Baseball is in full swing(Pun intended) and there were lot of early upsets and changes since the last rankings update. Remember that time marches on for this website. After the rankings update is complete, we move on to the next two weeks’ of tournaments. Also, keep in mind it’s not where you start its where you finish. Some teams are better at preparing indoors and ready for early season success. Many other teams have kids that are just knocking off the rust after a long season of playing other sports, which we are a huge proponent of. A baseball body is much different than a basketball body right?
Every team has a peak…when will yours be?
These teams had some early success and climbed substantially in the rankings. We love it when teams prove us wrong and just go out and compete! Previously unranked Powerhouse TC Wagoner(IN) and Noblesville Millers Black(IN) made a deep run in Indy to climb into the state and National Rankings. The 12u PYO Patriots(OH) made a big Jump in Ohio after a solid showing at the Bat Flip Classic at Action Sports in Dayton, OH. Another Ohio team, the 14u Mid-Ohio Bullets(OH), jumped substantially in the rankings after beating a couple top 10 teams in bracket play. In that same age group, the PF Flyers-Edwards(OH) jumped to #2 after beating the Mid-Ohio Bullets and Cincinnati Riverbats in Bracket Play. There is a lot of parity in this age group, and we expect a lot of movement this year. The 14u Naperville Renegades(IL) won two early season tournaments and defeated #5 along the way. This early success has catapulted them substantially in the Illinois State and National rankings.
The 9u West Cobb Sox(GA) beat the top 2 GA teams to take control of the #1 spot in GA at 9u. The Dallas Tigers(TX) 14u beat Dulins’ Dodgers in a championship game, which earned them the #5 in Texas and the #13 National ranking. The Maryland Orioles(MD) 10u Team beat 4 top ranked MD teams to climb into the state rankings. Also in Maryland, The 12u East Coast Titans (MD) put themselves on the radar with quality wins against a couple ranked teams.
The 9u Drillers Baseball Club (CA) climbed into the California state rankings by beating the Dirtbags(AZ) and BC Pirates in the Championship game. Gulf Coast Edge 10u (AL) climbed all the way up to #12 in the national rankings after defeating the Kennesaw Generals (GA.) and competing at high level all year. The 9u Rawlings Tigers Black(NV) team defeated Sin City Thunder to take over the top spot in NV and climb in national rankings.
The Milwaukee Angels Red(WI) jumped Stiks Black to take over the #1 WI spot after a convincing win in Indy, however, another familiar name won it all. The 12u Canes Midwest(IN) proved they are still one of the top 12u teams in the Midwest. Speaking of Canes, Canes TN 12u(TN) beat the #6 GA (Who Beat #2 AL Convincingly) in Lakepoint, GA. This team continues their success as the #4 nationally ranked team at 12u. Also to note, this team has success developing and winning with its own players!
Mid-Atlantic and Midwest Teams Are Good
Who said Midwest and Mid-Atlantic baseball is weak? Not us. TBR is a National Site. We appreciate quality baseball everywhere. We are witnessing a pendulum shift in the competitiveness of baseball, (especially after PGs rule changes about grade-appropriate players). For those not familiar with the rule change. Prior to 2022, PG and many other sanctioning bodies allowed unlimited grade-appropriate players. Now PG only allows two per team up to 13u and the travel baseball landscape is changing as a result.
Historically, the top teams were taking advantage of the loophole stacking their teams with 5-8 players that were a full year older. This practice was predominantly done by some of the southern teams. Another factor was the majority of the time the northern teams have to play in the south and rarely do the southern teams come north(the milder climate in the Summer is much better baseball weather btw). With that being said, TBR would like to commend the teams that are coming north to compete at the Elite World Series in Dayton in July-Oklahoma Fuel(OK), Arsenal(FL) and Vendetta(TX).
