The 5th annual 2012 MLB Academies Tournament will be played in Regensburg, Germany from March 31 to April 6 – the third consecutive year the event will be held at Armin Wolf Arena. The teams on hand will be Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Italy, Czech Republic and Austria.
heinnews talked to the coaches in charge of the teams to get a run-down on what international baseball fans can expect from the tournament – and the future.
Belgium coach Christophe Dassey is responsible for the South academy while Filip Van Der Meiren is in charge of the North academy. Dassey offer this description of his team:
Looking over your roster, who do you see as some of your top players and maybe you can tell me a bit about those players and how high can they go in professional baseball?
In the South this year, we should be great. The top prospect from our academy this year will be Thomas Vandenabeele – a switch hitting, left-handed throwing utility player and should be the best hitter on the team. He runs well, has good instincts and is very mature at the plate. He gained some power and has pulled the ball a few times this pre-season which he rarely did in the past.
Tom Gerard is our top defensive catcher. He is a switch-hitter too but his hitting is behind his defensive game. He receives well, blocks very well and throws okay. I believe is he only 16, though so he is still a young guy in the group. He still needs to grow physically to compete at that level.
Neither of these two seem to be bound for professional levels in my view.
Cyprien Dussenne, a 14-year-old utility player, has pretty good potential but it’s tough to predict where he will end up. Physically, he will surely be overmatched, but it will be good for him to taste the level he should aim for.
Filip has more talent on his side. Not sure how many of his players have realistic pro chances though.
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Roster as of 21 March 2012
|51||North||VAN DEN HEUVEL||JORDY||12.09.1995||LHP||L/L||185||71|
|3||North||VAN DE WALLE||ROBIN||04.06.1996||LHP||L/L||169||56|