Forty kids representing 20 U.S. States and one Canadian province to compete in All-Star youth skills finals

Major League Baseball today announced the 2016 finalists of its national youth skills competitions - Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run and T-Mobile Jr. Home Run Derby. The 40 young ballplayers, ranging from ages seven to 14, represent 20 states from the United States and one province in Canada. The National Finals of each competition will be hosted at Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres and the site of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.  

 

A complete list of finalists for both programs is below:

2016 T-Mobile Jr. Home Run Derby National Finalists

 

12u Age Division
Jack Bello, Jr. - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Blane Bolcerek - Brenham, TX
Zander Bretza - Santa Ana, CA
Trevor Fox - San Diego, CA
Blake Guerin - Shoreview, MN
Matthew Mebane - North Augusta, SC
Thomas Shelton - Pelham, NY
Aidan Young - Albuquerque, NM
 
14u Age Division
Logan Brassaw - Flint, MI
Jack Bulger - Bowie, MD
Jason Flores - Chino Hills, CA
Jacob Gonzales - Albuquerque, NM
Jake Gustafson - Northridge, CA
Jake Johnson - Titusville, FL
Aidan O'Halloran - Owens Cross Roads, AL
Tanner Witt - Houston, TX

 

 
2016 Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run - National SOFTBALL Finalists

 

Ages 7 & 8 Division
Brittyn Bruns - Rockford, OH
Mariah Harrison - Fort Mitchell, AL
Rylee Kalocay - Upper St. Clair, PA
Ages 9 & 10 Division
Sophia Gregory - Alliance, OH
Mylia Perez - San Ramon, CA
Kate Verhoef - Aliso Viejo, CA

 

 

 

Ages 11 & 12 Division
Kaiea Higa - Maple Valley, WA
Amanda Lieberman - Jupiter, FL
Lauren Mirtoni - Roseville, CA
 
Ages 13 & 14 Division
Zoey Gross - Mays Landing, NJ
Ciara Herbert - Riverside, IL
Abby Larson - Marlborough, MA

 

 
2016 Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run - BASEBALL Finalists

 

Ages 7 & 8 Division
Tyler Reinhart - Lebanon, PA
Alexander Smith - Miami, FL
Tyler Witazek - Slingerlands, NY
Ages 9 & 10 Division
Elias Bosang - Santee, CA
Russell Haswell - Hubert, NC
Luke McInelly - Mesa, AZ

 

 

 

Ages 11 & 12 Division
Drake Flowers - Jupiter, FL
Woodrow Foster - Fulton, MO
Elijha Hammill - Oakville, ON
 
Ages 13 & 14 Division
Jack Bulger - Bowie, MD
Michael Downtain - Perris, CA
Samuel Long - Gage, OK

 

 
The inaugural T-Mobile Jr. Home Run Derby, which launched in March 2016, will culminate at Petco Park on Saturday, July 9th at 8:30 a.m. (PDT). The Finals will include 16 competitors, with eight participants in each age division (12u & 14u), who won their respective regional championships. The T-Mobile Jr. Home Run Derby has provided thousands of kids from across the country, ages 14 and under, an opportunity to participate in a fun-focused home run hitting contest in more than 800 competitions across the United States. The winners of the T-Mobile Jr. Home Run Derby contest will be recognized at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Petco Park on Monday, July 11th.
The Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals is scheduled for Monday, July 11th at noon prior to Gatorade All-Star Workout Day and the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. The list of 24 Finals competitors includes the top three baseball and softball participants from four age divisions (7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14).  Beginning in March, approximately 625,000 youth participated in more than 4,600 competitions in either the baseball or softball divisions throughout the United States and Canada. Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run encourages youth players to develop their skills by competing in pitching, hitting, and running competitions, which begin at the local level and continuing through sectional and team championships. Team championships are hosted by each of the 30 MLB ballparks between the end of May and into late June. Scotts, the Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball, is in its fourth year sponsoring the competition. Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals, Chris Parmelee of the New York Yankees and Matt Wisler of the Atlanta Braves are all Pitch, Hit & Run alumni.
Finalists of both competitions will attend various All-Star Week activities, including MLB All-Star FanFest at the San Diego Convention Center, All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (July 10th) and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby (July 11th).
Both competitions fall under the "PLAY BALL" initiative, a joint program from MLB, USA Baseball, USA Softball and Minor League Baseball that focuses on the fun nature of the game and encourages widespread participation in baseball- and softball-related activities. PLAY BALL aims to give kids the opportunity to enjoy the game in a fun environment by highlighting the many ways baseball and softball can be played by providing a memorable experience. PlayBall.org is the PLAY BALL initiative's online home and is accessible via MLB.comUSABaseball.comUSASoftball.com and other partner websites.  PlayBall.org features youth-oriented content, including baseball trivia and quizzes and video highlights from MLB games, social media content, photos and a "PlayBall Near You" interactive map that locates local community leagues. The site also features access to video podcasts and highlights from MLB Network's new youth-focused show "Play Ball," which features interviews and on-field demonstrations with top players throughout the League, including Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier, Curtis Granderson, Matt Kemp, Francisco Lindor, Evan Longoria and Dustin Pedroia. "Play Ball" airs on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. ET.  PlayBall.org also links to USABaseball.com, which provides players, parents and coaches with the information and resources to help with proper play and instruction, including educational videos featuring Hall of Famer and MLB Network analyst John Smoltz, Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon, and Kansas City Royals Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dayton Moore, among others.