, 14x MLB All-Star; 2006 and 2009 Team USA WBC member
- Chipper Jones
- Baseball Hall of Famer, 1995 World Series Champion, 1999 N.L. MVP, 8x MLB All-Star; 2006 and 2009 Team USA WBC member
- Barry Larkin
- Baseball Hall of Famer, 1990 World Series Champion, 1995 N.L. MVP, 12x MLB All-Star; 1984 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team member and 2009 Team USA WBC Auxiliary Coach
- Scott Brosius (Field Coordinator)
- USA Baseball Senior Director, Sport Development
- 3x World Series Champion, 1998 World Series MVP, 1998 MLB All-Star, 11-year MLB veteran, 2013 Division III National Championship Coach; 2-time USA Baseball 18U National Team Manager
- Marcel Lachemann (Pitching Coordinator)
- Special Assistant to the GM, Los Angeles Angels
- 3-year MLB veteran, 3-year manager of the California Angels, 11-year MLB assistant coach; 8-time USA Baseball Pitching Coach
- Gerald Laird (Catching Coordinator)
- Connecticut Tigers (Single-A, Detroit), Manager
- 2011 World Series Champion, 13-year MLB veteran; 2019 USA Baseball Assistant Coach
- Greg Ritchie (Hitting Coordinator)
- George Washington University, Manager
- Selected in the 8th round of the 1986 MLB Draft, 16-year professional coach, 2013 A-10 Coach of the Year; 2-time USA Baseball 18U National Team Assistant Coach
- Andy Stankiewicz (Fielding Coordinator)
- Grand Canyon University, Manager
- 7-year MLB veteran, 6-year professional manager and assistant coach; 3-time USA Baseball Manager and Assistant Coach
- Joe Brown (SUNY Cortland – Head Baseball Coach)
- 2nd fastest NCAA Division III coach to reach 700 wins (714-185-3, .793 win percentage), the best winning percentage of any active NCAA coach with at least 10 years’ experience
- 2015 ABCA and Division III National Coach of the Year, 10x ABCA New York Region Coach of the Year, 6x SUNYAC Coach of the Year, 1988 NCAA Division III Champion as a student-athlete
- Geoff Loomis (University of Portland – Head Baseball Coach)
- University of Portland Hall of Famer, 2x NCAA Baseball Championship appearances managing Pacific Lutheran University, selected in the 31st round of the 1992 MLB Draft (OAK)
- Casey Powell (Former Head and Assistant Collegiate Baseball Coach)
- Former head coach of Whitman College and assistant at Seattle University and Linfield College, 1996 Northwest Conference Player of the Year
- Willie Romay (Former USA Baseball Coach; Amateur Scout – Boston Red Sox)
- 7-year MLB amateur scout, 14-year scout with MLB Scouting Bureau, drafted in the 5th round of the 1988 MLB Draft (SEA); 2x USA Baseball Assistant Coach
- Garvin Alston (Former MLB Pitching Coach)
- Former pitching coach in OAK, AZ, and MIN organizations, made MLB debut in 1996 with Colorado Rockies, drafted in the 10th round of the 1992 MLB Draft (COL)
- Alan Embree (16-year MLB veteran pitcher)
- 2004 World Series Champion, 16-year MLB career with 10 organizations, amassing 39 wins and 25 saves across almost 900 appearances
- Andy Pettitte (18-year MLB veteran pitcher)
- 5x World Series Champion, 3x MLB All-Star, 2001 ALCS MVP, amassed 256 wins over 18 year career, including 19 postseason and 5 World Series wins
- Scott Radinsky (11-year MLB veteran pitcher)
- 11-year MLB career with 4 organizations, amassing 42 wins and 52 saves across over 550 appearances; 2005 USA Baseball Professional National Team Pitching Coach
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator
- Perry Castellano (18-year Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach)
- 2010 MLB Strength Coach of the Year, 2014 American League All-Star Strength Coach, 12-year MLB Strength Coach and Director for the Minnesota Twins from 2006-2018
The PDP League also will be supported by NCAA and high school baseball coaches as well as current/former MLB alumni and personnel, including the following: Harold Reynolds, analyst for MLB Network (12-year MLB veteran, 3x Gold Glove winner, 2x MLB All Star); Lance Berkman (15-year MLB veteran, 2011 World Series champion, 6x MLB All-Star, 366 career home runs); and LaTroy Hawkins (21-year MLB veteran, over 1,000 MLB appearances including 75 wins and 127 saves). Additional names supporting the event will be announced at a later date.
