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Updated: Mar 11th, 2019
2019 NextGen Champions Spring League - Week 1 Update
By: Brian Werner | brian@prospectwire.com

Tampa, FL - For the 2nd year in a row, Prospect Wire is hosting a Spring League for 13U & 14U teams in Florida.  The basic concept is to place events in different locations, making it easier for teams to travel, even giving some teams the chance to stay at home for one of the weekends of the league.  Week 1 took place this past weekend in Gainesville, FL, where Gatorball Baseball Academy hosted.  Games were played at their park (Jonesville Park), along with local area High Schools like Oak Hall Academy, Buchholz HS & St Francis HS.

Last year, Kangaroo Court established their dominance on the league, winning in both divisions.  They set the tone early with some impressive performances throughout the 3 weeks of the league.  This year, however, a few other teams stepped up to show they were not about to let The Court rule so easily. 

In 14U action, league newcomber Central Florida Select & Gatorball proved they were not about to roll & let last year's champs jump out to an early lead in the standings.  Both teams, who squared off to a 5-5 tie this past Saturday, finished the weekend at 3-0-1.  Following closely behind them is Ostingers Baseball Academy, who knocked off the defending league champs in Game 1 on Saturday, closing the weekend out with a 3-1 record.  Complete league standings can be seen here:

Central Florida Select 14U 3 0 1 .875 32 9
Gatorball 14U 3 0 1 .875 32 14
Ostingers Baseball 14U 3 1 0 .750 36 8
Kangaroo Court National 14U 2 1 1 .625 23 22
Baseball University Drumheller 14U Navy 1 2 1 .375 20 31
Florida Throwbacks 14U 1 3 0 .250 13 29
Team Orlando 14U 1 3 0 .250 15 38
Team Orlando 2023s 0 4 0 .000 13 33

Week 1 was full of standout performers as well.  Caiden O'Brien (KC National 14u) lead the weekend in hitting, batting .750 thru 4 games.  Gatorball's Alexander Kastensmidt, along with Luke Carey (KC) & Ryan Ashford (CF Select) all hit over .500 (8 AB's minimum) on the weekend.  Ryan Ashford lead the way with 7 RBI's, while O'Brien & a host of other players were hot on his trail with 6.  Donny Hiebert (Gatorball) & Braden Holcomb (Team Orlando 14u) were the biggest thiefs on the bases, swiping 5 a piece.  

On the pitching side, Breydan Calapa (Florida Throwbacks) struck out 6 batters over 5 innings of work to tie for the league lead in K's for pitchers.  Talan Bell (CF Select) also had 6 K's, but only needed 4 innings to get there.  The top velocity on the weekend belonged to Kastensmidt, who topped out at 82 with his FB.  You can find a complete list of all the league leaders, both individual & team, by clicking here:  https://prospectwire.com/events/800

 

On the 13U side of things, Kangaroo Court & Ostingers Baseball Academy jumped out to the top of the league standings with 3-1 records.  The teams faced off in action, with Ostingers getting the better of The Roos this time around.  Trailing them by only 1 game are Gatorball & Team Orlando, who both posted 2-2 records on the weekend.  Gatorball even handed Ostingers their only defeat thus far.  Complete standings for the 13u Division are:

 

Kangaroo Court American 13U 3 1 0 .750 48 16
Ostingers Baseball 13U 3 1 0 .750 40 20
Gatorball 13U 2 2 0 .500 23 23
Team Orlando 13U 2 2 0 .500 22 50
Chet Lemons Juice 13U 1 3 0 .250 25 28
Winter Park Diamond Dawgs 13U 1 3 0 .250 25 46

Evan Dempsey (Ostingers) leads the way at the top of the batting average race, posting a whopping .778 BA on the weekend.  Several players, including Josh Castellani (.667), Tavish Ward (.667), Justin Marshall (.625), Anthony Wilkie (.545) & Angel Agosto (.538) all posted averages over .500 for the weekend.  Rivers Curland, whose brother Kade played in the league last year, is tops in RBI's with 8 so far, but Chet Lemon's Juice OF Landon Hogan is close behind with 7.  You can see the complete list of league leaders by going here:  https://prospectwire.com/events/801

 

Week 2 of the league is April 13-14 down in Venice, FL at the Atlanta Braves brand new Spring Training Complex.  Prospect Wire will be the first outside group to play games on these fields.

"We are very excited to open up this new complex, and very grateful to the Braves for extending the invite. Our teams are going to be spoiled I am sure. We hope it inspires them to play harder, which can only produce even better baseball all the way around," stated National Director Brian Werner.  Others felt the same way...

"We are very excited," remarked CF Select coach Michael Smalley.  "I played at UF back in the day, so to open up in Gainesville was awesome.  Even got to take in a Gator game after we were done playing.  I also played for the Braves organization, so to get a chance and see the new digs will be pretty cool after being at Wide World of Sports in Orlando.  It's gonna be a lot of fun for us."

"What more can you ask for," asked Gatorball Owner Stephen Barton.  "These kids are used to playing on little league & rec fields. Maybe some have played on some decent HS fields.  But this is an MLB run complex.  Can't use bad hops or a bad mound as your excuse. We are really looking forward to getting after it down in Venice."

About Brian Werner
After pitching 2 years at Clemson University and making an appearance in the College World Series, Brian finished his baseball career at the University of South Florida. Shortly after, Brian served as the Director of Baseball Operations and Scouting for the New York Yankees from 1999-2004. In his time there, Brian assisted with draft preparations, processed scouting reports, maintained the Yankees pro scouting database, and served as the main contact between scouts in the field and the VP of pro scouting. In 2008, Brian caught on with Prospect Wire. Brian has since served in multiple capacities for PW from scouting to organizing events.
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