The Motor City Hit Dogs Leonard 13u(MI) and Motor City Hit dogs Yates 13u(MI) both represented the Midwest in GA last weekend. Hit Dogs Leonard won the 54/80 division. Another Midwest team and arguably the best in the Midwest, Cangelosi Sparks Campbell 13u (IL) beat a few highly ranked MO teams in games that were never close. In the Mid-Atlantic the New York Longhorns(NY) 11u continue to climb in the rankings and one thing is for sure. There is some excellent baseball in New York. Finally going back to last year, Wisconsin Elite 13u(WI)-Now Top Tier Biondich 14u(IL) took their team down to the POWER SHOWCASE World Championship and won it all against top level teams from all over the country. Great job to all these teams for representing their areas.
Teams/Organizations like Canes Midwest(IN), Bulls Black(IN), Dream Chasers(NY), Grit(NY), Longhorns(NY),Hit Dogs(MI), Cangelosi Sparks(IL), MA Show(NJ), Top Tier(IL), Vipers(KY), Upper Deck Cougars(IL), Team Fransisco Notorious 9(NY), Ohio City(OH) and many more are proving there is not only excellent baseball in the Southeast/Southwest/West, but also in the Midwest and Northeast!
That’s it for this rankings update. We look forward to and welcome the movement in the next set of rankings. The rankings requests are reviewed and rankings are updated twice a month. If you want to submit your team next time, make sure to download the Apple and Android APP. Only Submissions through the app are reviewed. Also, make sure to review the criteria. As always, “Play The Best, Beat The Best”.
What a first few weeks of baseball. I think we are in for a great season! Remember it is not where you start it is where you finish. One thing is for sure, the California teams are back to traveling again and they are making a lot of noise. The amount of talent in California certainly is mind blowing. Also, a few Midwest, Florida, Nevada, and Texas teams excelled this weekend. Stay tuned throughout the year for more rankings updates as other areas of the country are starting outdoor baseball.
ZT Elite Prospects National won a big one in Houston this weekend propelling them to the number #1 spot in the country. ZT Canes Lale(TX) also had a good showing, cementing their spot as the number #1 team in Texas. A couple Midwest teams proved to be formidable opponents and up to the task against top level competition. In Houston, Top Tier Biondich(IL) went 4-0 in pool play and made the final 8. The Hit Dogs National went 3-1 in pool and lost to the champs ZT Elite Prospects 1-0 in bracket play, which was one of the best games of the weekend
Again in Houston 3 of the 4 semifinalists were from California (ZT Elite, BPA, MVP Hustle Prieto). The championship game was BP(CA) vs ZT Elite Prospects(CA). The Kangaroo Court Roos(FL) made a jump to #1 in Florida and in the National Rankings after a great showing. They lost to the eventual champions 5-4 in the semis. LBC National also had an excellent showing. They moved up to #2 in Texas and several spots in the national rankings, after losing a close 5-4 ball game to the Kangaroo Court Roos(FL).
There was a lot of parity and real close high-level games at 12u this week. The Tennessee Canes and SBA Marucci National both have a solid argument for the #1 spot in the Country. After a grueling tournament championship in Houston, SBA National gets the nod for the #1 spot. The Tennessee Canes have a real compelling argument, though. SBA Marucci beat a quality WOW team 4-0, Tennessee Canes beat them 10-0. We have a feeling this will be settled on the field as the year progresses. Other big movers in 12u were Reed Johnson Baseball Academy(CA), Stars Baseball Arnold(VA), LVR(NV), and Cal Elite National(CA).
In the most dominating performance of the weekend in Houston, Prime Baseball Lujan mercied all 4 teams in bracket play to take over the #1 spot in the Country. This is going to be a tough team to beat this year. The biggest movers were Southern Nevada Navy(NV), Line Drive Elite(FL), and Alamo Drillers(TX). A Midwest team on the rise is the D Las Vegas Warriors(MI) who beat the #3 Texas Team and jumped drastically in the national rankings.
Line Drive Elite(FL) made an excellent run and won the championship in Houston this weekend. The Citi Pirates(CA), Knight Elite Black(AZ), So Cal Aces(CA) also made big leaps in the State and National rankings after a great weekend. They are the epitome of teams that may have been overlooked and then make a big jump in the rankings. We love it when teams prove us wrong and EARN their recognition!
The ZT National Prospects(CA) and MVP Hustle Casillas(CA) met in the championship game in Houston. ZT National Prospects took home the championship. Line Drive Elite(FL), Sticks Kremers(AR), and San Diego Stars Pyror(CA) had an excellent weekend. The unranked South Texas Sox(TX) catapulted themselves into the top 10 of the National Rankings and will also be force this year.
