It's official, all eight Area Code Baseball rosters have been set for the 2011 Area Code Baseball Games presented by New Balance this August. 210 players nationwide will head to Long Beach, Calif., for the 25th installment of the Area Code Games.
Highlights from the player selections:
This year there is only one player from the 2014 class, that is Drew Ward of Leedey (Leedey, Okla.). He will be playing on the Chicago White Sox team this August.
The smallest roster for the 2011 Area Code Games will be the Texas Rangers. The Rangers will bring 21 players from Texas and Louisiana. Of the 21 players, four of them came out in 2010: Hunter Kopycinski, Nick Williams, Riley Ferrell and C.J. Hinojosa.
The Brewers have one of the largest rosters, 33 players, and may even have the roster high of 16 pitchers. They have six players who played in 2010: Timothy Lopes, Trevor Megill, Rio Ruiz (played for the Yankees), Cole Irvin, Max Fried and Lucas Giolito.
Speaking of Max Fried, his high school, Montclair Prep (Van Nuys, Calif.) made local news when they dropped their athletic program. So he is a free-agent of sorts and it will be interesting to see where he goes to school.
Looking at the Yankees they have two returning players: Fernelys Sanchez and Nelson Rodriguez. Both were named to the ESPN Underclass All-America team. They both play for George Washington (Bronx, N.Y.) and won the PSAL title. Like the other teams, the Yankees may strength may be their pitching.
The Athletics are excited about their team for many reasons. First, they get to bring players from their own backyard, they moved to Northern California this year. Second, they have a soild team. Ryan Tellez from Elk Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.) is the youngest player on the team, class of 2013. He told Harold Abend at the tryout in Stockton that he has something to prove. They also have James Marvel a pitcher out of Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.). He is going to be blogging for us about his Area Code Baseball experiences.
The Royals are back for the first time since 1998 and they have the Northwest. Their team will have some athletes on it. Two that stand out are Clint Coulter and Dylan LaVelle. Both played in 2010 on the Washington Nationals. Coulter is a former state champ in wrestling and LaVelle holds a black belt in Karate.
The Reds will once again bring the team from the Four Corners, Hawaii and Nevada. Bryce Harper, we all have heard of him, played on the Reds when he went to Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nev.) High School. Harper was selected No. 1 in the 2010 MLB Draft. He is currently in double-A for the Washington Nationals. The Reds are bringing out Joey Gallo, one of the best hitters in the region and may be one of the best hitters in the nation.
The Washington Nationals made a region swap, and now they are coming from the Southeast. Vance Vizcaino played in 2010 for the then Athletics and will be back in 2011. Also Jesse Winker from Olympia (Windermere, Fla.) is heading out with the Nationals. Winker's older brother, Joe, is in the Dodgers organization.