USA Baseball National Team infielder and former U-12 World Champion Anthony Volpe, 18, was selected by the New York Yankees as the 30th overall pick in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. Volpe was part of the U.S. National Team that won the 2013 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan and was named to the U-12 All-World Team as the best second baseman (see cover picture). The U-12 world champion also helped USA pick up a bronze medal at the 2016 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Japan and was part of the U.S. National Team that won the 2018 U-18 Pan American Baseball Championship, which qualified USA for the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019.
In total, 15 USA Baseball alumni, representing four National Team programmes, were picked in the first round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Amateur Draft. This includes number one overall pick: catcher Adley Rutschman, selected by the Baltimore Orioles. Rutschman, who played for Oregon State, was part of the 2018 Collegiate USA National Team.
Also number two overall pick Bobby Witt Junior, a shortstop and the son of former MLB pitcher Bobby Witt, was part of USA’s 2018 U-18 Pan Am championship squad. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals.
After competing in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Bobby Witt Senior was drafted as the number three overall pick by the Texas Rangers in 1985. The Witts thus represent the highest father-son combination to be ever selected in the MLB Draft.
Other USA U-18 National Team alumni drafted in the first round are outfielder Riley Green (5th, Detroit Tigers); shortstop CJ Abrams (6th, San Diego Padres); outfielder Corbin Carroll (16th, Arizona Diamondbacks) and pitcher Brennan Malone (33rd, Arizona Diamondbacks).
The number three overall pick is slugging first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who earned the 2018 Golden Spikes Award while playing for the California University Bears. He was part of USA’s U-15 programme in 2013 and a key member of the 2018 Collegiate USA National Team. Vaughn was drafted by the Chicago White Sox.
Other 2018 U.S. Collegiate National Team members who were drafted in the first round include third baseman Josh Jung (8th, Texas Rangers); catcher Shea Langeliers (9th, Atlanta Braves); shortstop Bryson Stott (14th, Philadelphia Phillies); shortstop Will Wilson (15th, Los Angeles Angels); pitcher Zack Thompson (19th, St Louis Cardinals); shortstop Braden Shewrnake (21st, Atlanta Braves) and outfielder Matt Wallner (39th, Minnesota Twins).
Zack Thompson became the 500th USA Baseball Alumnus to be drafted in the first round since 1972.