Italy's Alberto Mineo from the Chicago Cubs organisation - Photo by FIBS

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.
Italy coach Bill Holmberg’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?
Top players on the Italian team: Sebastiano Poma, Davide Benetti, Davide Anselmi, Mattia Mercuri, Martin Gasparini, Alberto Mineo, Lorenzo Gradali, Paolo Taschini and Joel Valera.
I think that Alberto Mineo has a very good chance of moving up the ladder in the Cubs system. He has all the tools, just needs a little bit of experience. Possible signs: Martin Gasparini, Davide Anselmi, Paolo Taschini, Joel Valera, Mattia Mercuri, Lorenzo Gradali and Sebastiano Poma.

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?
This class is probably the best group that I have had, talent throughout the roster. Maybe a few too many fringy prospects, but they are all BASEBALL PLAYERS.
I’d say a good year for the system, with more talent on the way in the younger age groups (12-13 years).

What players from your system would normally be here but are not and for what reason?
I think we have just about everyone we could want to see, might be a few that were not able to come because of school, or that were too young.

What do you think about this MLB Academy tournament and others like it? What are the biggest benefits for the players?
The tournament is great for our players. We will be playing 6 games in 4 days and it allows the national team coaches the opportunity to see the players and how they fit into the Junior National Team that is going to Korea. Our objective at the Academy is to play 30-35 games over and above what they play with their club teams and this allows us to add 6 games to that total in a short period of time.
And finally we are very grateful to MLB for sponsoring this event, without their help we could not come up to Regensburg, especially considering the tough economic conditions that Europe and most of all Italy are facing at this time.


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Roster as of 21 March 2012

94 Anselmi Davide Pitcher 11.01.1995 Castenaso 6’3 210 R R SCRATCH
88 Bassi Giacomo Pitcher 01.11.1995 Crocetta 6’3 180 R R
30 Bazzarini Simone Pitcher 06.06.1994 Macerata 6’1 185 L R
85 Celli Federico Pitcher 15.02.1995 Rimini 6’2 200 R R
82 Gradali Lorenzo Pitcher 11.01.1995 Crocetta 5’11 185 R R
7 Pancellini Mirko Pitcher 26.02.1997 Grosseto 5’11 165 L L
96 Quattrini Gabriele Pitcher 18.07.1996 Unione Picena 6’4 210 R R
75 Taschini Paolo Pitcher 20.02.1994 Nettuno 6’4 170 R R
84 Varin Enrico Pitcher 11.01.1995 Redipuglia 6’3 195 R R
76 Cozzolino Federico Pitcher 25.01.1994 Parma 6’2 175 R R SCRATCH
50 Cestarelli Sergio Catcher 15.02.1997 Nettuno 5’10 195 R R
20 D’Alesio Edoardo Catcher 22.08.1994 Livorno 5’11 185 R R
27 Deotto Alessandro Catcher 07.12.1995 Parma 6’0 190 R R
31 Mineo Alberto Catcher 23.07.1994 Ronchi L. 5’11 190 L R
22 Trinci Mario Catcher 16.11.1994 Nettuno 5’11 165 R R
81 Benetti Davide Infielder 20.05.1994 Parma 5’10 195 R R
1 Brignone Fabrizio Infielder 29.08.1993 Anzio 5’9 170 R R
77 Tonzar Alessandro Inf/Pit 05.08.1994 Redipuglia 6’1 175 R R
5 Fabbri Lorenzo Infielder 09.08.1995 Rimini 5’10 175 R R
32 Gasparini Marten Infielder 24.05.1997 Cervignano 6’0 165 S R
86 Mercuri Mattia Infielder 28.08.1994 Nettuno 6’1 185 R R
83 Grimaudo Alessandro Outfielder 06.09.1993 Nettuno 6’1 180 L R
26 Poma Sebastiano Outfielder 13.06.1993 Parma 6’3 185 L L
78 Valera Joel Outfielder 23.02.1996 Bologna 5’11 185 S R
28 D’Auria Matteo Outfielder 13.09.1994 Nettuno 6’0 165 R R





1 Comment

  1. guest says:

    MLB has plenty of Italian players in their respective clubs. The Marlins used 3 players – Dan Miceli, Micheal Piazza and Jason Grilli from 1996-2000. Maybe MLB can hire Alex Maestri and Roberto Corradini from the Italian Serie B League effective at the end of August.


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