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US Elite Baseball has announced a new plan to form All State teams and will begin hosting tryouts in (13) different states this spring and summer. Their new All State Team program will begin play in 2021. Founder and National Director, Mark Helsel, said the program is designed for quality, not quantity. "We have always been focused on helping players move on to college, and we’ve done a good job with that. This initiative is our most specific program ever to help players reach their goal of playing in college. We'll form 1-2 teams in each age group per state, comprised of the most talented players we can find throughout the entire state. By doing it this way, it will help ensure the quality of the teams."
State Directors for US Elite are setting up tryout dates and locations in their state and they will be published on the US Elite website. Players can register for a tryout in their state. The cost to tryout is $50 and players will be given a professional evaluation, using the same technologies the MLB clubs are using to evaluate prospects, such as Blast Motion and Visual Edge. State Directors and coaches will be looking for players who demonstrate above average ability for their age group. US Elite will form state teams beginning at the 13U age level. "We may have some states that form younger All State teams, but typically this program begins on the 60/90 field," said Helsel.
Helsel says there is a very specific reason his organization is forming All State Teams. “It’s no secret that travel baseball has grown enormously over the last 5-10 years. There are more teams now than ever before. This growth has created a big challenge for college coaches to see talented players. The talent has gotten very spread out. Our model is designed to put a lot of those elite level players on one team and play that team in front of college coaches against other teams of the same talent level. I shared this concept with a lot of college coaches last year and they were all for it. If they can watch a team with 12-15 high level prospects play against another team of equal talent, that's efficient scouting".
US Elite also has plans to play its first ever National Championships in 2021. “With all of these super talented state teams forming it only makes sense to create our own event where they get to play each other for the right to win a true national championship, said Helsel. "It’s already creating a lot of excitement. Imagine 15-20 states sending their top team to play against the other All State teams. For players, they will be playing for the pride of their state. And for college coaches, it will be an amazing event for them to scout." Helsel says he is looking at several possible venues for the National Championships and hopes to make an announcement later in 2020.
The All State teams will play a very specific, high level schedule, highlighted by playing in the College Prospect Series. The CPS is a program created by US Elite to organize small, elite level team camps on college campuses. "We started the CPS in the fall of 2019 and it was a huge success, and will continue it this summer. Everybody has loved the experience so far, especially the college coaches. They stay home and sleep in their own beds, and then watch (8) really talented teams play at their stadium. We’re reaching out to some other elite level programs and inviting them to participate in the CPS with us. It’s good for everyone and we want to create the best competition possible".
Helsel says there is one more huge benefit to forming the All State teams. They will feed the US Elite National teams. “We have gotten a ton of feedback from our state directors and coaches on how to organize our National Team program. We came up with a plan that we have not seen anywhere else in travel baseball. The players who get to play for our National teams at the biggest national events will be players who are already playing on our All-State teams. In other words, we’ll use our own national network of players from all over the country to feed our national team program. But, instead of taking them off an All State team permanently, they will play on both the state team and the national team. They will be a full time player on an All State team, and then play for the US Elite National team in the big events like the USA Baseball National Championships, PBR National Championships, Future Stars National Championships and the Perfect Game World Series. It’s the best of both worlds for the players selected. It will also be a true National team since the players will literally be from all over the country.” Helsel said it will also eliminate the need to bring in “guest players”. All players representing US Elite on a national team will come solely from the US Elite State Teams.