Wednesday, October 31, 2007
We have been thinking and re-thinking this list for some time and our decisions boiled down to how many players within that organization played Next Level baseball. I am sure that there are some notable organizations that we left out and we are sorry. Our research and information was based on what is published on that travel clubs web site, as well as results gathered from the top tournament and showcase sites. We have also seen most of these teams play over the years and it's these top 5 that always seem to be in the championship round of a major tournament. If you have a well known travel team, and you want to be mentioned on Rounding Third, then we suggest that you add a section that lists your alumni. We suggest dividing the list by using the following criteria...1) Former players that went on to college. 2) Former players that were drafted. 3) Former players playing in MLB. Also list National Championship results.
So, based on that criteria, here's our top 5 Travel Select Teams. To view their web sites, go to the right of this post under Important Travel Baseball Links and Teams and click on the respective web site.
East Cobb Baseball
When you look at the shear numbers of players that they have delivered to the college and pro ranks, the East Cobb organization and their array of teams, most notably the Braves and Astros, win hands down. East Cobb Baseball has won over 130 National Championships, placed over 600 players in JC and four year colleges and has 96 players in the Pro's. They also call the East Cobb Baseball complex, arguably the best baseball complex in America their home. They are also wonderful hosts to the most prestigious wood bat tournament in the country, Perfect Games, WWBA National Championships. Some notable pro players include Corey Patterson, Adam Everett and Jeff Francouer.
This Northern California (Bay Area) powerhouse ranks a close second due to their impressive roster of impact pro players that have graduated from their program. A list of their alumni would be the envy of any pro roster. We haven't found any travel club with a list of recent impact pro players this impressive in our search. Among the 56 pro players that have played for Norcal, the most notable are:
Jimmy Rollins - Phillies
Pat Burrel - Phillies
Dontrelle Willis - Marlins
Xavier Nady - Pirates
Chris Carter - Diamondbacks
Troy Tulowitzki - Rockies
Brandon Morrow - Mariners
They are championship round regulars at the Junior Olympics, WWBA and Sunbelt Classic tournaments and have have also placed over 250 players in college...with 98% of those colleges, NCAA Division I.
The Heat gets our third place vote because of their meteoric rise as a national power. In the 6 short years that this club has been in existence, they have made a huge impact with 5 national Championships and some impressive alumni. Recent top draft picks have included Kyle Drabek, Scott Kazmir and Homer Baily. Presently, they have 16 in the pros. But, the most impressive number in our opinion, is the fact that they have placed 192 players in JC and NCAA colleges. That's an average of 32 players per year in the 6 years they have been a Travel/Select baseball organization.
This Southern California club has also recently been a force at the national level and is dedicated to developing some of the top players at the AFLAC games. In the past three years, ABD has had 7 players picked for the AFLAC All-American Games. They also produced Josh Vitters, the #3 overall in the 2007 draft and Nick Noonan in the first round supplemental draft. Overall they have had 7 players in the past six years go in the top four rounds. ABD has also placed over 80 players in college in the past 5 years, including 44 to the college ranks in 2007.
The Boys Of Baseball
Steve Cosgrove's teams have been a fixture of youth baseball for over 12 years and we have to give him some credit for putting together the best conglomeration of athletes from around the country, year after year. Some of his alumni include Prince Fielder, Colby and Corey Rasmus and Hank Conger from SOCAL. He has had 8 of his former players on the USA Youth National Team, 5 on the Junior Nationals Team and 4 on the USA National Team. Eight players are in the pro's and over 120 have gone on to play college ball.
So, there you have it...Our first, but not last TOP 5 Travel/Select Teams of 2007. There are other teams that are worth a mention and you will find those clubs listed in the top right hand column of this blog. As always, please feel free to comment or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.