In addition to the League Captains/Managers/Coaches/Coordinators, there also will be a number of guest speakers brought in to enhance the personal growth and development of participating athletes, along with providing unparalleled perspective and experience in areas of character, leadership, team-building, and managing success. Two groups of note that will have an opportunity to bring their curriculums to the athletes include Echelon Front and Game On Nation.
Echelon Front offers unmatched solutions in leadership, strategy, innovation, and team building developed and proven in combat. Founded by former Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, Echelon Front offers unique, personalized services designed to get teams executing at the highest level possible.
One of the most respected firms in communication, leadership, resiliency, and teambuilding training, Game On Nation uses groundbreaking, game-based training techniques to harnesses the power of Mystery, Incentive, Laughter, and Empowerment to create immediate improvement that teams can see, feel, and measure. Game On’s innovative curriculum inspires participants to not only CARE about their training goals, but to remember and apply these interactive techniques to continuously improve.
“The experience that the PDP League will offer athletes is unparalleled within our industry,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations. “This coaching staff will help these athletes to prepare themselves for careers in professional baseball. We look forward to seeing them in the big leagues soon.”
“I could not be more excited about this year’s inaugural PDP League,” said Scott Brosius, USA Baseball’s Senior Director of Player Development. “We’ve taken significant strides toward our goal of creating a program that puts athlete development at the forefront of the amateur baseball landscape. Our players will have the opportunity to learn from some of the finest athletes to have played the game and then apply those lessons alongside the best players in the country on a daily basis. Ultimately, those who graduate this program will be prepared to be leaders in the clubhouse and in life.”
“The creation and implementation of the PDP League is a tremendous step forward for USA Baseball and Major League Baseball in the overall athlete development experience,” said Frank Jagoda, USA Baseball’s 18U National Team Program Director. “Not only will this league aide in the growth and development of the athletes who will take part in it, but also for game of baseball as well. Each athlete is given a truly invaluable opportunity to learn and compete against the best baseball players in the country while also competing for a spot to represent the United States as a member of the USA Baseball 18U National Team on the international stage.”
As a part of the player experience, all athletes will receive a tablet for the duration of the league as the dedicated vehicle for athlete communication, scheduling, daily pushing of data, and personal video review, amongst other functionalities. This platform will create another opportunity to improve player development throughout the league, while reinforcing player accountability and offering opportunities to maximize not only the League experience, but also the athlete’s continued growth both on and off of the field.
ABOUT THE PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT PIPELINE
Created in 2017, the PDP is a voluntary program that established an official identification and player assessment pathway to all 30 MLB Clubs and the MLB Scouting Bureau for elite high school age baseball players in advance of the annual MLB Draft. Prospect Development Pipeline Premier events are held regionally around the country, are conducted on an invite-only basis, and athletes participate in the program free of charge.
PDP athletes take part in one the most comprehensive athletic evaluation experiences in sports to date. Following the evaluation, athletes receive a fully-customized player report, inclusive of personal results and data from their evaluation, developmental information with guidelines for improvement, and other relevant resources to aid players and families in navigating the amateur experience.
The PDP also supports a growing list of additional programs and initiatives, providing player development and athletic assessment exposures for the Cape Cod Baseball League and other summer baseball collegiate leagues, MLB Baseball & Softball Development amateur events, MLB international showcases, the East Coast Pro Showcase, and USA Baseball’s National Teams, National Team Development Programs, and National Team Championships.
ABOUT IMG ACADEMY
IMG Academy is one of the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and educational institutions. IMG Academy helps countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in and out of sport by providing world-class teaching and coaching, tailored programs and professional facilities. Based in Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy also serves as a training and competition venue for amateur and professional teams, a host site for a variety of events, and a hub for sports performance research and innovation. Its nearly 600-acre campus includes a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, five development fields, indoor & outdoor batting cages and 16 practice mounds. It also houses the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, three dormitories, two 10,000 square foot weight rooms and a fieldhouse with professional locker rooms.