Estadio Municipal de Béisbol Néstor Pérez Suárez in Tenerife, Spain, is the home of the European Baseball Winter League. (Photo Courtesy WBSC Europe)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The 2023 European Baseball Winter League, operated by the World Baseball Softball Confederation Europe sector, the Canary Islands Baseball and Softball Federation and the Real Federación Española de Béisbol y Sófbol will play its third season from November 20-26 at Estadio Municipal de Béisbol Néstor Pérez Suárez in Puerto de La Cruz, Tenerife, Spain.
The EBWL will have three teams for the third year of the showcase event. Three teams have participated since the event started in 2021. The Golden Stars, Red Bulls, and Blue Lions will be the three teams for the 2023 EBWL showcase.
There will be 54 prospects playing in the EBWL divided among the three teams rosters.
All players and teams coaching staff will arrive on November 18, and will have one day of practice for all three teams on November 19. The opening round of the EBWL will be from November 20-24. The EBWL championship game will be held on November 25.
The EBWL event will landscape top talent players from the age of 17-23 with its main mission to help players from all over Europe to sign professional contracts and play in United States colleges.
World Baseball Network had the chance to speak with longtime international baseball coach Pete Caliendo and third season as a head coach for the EBWL on WhatsApp about what it’s like to mentor players looking to play at the next level,
”It’s a thrill and an honor. And it’s just a lot of fun when you have young kids that are coming from different countries,” Peter Caliendo, a longtime coach in Europe who will be a head coach in the WEBL again this season, told World Baseball Network via WhatsApp. “The first day we get to train with everybody and have the players do different workouts, whether it’s doing hitting drills and pitching coaches get to see other pitchers with their mechanics.”
The WBSC Europe sector has yet to announce the coaching staffs of all the three teams participating in the EBWL. The confirmed coaches are announced on the WBSC Europe website.
Caliendo has coached the Golden Stars during the last two seasons of the EBWL.
Caliendo has an extensive international baseball background during his coaching career with being a former USA Baseball National Team coach and leading the program with three gold and silver medals at the Pan American Games and is currently the vice president of the ISG Baseball Non Profit Organization.
“I’ve seen some players that can flat out play, I’m still trying to get them in. Whether helping them get into college or talking to scouts with professional organizations to help them get signed from the EBWL,” Caliendo told World Baseball Network. “It is great each player has the EBWL on their career resume, the coaching staffs are outstanding, the training is really good and the practice drills and in-game coaching we get to have with the players in a very short period of time.”
Caliendo, the president and general manager of Caliendo Sports International, has had collaborative projects in baseball with the WBSC, running clinics and alternative programs around the world and hosting a podcast titled, “Baseball Outside The Box”, which is available on all podcast platforms with guests in baseball who are former players, advisors, and coaches at all levels.
Another international baseball figure, former Spain senior national team head coach Miguel Erroz, will be joining one of the teams coaching staffs for the EWBL showcase event. Erroz has coached the Spain senior national team from 2006-15, and helped the nation make their only World Baseball Classic in 2013 and other age group levels for the federation.
According to the WBSC Europe website, “The cost per player is around €600, including hotels, full board, and local transportation. Plane tickets to Tenerife airport are not included and will be the responsibility of each participant.”
No announcement has been made by the WBSC Europe website if any of the EBWL games will be streamed on any of their social media pages.
2023 EBWL Opening Round and Championship Game Schedule
All Games Will Be Held At Campo Municipal de Béisbol Néstor Pérez Suárez
Saturday, November 20
Blue Lions vs. Red Bulls – 5:30 a.m. EST
Golden Stars vs. Blue Lions – 11:30 a.m. EST
Sunday, November 21
Red Bulls vs. Golden Stars – 11:30 a.m. EST
Monday, November 22
Red Bulls vs. Blue Lions – 11:30 a.m. EST
Tuesday, November 23
Blue Lions vs. Golden Stars – 11:30 a.m. EST
Wednesday, November 24
Golden Stars vs. Red Bulls – 11:30 a.m. EST
Thursday, November 25
Championship Game – 6 a.m. EST
European Baseball Winter League Champions
2021 – Golden Stars
2022 – Red Bulls