Mick Abel represents the US in international play


Mick Abel pitches for Team USA for the under 18 team.

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Mick Abel represents US in international play

By Gwynne Olson

This summer Mick Abel spent his time traveling the United States doing what he does best: play baseball. He played in a variety of different cities, states, and even countries competing against the best players.

 Mick’s travels began last summer when he attended the USA 17U National Team Development Program. From there he was picked to attend the 18U National Training last November and eventually to the Prospect Development Pipeline.

The Prospect Development Pipeline takes the top 80 teens in the country to train together. Mick trained with the best players for three weeks and was picked to be in the top 40 who would compete in the High School All Star Game in Cleveland.

From there, Mick had three weeks off before he attended Area Code Baseball in Los Angeles. Area Code Baseball is a five-day showcase where the top kids in the region are picked to play against each other. Mick was on the Northwest Region team, the Royals.

The five-day event was cut short for Mick because after that he was bused down to San Diego for the All American Game. They trained and competed in the San Diego Padres Stadium.

After the All American Game, Mick and the same forty kids who made the trip to Cleveland traveled back to Los Angeles for USA trials. Mick trained and played constantly for a week-and-a-half while he was evaluated.

“There was a group of four or five guys that knew were going to make it,” Mick said. , “But when final cuts came around everyone’s knees were shaking because, you know, it’s cuts and everyone was nervous.”

Mick was lucky enough to be selected for team USA and, with his teammates, they trained 4-to-5 more days before training with the Chinese team in Taiwan.

 In Korea, the first rounds were against South Africa, Taipei, Japan, Spain, and Panama. The team ended the round with a record of 4-to-1. They advanced to the super rounds, or the top division, where they played Canada, Korea, and Australia and won all three.

 Their previous wins put them in the Gold Medal Game against Taipei who they had recently defeated 8-to-1. The game resulted in a 2-to-1 loss.

“The game was kind of bitter because we had beaten them in every other game we had played against them in Taiwan,” Mick said.

 As Mick returns to the states and to high school he is still unsure what his future in baseball entails. He is committed to pitch at Oregon State but there is a chance he will be drafted into the MLB draft.