Alex Santos’ summer baseball journey continues.
The rising senior at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx is one of 40 athletes invited to the 2019 18U National Team Trials in Los Angeles Aug. 13-17 to compete for a spot on Team USA at the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea, Aug. 30-Sept. 8.
“I’m super excited,” Santos told CNY. “To get this opportunity is amazing and I would love to play for Team USA.
Santos earned the trip to Los Angeles from his efforts in the inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline League, a three-week camp sponsored by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., June 13 to July 4.
Santos was one of 80 high school juniors eligible for the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft chosen to compete against the nation’s top high school juniors and learn on the field and in a classroom setting from coaches and former players such as Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and New York Yankee greats Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter.
“They talked about being a great teammate,” Santos said. “They taught it with knowledge and you understood their message so well. I learned teamwork is one of the big things to be successful in baseball. Everybody spoke about teamwork. They really drilled it into us.
“I hope to bring this back to Mount St. Michael. I’m just hoping the experience I share with them will help everyone work together for a successful season.”
In three games for Team Larkin in Florida, Santos allowed two earned runs on five hits with nine strikeouts over nine innings. Team Larkin and Team Howard finished with 5-3 records before playing to a 4-4 tie in the championship game July 4.
Santos said he used all four of his pitches—curveball, changeup, slider and a sinking fastball. He said he was told a few of his fastballs were clocked at 95 miles per hour. “I’m very grateful and humbled. I worked hard to get there and I showed it,” he said.
Santos traveled from Florida to Ohio to participate in the High School All-Star Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland where he pitched seventh and final inning for the American League in its 4-2 victory over the National League July 6.
“It was amazing,” said Santos about participating in the All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.
The 2019 18U National Team Trials are next for Santos. Wally Stampfel, varsity coach at Mount St. Michael for 19 seasons, said Santos’ path for growth is limitless.
“I’ve never coached anyone who has gotten this much notoriety and is a potential member of a U.S. National team. This is all new to me and I’m as excited as everyone else is around him,” Stampfel said.