Great job to all the teams this week. These rankings are fluid and are changed twice a month through Championship July. The TBR Elite World Series at Action Sports in Dayton, OH will be a huge part of Championship July again this year! It currently boasts the top teams from 14 states. We expect the rankings to change quite a bit between now and then as teams continue to develop players and figure out who they are. Several teams were unranked to start the year and climbed into the top 25 with their performances. This is what makes the website so engaging and fun for players, coaches, and parents.
In this article, we analyze some of the fastball metrics at the ages when athletes are being looked at or recruited. Keep in mind, parents/coaches who have a PG profile and grade have an idea their athlete(s) are top level. So we say "average fastball' with the caveat that they are average compared to other top level athletes and outliers. The assumption could be made that they are well above average in relation to ALL of youth baseball.
We retrieved the following data from the Perfect Game website from top level teams:
Ages to Track Progression (11-13u)
Class of 2026-70 MPH is in the 70th percentile
Class of 2026-82 MPH is in the 99th percentile
Class of 2026- 67 MPH is the average fastball
Class of 2025- 83 MPH is in the 99th percentile
Class of 2025-78 MPH is in 87th percentile
Class of 2025- 71 MPH is the average fastball
When It Really Matters(14u and 15u)
Class of 2024-88 MPH is in the 99 percentile
Class of 2024-75 mph is the average fastball
Class of 2023-89 MPH is in the 97 percentile
Class of 2023-81 MPH is the average fastball
There is a lot that can be gleaned from this data. The average fastball from class of 2025 to 2026 is 4 MPH faster. The average fastball from class of 2024 is 4 MPH faster than class of 2025. The average fastball from 2023 compared to 2024 is 6 MPH, which is the biggest jump in velocity(Freshman to Sophomore year). On average, for 3 years starting around 12 you can expect and aim for a 4.67 mph jump a year, however, this is not linear as many athletes will see a great jump in one year due to physical maturity/puberty.
There are kids throwing 82-83 mph in the classes of 2025 and 2026(more than the average fastball for the classes of 2023 and 2024). Do you think all of them are going to top out 88-90 MPH? No, Some have plateaued. Some could also have arm injuries from the high mileage at a young age. Others could very well keep progressing. Conversely, the late bloomers are also ones that cannot be quantified easily. The athlete throwing 65-70 at 13 could very well reach the 85 mark by 15. The athlete throwing 83 at 13-14 is likely already being monitored(not offered) by colleges. The athlete throwing 85 at 15-16 probably has offers rolling in.
What does this mean? Baseball players are already being offered, earlier and earlier. Some as early as the 8th/9th grade! At all ages, athlete promotion is becoming a huge aspect of youth sports. Please follow us on Twitter @playtbr to help promote your athlete! Also, if you are interested on our special special pricing on a Pocket Radar Smart Coach email us at email@example.com for a coupon code or shop at our store.
Twitter is a great resource for college recruiting and noticed-if done the right way. It is also the perfect vehicle to post short videos of metrics, game highlights, and more. Currently, the age cutoff on Twitter is 15 years old, however, coaches can still promote their teams. In 2022, TBR plans to integrate Twitter in all of our tournaments and showcases to help promote young athletes and travel baseball teams. Please follow us @playtbr
If you are a coach of travel team between 9-14u, create a Twitter Account. Get used to promoting your athletes. The top travel baseball coaches/teams truly want to see their kids succeed and are invested in their success. Is there more of a rewarding feeling for a coach? Please follow us @playtbr
If you are a Player 15 or older(or soon to be with parental guidance)-Create a Twitter account and follow @Playtbr to start Promoting your achievements! We would love to help on your journey!
Please read this helpful article on the Do's and Dont's of Twitter for athletes:
Also, follow us on Instagram and Facebook
Congrats to all the Top 25, Top 150, and other teams ranked high in their respective states 8-13u. We are still compiling all the 14-18u rankings. The full National Rankings can be found here. Also, results of Championship July can be found here.
The Competition, the Weather, the Beauty, and the Champions. That sums up this weekend up perfectly.
The competition was unbelievable in all age groups with 186 total teams from 12 states. There were a lot of really competitive, close baseball games. I wandered around the ball park in awe at the high level teams that made the Journey from all over. It was really a sight to see. Wednesday and Thursday were excellent days of pool play, then Friday hit.
Friday the baseball Gods decided to throw a curve ball. What do we always tell our players? Make Adjustments. The lightning came at 2:20PM, delayed for a half hour, then again, then again. By 3:50PM there appeared to be a lot of red on the radar from Dayton to St. Louis with more continuing to pop up, and lightning still in the area. At this point, we made the very difficult decision to cancel for the rest of the evening and re-group.
When the next round of showers hit, it rained an excessive amount overnight. Saturday, I got to the park around 6:00AM and field 7(turf) was under water. My wife, myself, daughter and the action crew worked hard for two hours to get it ready and everyone of us were drenched. In a moment of levity, an Action Sports crew member cracked the Joke. “Jesse your having as much luck as Harbaugh in Ohio”. We had to delay that field, but had 7 of 8 fields running.
The changes did not seem to impact teams and players. Top level teams do not make excuses and just compete. You can tell most of these of teams have been there before and just wanted to play. Best way I can describe most of the teams from 8u-18u, is business-like. They were unbelievable with the schedule changes and made it happen. I cannot say enough about how much appreciate them.
By 11:00AM on Saturday the sun started shining. This was the only thing that could get field 7 playable. The baseball Gods were on our side again. It shined from 11:00 AM all the way to the Championship games Sunday night. The crack of the bat and all the cheers seemed to make most of the teams forget about the weather. After the 13u finished their nail-biter of a championship game, I walked back toward the quad and saw a 3-4 year old boy in the outfield throwing a ball to himself and doing bat flips, seemingly emulating what he witnessed over weekend. It was another moment of perspective and clarity I will never forget.
Congrats to the champions and runner-ups in all the age groups. TBR looks forward to hosting everyone again in 2022 for the TBR World Series and other tournaments. The schedule will be out in August.
The Champions and Runner-Ups:
(Please send champion and runner-up photos to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Top Tier 16u(MI)Champions
Top Tier 14u(IL)-Champions
Team Ohio 14u(OH)-Silver Champions
Canes Midwest 13u(IN)-(Back-to-Back TBR Champions)
Cincinnati Riverbats Sullivan 13u(OH) -Runner-up
Bennie Elite 12u(WI)Champions
B45 Michigan 12u(MI)-Runner-Up
Beaver Valley Red 11u(PA)-Champions
Barrington Red 11u(IL)Silver Champions
Ohio Swarm 11u(OH)-Silver Runner-up
Gem City Throwbacks 10u(OH)-Runner-up
Upper Deck Cougars 9u(IL)-Champions
Springfield Arsenal 9u(IL)-Runner-up
Hit Dogs 8u-Gendreau(MI)-Champions
Sting Elite(PA) 8u-Runner-Up
Congrats to all the champions in the past few weeks. Championship July is upon us and is not disappointing so far. We look forward to the next few weeks and the final National and State rankings with the PGI, USSSA World Series, TBR World Series, PBR World Series, Motor City Classic, and other highly competitive tournaments across the country. There will also be exciting announcements for TBR that we will release in August!
Championship July is upon us. The pinnacle of the season is here and congrats to all those teams that challenged themselves and competed at a high level all season. Many of the large more competitive tournaments are played in July, hence the name “Championship July”. The PG world Series, TBR World Series, PBR World Series, PGI, USSSA Worlds Series, ABC, and many more high-level tourneys are yet to be played. We will take the outcomes from these high-level tournaments into consideration for the final National and State Rankings. You can also send your final case for State and National rankings here, and include your season resume for consideration here. Remember to be very detailed and not be misleading with your input.
Going Back to Cali
After a two -year Hiatus, the USSSA International World Series was played and did not disappoint. These California teams consistently compete for the top teams in the Country, year in and year out. In 9U, MVP Barberena won the championship and hope to carry the momentum in to the PGI. We fully expect a rematch of them and Southern Finest at some point. Incredibly, at 9u Cali has 4 of the top 15 Nationally Ranked teams. At 11u, Reed Johnson Baseball Academy won the championship to move up to #5 in the Country.
PG World Series
The PG World Series at 9u and 12u, as expected, had excellent competition from top to bottom. At 9u, the Kennesaw Generals took down the championship after a narrow victory in the quarters against Motor City Hit Dogs Stout. Great job boys! At 12u TX/FL Canes elite bested a tough East Cobb Astros Orange team in the finals.
Travel baseball is a crazy world. PG has just moved to only allowing two “age-appropriate kids” per roster, after the practice of “Grade Exemptions” was getting out of hand. We think this is a great move and would like to commend PG for making this tough move. This should curb teams that are clearly taking advantage of a loophole. The champions of a recent major tourney not only boasted kids from 10 different states, but 6 of the kids were not age appropriate. The team was taking advantage of the grade exemption allowing kids a full year older to play. I would like to congratulate all the teams that competed any teams that took advantage of this exemption in the last few years, your kids will only be better for doing so. Obviously, a lot of egos are/were at play here.
The next few weeks will be full of great action. We look forward to the rest of championship July, which will have a large impact on the final rankings.
Give The Umps a Break
A recent brawl at a tee ball game and several other instances prompted me to write a little piece on umpires. The main point of not blaming the umpires is to quit making excuses for your children. This discusses the importance of not using the umpires as a scape goat and let your child take accountability for his/her failures. Also, to let them know it is okay to make mistakes.
I am not trying to preach here, but I really need to get something off my chest. After a recent altercation at a T-Ball Game after a bad call (yes a T-ball game), I feel like there is something that needs to be addressed. Parents and coaches need to give these youth umpires a break. When I played baseball, I was not the best sport, and as a result, I got tossed from a few games. As I got older, I found that blaming umpires was more of an excuse and a defense mechanism for losing and/or not performing.
The Ump Cost Us The Game
I am around youth baseball tournaments quite a bit and always hear “This umpire cost us the game”. Did the umpire give up 11 runs? Did the umpire not hit the ball? My son complains about umps sometimes. Recently he complained about a strike 3 looking that was an inch outside. My response to him was that he should probably protect with two strikes. He also complained about being called out at first base when he appeared to be safe. My response to him… hit it out of the infield next time.
MLB Umpires Miss Calls
Do umps make bad calls throughout the course of a game? Absolutely! A recent study showed that umpires are missing the strike zone by a whopping 42% rate. (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-strike-zone-is-imperfect-but-mostly-unchanged/) Granted most of these are only missing the zone by a half inch or less. Think about that for a minute, umpires at the highest level make a lot of mistakes. Then why do we expect our youth umpires to not miss calls?
Let’s discuss what you are really doing. It is okay to be competitive and want to win, but when you deflect all responsibility on an umpire it sounds like excuses. Excuses result in your kids not being able to perform at a high level. I am all for coaches sticking up for their kids, lifting them up after a bad call and letting them know there isn’t anything they can do about it. Maybe even have a brief conversation with the umpire. The main thing is control the controllable and move on.
Instant Replay in Youth Baseball
Is there Instant replay in youth baseball? Recently, I ran a tournament and the following Monday someone sent a video with a slo-mo video and the caption, “Safe Or Out”. I took the time to analyze the video and it appeared the umpire did in fact make the right call. Even if he didn’t make the right the call, who cares? It happens. The call isn’t getting overturned. Expect bad calls. Move on. Additionally, posting grainy videos and screenshots on Facebook does nothing, but make you, your team, and organization look foolish.
I really think we need to change the way we think about youth baseball and how we treat people that are providing a service for your kids to be able to play. There is an umpire shortage for a reason. What once was something done as a hobby for a little extra money, has now become more trouble than its worth. Before you start harassing an ump, pretend like he/she is your kid, dad, grandpa, etc. and show a little empathy. Also, quit making excuses.
SJ SandSharks 10u(NJ)
Since the last rankings update there was quite a bit of movement in the State and National rankings. Great job to those biggest movers.
