DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball named its roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12™ on Thursday. The 28-man roster is made up of 15 pitchers and 13 position players currently not on an MLB 40-man roster, and features six former national team alumni and seven of the MLB Pipeline top-100 prospects.
The U.S. will begin the WBSC Premier12™ in Guadalajara, Mexico, from November 2-4 as a member of Group A with the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands. The top two nations from Group A will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from November 11-16.
The tournament is the first opportunity for Team USA to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory (excluding Japan) will join host-country Japan and WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier champion Israel in the six-team Olympic tournament. The final two Olympic berths will be decided in March 2020.
“It is an honor to welcome a group of immensely talented athletes to Team USA as we begin the qualification process for Tokyo 2020,” said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. “Our goal during the selection process was to identify and piece together a roster that included a combination of both young and veteran baseball players that complement each other on and off the field. These 28 men are exemplary talents and individuals, and we are confident they will represent the United States proudly on the international stage.”
Brooks Pounders (RHP, New York Mets) is one of six Team USA alumni on the roster and is the lone returning member from the inaugural Premier12™ roster that won the silver medal in 2015. Also returning to a USA Baseball national team is Erik Kratz (C, New York Yankees) and Andrew Vaughn (INF, Chicago White Sox), as well as Tanner Houck (RHP, Boston Red Sox) and his Collegiate National Team teammates Bobby Dalbec (INF, Boston Red Sox) and Tyler Johnson (RHP, Chicago White Sox).
Jo Adell (OF, Los Angeles Angels) is the top-rated prospect on the roster, ranking fifth out of the top-100 by MLB Pipeline. Also on the list is No. 21 Vaughn, No. 23 Drew Waters (OF, Atlanta Braves), No. 34 Alec Bohm (INF, Philadelphia Phillies), No. 72 Xavier Edwards (INF, San Diego Padres), No. 88 Spencer Howard (RHP, Philadelphia Phillies) and No. 100 Daulton Varsho (C, Arizona Diamondbacks).
The Boston Red Sox lead all Major League clubs with four players from its farm system on the roster in C.J. Chatham (INF), Dalbec, Houck and Noah Song (RHP). The Philadelphia Phillies have three prospects on the roster while the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics all boast a pair of prospects on the roster as well. The remaining players are a part of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals systems, and Brandon Dickson (RHP) joins the roster as a member of the Orix Buffaloes in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league.
Four-time World Series Champion Joe Girardi was named the manager of the Premier12™ roster in August and is joined by a coaching staff laden with international experience. Bench Coach Scott Brosius, Bullpen Coach Roly de Armas, Hitting Coach Phil Plantier, Pitching Coach Bryan Price, Third Base Coach Willie Randolph and First Base Coach Ernie Young collectively have 21 years of playing and coaching experience with Team USA, winning seven gold medals.
The team will train in Surprise, Arizona, from October 21-28 at the Kansas City Royals Spring Training facility before traveling to Mexico for the opening round of the Premier12™.
USA Baseball Premier12™ Roster
(Name; Position; Hometown; 2019 Organization)
Jo Adell; OF; Louisville, Ky.; Los Angeles Angels
Clayton Andrews; LHP; Petaluma, Calif.; Milwaukee Brewers
Alec Bohm; INF; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia Phillies
C.J. Chatham; INF; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Boston Red Sox
Jake Cronenworth; INF; St. Clair, Mich.; Tampa Bay Rays
*^Bobby Dalbec; INF; Seattle, Wash.; Boston Red Sox
Brandon Dickson; RHP; Montgomery, Ala.; Orix Buffaloes
Parker Dunshee; RHP; Zionsville, Ind.; Oakland Athletics
Xavier Edwards; INF; Mineola, N.Y.; San Diego Padres
J.P Feyereisen; RHP; River Falls, Wis.; Milwaukee Brewers
Brian Flynn; LHP; Tulsa, Okla.; Kansas City Royals
Taylor Gushue; C; Boca Raton, Fla.; Washington Nationals
*Tanner Houck; RHP; Collinsville, Ill.; Boston Red Sox
Spencer Howard; RHP; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
*Tyler Johnson; RHP; Midlothian, Va.; Chicago White Sox
*Erik Kratz; C; Telford, Pa.; New York Yankees
Wyatt Mills; RHP; Spokane, Wash.; Seattle Mariners
Mark Payton; OF; Orland Park, Ill.; Oakland Athletics
*Brooks Pounders; RHP; Riverside, Calif.; New York Mets
Clayton Richard; LHP; Lafayette, Ind.; Toronto Blue Jays
Brent Rooker; OF; Germantown, Tenn.; Minnesota Twins
Connor Seabold; RHP; Laguna Hills, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
Noah Song; RHP; Pomona, Calif.; Boston Red Sox
Caleb Thielbar; LHP; Northfield, Minn.; Atlanta Braves
Daniel Tillo; LHP; Sioux City, Iowa; Kansas City Royals
Daulton Varsho; C/OF; Chili, Wisc.; Arizona Diamondbacks
*^Andrew Vaughn; IF; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Chicago White Sox
Drew Waters; OF; Woodstock, Ga.; Atlanta Braves