Future Stars Series introduces JUCO Super Regionals

February 27, 2024

The commitment continues.

After the inaugural New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Showdown was an incredible success earlier this year, and now with the announcement of the JUCO All-Star event, the ball continues to roll with the JUCO Super Regionals, set for later this fall.

Dates and venues have been determined and will be announced shortly — look for games to be played in October in locations all across the country like Vegas, NorCal, Florida, New Hampshire, Nashville, Texas, North Carolina and Alabama — but each site will host 12 teams in three pools of four, with the winner at each venue set to advance to the following year’s Showdown, where they’ll join San Jacinto College and a club comprised of the 2024 Main Event players.

Every player on every team will be evaluated by taking tests from companies like Pazik and NTangible, who focus on developing and assessing the mental side of the game as well as Senaptec, who analyzes vision and reaction and Sports Academy sports science testing, cognitive function, game play and advanced analytics. That’s all in addition to Trackman data, Synergy video, Motor Preferences, and subjective tool evaluations. All information will go towards overall FSS role forecasting models, and all teams will be invited by the Future Stars Series.

With plans in the works to introduce another event that will follow a similar format, Future Stars Series President and CEO Jeremy Booth is excited to have expanded the calendar of signature events and further extended the organization’s commitment to junior college baseball.

“If you were at the Showdown, you know how that went,” Booth said. “Real good event, real good baseball, real good experience for the scouting community and all the big-league clubs that were there to get a look at some guys who deserve these opportunities. We saw that and knew not only that we needed to do more, but we should do more. Between the upcoming All-Star events for both JUCO and D1 players and now this, I couldn’t be more proud of what we’re accomplishing in the college space. And we’re not done yet. Not close.”

With an ever-increasing interest in trying to find a model that works for accurately both fostering and forecasting player development, it’s the Future Stars Series that, over time, has developed what is considered to be the industry’s best. With relevant data that actually matters now available to all 30 MLB clubs as well as all four-year schools, that nearly every big league team is represented on the advisory board and every major college conference is represented in the D1 All-Star event selection committee is not a coincidence.

The D1 event committee alone features Josh Belovsky (Fullerton), Mike Neu (Cal), Jason Kelly (Washington), Jay Uhlman (Tulane), TJ Bruce (TCU), Jimmy Jackson (Maryland), Scott Jackson (Liberty), Mark Allen (Illinois), Clay Van Hook (UT Arlington), Travis Buck (LMU), Davin Pierre (Grambling), Matt Deggs (Lafayette), Brian Ryman (Lipscomb), Nick Magnifico (South Alabama), Tyler Shewmaker (Vanderbilt), Josh Newman (Purdue), Ty Blankmeyer (Duke), Greg Sullivan (Boston College), Rob Cooper (Miami) and Kerrick Jackson (Missouri) — they collectively represent the SEC, Pac 12, AAC, Big 10, Big 12, Conference USA, SWAC, WCC, WAC, Sun Belt and Atlantic Sun conferences.

Meanwhile, the JUCO selection committee is a who’s who of the space, and currently features Kory Koehler (San Jac) – East Texas/ Louisiana, Kurtis Lay (Odessa) – West TX/NM, Dalton Rodriguez (Ranger) – Central TX, Mack Chambers (Seminole State, OK) – Oklahoma/Arkansas, Brock Buckingham (Cowley County) – Kansas, Blake Jones (Mineral Area) – Mo. Valley, Nick Garritano (College of S. NV) – AZ/NV/CO, Elliott Ayala (Monroe) – East Coast, Aaron Biddle (Wabash Valley) – Mid-West, Tyler Younger (Gulf Coast) – Panhandle/N. Florida, Zach Cole (Florida SW) – S. Florida/Central FL, Dave Shelton (Walters State) – Tennessee/GA, Ryan Ihle (Wallace Dothan) – Alabama, Chad Baum (Fullerton) – Southern California, Paul Wiebens (Chabot) – Northern California, Ken Jacome (Pima College), Preston McDonald (Florence Darlington Tech) and Brian Valentine (Lower Columbia)- Northwest.

The New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series helped produce a record-high 33 selections at the most recent 2023 MLB Draft, including No. 2 overall pick Dylan Crews and four first-rounders. The FSS has now helped produce 18 first-round selections, as well as four players who have gone on to reach the big leagues in Grayson Rodriguez, Bo Naylor, Kyren Paris and Tyler Soderstrom.  In all, 19 FSS alums were listed on the most recent MLB Pipeline Top 100, including Crews, Ricky Tiedemann, Mick Abel, Robby Snelling, Tink Hence, Drew Gilbert, Edwin Arroyo and Tommy Troy.

All four players who reached the majors were also listed at some point, with Rodriguez serving a long stint as the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball before graduating to becoming a stalwart in the Baltimore Orioles rotation.

The JUCO Super Regionals and All-Star weekends join a growing list of the most anticipated and respected events in the amateur baseball space, including the Showdown, Main Event, Fresh 50, Underclass Elite, Underclass Premier, the annual National Tournaments and more.

Mike Ashmore
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