The biggest jump this week comes from the state of New Jersey at 10u. The SJ SandSharks 10u(NJ) won a highly competitive PG tournament and beat PRD Tri State Ghost. This skyrocketed their team in both the National and State rankings! API Academy 12u(MD) beat the highly ranked East Fishkill Patriots(NY) at Sports at the Beach. API Academy is continuing to make noise in Maryland and Nationally. 13u Bronco Select(WI) bested PTA Cardinal, GTS, and GRB Green-Milwaukee to rise from #13 to #6 in the Wisconsin State rankings. In Florida, Scorpions 9u(FL) jumped to #3 in the Florida rankings and #22 in the National Rankings after taking down the Sharks(FL) and TBT Ballers(FL). Black Sox Nation 12u(CA) made a big leap in California and Nationally after beating a few of the top California teams, one being the #4 ranked The Show Cali. Finally, The Indiana Strikers-Roberts 11u have ascended to #1 in Indiana with wins against Canes Midwest and Flash Baseball. Great work boys!
TBR Midland Showcase
The TBR Midland Explorers Showcase in Midland, Michigan had some excellent teams in it. The tournament itself was very well ran and TBR would like to thank the Midland Explorers for the partnership. We were very impressed with the town of Midland. The Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers Single-A Affiliate) had a home stand and many teams got to enjoy some minor league baseball and fireworks. We strongly suggest you mark this tournament on your schedule for next year.
TBR World Series and 2022
We are full of top teams this year in all of our tournaments. The TBR WS now has 203 total teams from 14 states. We expect this tournament to have huge implications on the rankings. Remember if you want to be a part of this great event(or any TBR event) get registered early. We will have our schedule out in August/September for all of 2022 and most of our tournaments fill up quick! The schedule will be posted at play.travelbaseballrankings.com.
We love passion for this website, absolutely love it! Keep playing hard and remember to develop, compete, and win!
We had a lot of action since the last update. This rankings recap discusses the biggest movers and talks a little about competition and why it is so important.
Biggest Movers This week
The WFBA Hammerheads won the PG Super Regional, beating the #1 team Southern Finest/Gold Culture in the championship. As a result they ascended from #39 in the Country to #1. Great job boys! The Bloomfield Sting Premier 11u team also showed they belong in the top 7 in Michigan after a great showing this past weekend. 10u Maryland teams are also on the move, after Five Star Mid-Atlantic beat the top ranked New Jersey team PRD Tri State Ghost.
Stars Baseball academy 10u out of New York bested #2 Rockland elite to rise substantially in the rankings. Great job fellas! Tampa Phenoms 11u just won the PG Florida State Championship with several highly ranked teams in it and South Florida Legends just upset the #1 ranked Diamond Elite, causing a massive shakeup in the rankings in Florida and Nationally. Motor City Hit Dogs Matos 13u proved they belong as one the top ranked Midwest teams after winning the highly competitive Bullpen Super Select in Westfield, Indiana. Finally, Bo Jackson Elite 13u also belongs in the discussion after winning the USSSA Select 30 Super NIT in Action Sports Center in Dayton, OH. Both teams are set for a deep run in July!
Competition, Competition, Competition
We get a lot of emails every week. Parents, coaches, and players only know what they know as far as competition. I receive a lot of emails saying we mercied every team and won by a combined 55-0 over the course of the weekend. Is this delusion of grandeur setting your kid up for failure? I will say this, it is a big baseball world out there. The teams that are battle-tested and challenging themselves every week will be set up for success in the larger tournaments, and more importantly, once they get older.
I receive a lot of emails from people that have no idea what the highest level of travel baseball truly is. Think about a 12u team comprised of 10-12 fully matured kids, 8 throwing 70-75 mph and hitting the ball over 300 feet (Not using any subs). They might have an off game from time-to- time, but their physicality will win out 99% of the time. At 13u, think 79-85 mph at 54 feet. These are facts. Let your kid fail and when they grow, both mentally and physically, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Thanks again for all the engagement on the site. I was at two very high-level tournaments the last few weeks and I heard several kids talking about where they were ranked on TBR. That is what makes the website fun and special, the competition it creates and the validation for putting in the hard work.