Preview: European Under-23 Prospects

The article that follows is a preview of our scouting report for the Under-23 European Championships, available soon.

Unlike in the United States, major league scouts do not regularly show up to watch youth baseball teams play in Europe and, aside from a burgeoning league in the UK, baseball at universities is only slowly growing. For most young European baseballers, a national team selection for a continental or world championship is the most likely way of being discovered. In addition, a very select number of Europeans have the opportunity to attend MLB’s European Elite Camp, which offers high-level competition and coaching from experienced American coaches.

These MLB Elite players join the other top players in their age brackets at various European Championships, including the Under-15, Under-18, and Under-23 (U23) tournaments. It is there that many have their first interaction with scouts, and a breakout performance, particularly when much younger than most competitors, can be enough to attract the interest of a MLB team.

While the tournament is limited to players who turned 23 this year and most of the top nations aimed for an experienced squad, 34 players were 17 or younger. Only three played for a team that finished in the top four out of 16 squads, with Belarus featuring 4-of-5 players born in 2002. Slovakia also had a very young squad, with three born in 2001 and four in 2000, while Georgia showcased the other 15-year old along with a player born in 2001 and two in 2002. Only Spain (2001), Belgium (2000), and Czech Republic (2000) had players 17 or younger and played in a medal game.

 

Nation 2000 2001 2002
Belarus 2 4
Georgia 2 1 1
Slovakia 4 3
Spain 1
Ukraine 3 1
Austria 4
Belgium 1
Czech Republic 1
Lithuania 5
Poland 1

At the most recent U23 Euros, 21 players stood out as prospects, with many featuring from the list of youngest players. The youngest player, Ilya Sladzinski, only turned 15 a few days before the tournament started. The list also includes three players aged 22, all of whom play for an American university, while a number have been tabbed to the MLB Elite or World Select team. The Czech Republic has four players listed and the Dutch three, while 11-of-16 teams have at least one player, though we will review them position-by-position. Players are listed below with their age as of the approximate start of the 2018 minor league season (April 1), along with their usual clubs and any additional notes.

Name
‘18 Age
Position
Team
Notes
Jerremyh Angela
23
RP
Netherlands
LSU-Shreveport
Marius Balandis
19
SP
Lithuania
MLB Elite; Perfect Game
Nolan Bond
21
SP
Great Britain
University of Houston
Mikołaj Dąbrowski
18
RP
Poland
Carnegie Schools
Ondřej Furko
19
SP
Czech Republic
MLB World Select
Daniel Harrington
19
RP
Germany
Columbia University
Frank Hernández
17
RP
Spain
Christoph Vanas
18
SP
Austria
U23 World Cup
Hayden Platt
23
C
Great Britain
Elon University
Martin Muzik
22
C/1B
Czech Republic
Wake Tech Community College
Dominic Golubiewski
23
1B/P
Poland
Madison College
Daniel Patrice
22
SS
France
Thiel College
Filip Smola
21
SS
Czech Republic
Max Draijer
20
SS
Netherlands
MLB Elite
Ilya Sladzinski
15
Utility/P
Belarus
Richard Brereton
19
IF/P
Great Britain
Emory University; Emory Athletics ROY
Pascal Amon
20
OF/1B
Germany
Los Angeles Dodgers; MLB Elite
Nolan Soliveres
20
LF
France
Hillsborough Community College
Vladyslav Kosenko
19
LF
Ukraine
U15 World Cup
Marek Chlup
19
CF
Czech Republic
Heorhii Hvrytishvili
19
RF/P
Ukraine
U15 World Cup
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About Gabriel Fidler

Card Sharp is devoted to my chief indoor hobby-baseball (and occasionally football [that's soccer to you Americans], hockey, American football, and basketball) card collecting.
This entry was posted in Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Europe, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Tournaments, U23 European Championship, Ukraine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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