Not only did Azzurri manager Gilberto "Gibo" Gerali recently bring Team Italy to Arizona for the Instructional League Exhibition Series to play against MLB prospects, but many former and current Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) Academists also ventured out west during the month of October to showcase their talent. Led by Mauro Mazzotti, the sixth annual International Stars Showcase recruited many players who had previously trained at the FIBS Academy to travel to Arizona’s Mesa Community College from October 2-12, 2018 for an intensive training camp which included games against Mesa, Central Arizona and Glendale Community Colleges. With the opportunity to compete in front of scouts and college coaches, the athletes played with intensity to increase their chances of securing a scholarship or a professional baseball contract. The International Stars Showcase has proven to be a viable option for players seeking a good education in North America while competing at a higher level than they are accustomed to in Europe. Last month's trip abroad has already produced results for Daniel Monti, who was offered an athletic scholarship to study and play baseball at Odessa College in Texas. He has since signed a letter of intent and plans on joining the squad next August. In the past, Team Italy players Matteo Bocchi and Giulio Monello received college scholarships in the U.S. as a result of their participation in the International Stars Showcase.
2018 International Stars Showcase participants included: Simone Alfinito (Modena Baseball), Filippo Giarola (Grizzlies Torino), Tommaso Giarola (Grizzlies Torino), Marco Ghiglia (Skatch Boves), Matteo Ghiglia (Skatch Boves), Tommaso Battioni (Collecchio BC), Michael Bertozzi (Belvedere Riccione), Nicola Marziali (Macerata Angels - Eagles Fermo), Oscar Tucci (Macerata Angels - Chieti Baseball), Alex Ceppi (Grizzlies Torino), Matteo Oldano (Grizzlies Torino), Alessio Eritale (Bolzano Baseball), Andrea Pasotto (Collecchio BC), Filippo Tomassoni (Belvedere Riccione), Lorenzo Morresi (Angels Macerata), Filippo Bianchi (Oltretorrente), Jacopo Sandrone (Fossano BC), Nicolò Ioli (Torre Pedrera Falcons), Gabriele Valetti (New Panthers S. Antonino), and Daniel Monti (Bollate).
Former FIBS Academist Riccardo Bertossi (New Black Panthers) and present FIBS Academist Daniele Di Monte (New Black Panthers) also ventured to Arizona as part of the MLB College Showcase in October. Chosen among the 31 invited elite players to attend and also to be part of the MLB World squad with teammates from the Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Germany, China, Equador, New Zealand, and South Africa, Riccardo Bertossi and Daniele Di Monte received instruction from professional coaches as well as played against college and minor league teams. In addition to touring local colleges and universities, they were also introduced to the inner workings and structure of U.S college baseball from the junior college level to the powerhouse university circuit. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti