Despite the Barcelona rain ending their final game of the week-long 2017 MLB Spring Academies Tournament after only five innings of play with a hot Netherlands squad leading 5-1, Azzurri pitchers Maurizio Andretta (Rams Viterbo) and Marco Valentinuzzi (Cervignano) did their best to contain an explosive Dutch offense. But the Italians showed their strength in numbers to MLB scouts when under closer examination. During the course of the competition, the FIBS Academy prospects were given a series of physical conditioning tests by MLB to assess the European player’s development compared to that of their peers from other continents. It was reported at the conclusion of the various types of physical tests that the U18 Juniors of FIBS Academy received the highest scores.
The FIBS Academy U18 Juniors returned to Italy with the necessary skills and mindset to develop into proud prospects. Under the guidance and direction of FIBS Academy director Bill Holmberg, the 26 Italian players faced U18 national teams from the Netherlands, France, and Germany as well as the Europe All-Stars during the 10th Annual MLB Euro Spring Academies Tourney in Spain. Ending on a positive note, Maurizio Andretta along with Italian teammates Michele Pomponi (Parma), Gabriele Angioi (Cagliari) and Leonardo Seminati (Collecchio) will join a selected group of elite European and Australian players in Tampa, Florida to play against a team of young American minor league prospects in a friendly international competition.
By Roberto Angotti