Sweden's Johan Klarberg - Photo by getphoto.cz, Martin Salajka

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.
Sweden coach Tony Klarberg’s 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?
I have no idea who will reach the furthest, but several of the players want to take their game to the next level and also have a chance of doing so. Right now I believe the next level for most Swedish players is college baseball. There are seven players on the roster that will graduate in June, possibly four or five of those seven will start college in August. Johan Höglund, IF, attended the MLB Academy in Tirrenia 2011 but was injured after just a few days and could not continue, which was a shame. Then I think of Johan Klarberg, OF, who finished with a .376 batting average in the Swedish Bundesliga last year, finishing 5th on the list of all the best hitters, being the 2nd Swedish player in the top 5 (3 Americans and 2 Swedes). For an 18-year-old that is an accomplishment. Also Wilhelm Nordström is one of the main hitters, a tall 1B-man who could blossom this year. LHP Albin Sivard is one of Sweden’s most promising pitchers. Albin pitched the final third game in the finals for his Stockholm team (becoming the Swedish Champions). In seven innings he struck out 12, allowed 1 base hit and 2 BB, with a 0.00 in ERA, facing 26 hitters. Also another promising LHP is John Wright.

Looking at this class(es) of players, where does it rank in past classes? Is this a particularly good or bad year for the system?
Sweden Academy of 2012 is by far the best team we have fielded so far. We have a wider range of players, more and better pitching, more well trained athletes. BUT, that will not make sure we win more games, just provide a better base for development…

What players from your system would normally be here but are not and for what reason?
John Wright, LHP, looks like he will be off the DL and will join us.

What do you think about this MLB Academy tournament and others like it? What are the biggest benefits for the players?
It is a great opportunity to develop for the players. They get more games under their belts and that is very important for their development. At this age, and especially for the Academy players that are trained for it, there is a great need to play more games to develop and take their game to a higher level. Also for me as a coach at the Academy it is fun and rewarding and also much better from a teaching standpoint to play more games. As a coach it is crucial to find ways to get feedback for the players on things you work on, to be able to improve parts of the game for each individual. Finally, the tournaments in Regensburg have been well organized and it will be great to come back and we are so much looking forward to playing and being part of it!

 

– – – – –

Roster as of 21 March 2012

NR Last First DOB Throw Bat Ht (cm) Wt (kg) Pos
17 Aurosell Max March 9, 1994 R R 184 73 RHP,OF
6 Byström Pontus December 27, 1994 R R 177 69 RHP, OF
4 Fager Mattias July 31, 1994 R R 178 67 C, OF
29 Gonzales Alberto Nov 1, 1993 R R 167 78 IF
78 Hagman Hampus February 8, 1995 R R 184 90 RHP
82 Höglund Johan March 26, 1993 R R 185 86 RHP, IF
81 Klarberg Johan Sep 1, 1993 R S 183 81 OF
60 Linder Daniel July 10, 1995 R L 173 79 RHP, IF
21 Lundström Edvin March 11, 1993 R L 175 64 RHP,OF
19 Matspers Andreas May 23, 1993 R R 175 62 RHP, IF
79 Nordström Vilhelm Sep 15, 1993 R R 192 81 1B, RHP
50 Olefalk Simon May 20, 1994 R R 179 67 IF
51 Sahlin Emil May 22, 1995 R R 184 70 IF, RHP
52 Sivard Albin June 30, 1994 L L 183 69 LHP,OF
90 Sund Niklas April 12, 1993 R R 183 94 C, 3B
80 Westerholm Gustaf August 19, 1994 R R 182 82 OF
94 Vollertsen Jakob March 2, 1994 R L 194 109 RHP,1B
89 Wright John September 6, 1994 L L 186 68 LHP,OF

 

Tags

 

1 Comment

  1. guest says:

    Great lineup card! I hope MLB hires a player from Sweden. They already hired Eric Falkenang and Brian Berglund by the Miami Marlins after Chris Volstad was traded to the Chicago Cubs. Maybe the Marlins will hire Nick Soubiea and Tim Volstad in September 2012.