April 27, 2018
DURHAM, N.C. – The staff for the 2018 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) was announced by USA Baseball on Friday. Georgia Tech baseball alum and assistant coach Mike Nickeas will serve on the staff for the second-straight year.
After serving as an assistant coach for the Stripes team last year, Nickeas will be the position coach for the Stars team this year.
The Stars will be managed by David Pierce (University of Texas head coach), who will be joined on the Stars staff by Butch Thompson (University of Auburn head coach) and former MLB veteran Ernie Young. Young and Nickeas will serve as position coaches for the Stars, while Thompson will guide the team’s pitching staff.
American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Famer Jack Leggett will serve as the field coordinator for the event after coaching in 2017.
Nickeas is a three-time USA Baseball alum and is in his first year as a full-time assistant coach after three years as a volunteer coach at his alma mater. The former Tech standout played for Team USA on the 1999 16U National Team, the 2001 18U National Team and the 2003 Collegiate National Team. Before starting his coaching career, he played professional baseball for 11 years, including four years in the Major Leagues. He spent three years as a catcher for the New York Mets and one year with the Toronto Blue Jays before retiring following the 2014 season.
Coaches and evaluators will assess 40 athletes during the NTDP week and are made up of former professional players, respected collegiate and high school coaches, and professional scouts.
The 2018 17U NTDP will take place July 22-26 in Chicago and will feature intrasquad scrimmages at Northwestern University, Wrigley Field and Miller Park.
USA Baseball will utilize a rolling invitation process for the 17U NTDP participants in 2018. The players will be selected from the 2017 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS), the 2018 17U National Team Championships in Arizona and Florida, and through recommendations from scouts, coaches and the amateur baseball community.
The USA Baseball National Team Development Program offers athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experience. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars, intrasquad Stars vs. Stripes games and exposure to professional scouts, college recruiters and the 18U National Team staff and task force.