Team Italy Future Stars Baseball Game showcases both new and familiar faces to Azzurri coaching staff

31/10/2022
Accompanied by new and familiar faces on the Azzurri coaching staff, Team Italy elite manager Mike Piazza and Team Italy U23 manager Alberto D’Auria will oversee the Team Italy Future Stars Baseball Game on Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 10 am in Arezzo
As part of the ongoing talent development program instituted by the Azzurri baseball coaching staff, the unprecedented Team Italy Future Stars Baseball Game between two teams of different aged players will take place on the Arezzo diamond on Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 10 am. Team Italy manager Mike Piazza will be assisted by coaches Michele Gerali, Alberto D’Auria and Rolando Cretis. In addition, there will be four more professionals who will showcase for the first time as members of the Azzurri baseball coaching staff in preparation for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Jack Santora is the first of the four coaches named to the Team Italy staff for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Having played for Team Italy in three editions of the World Baseball Classic (2006, 2009 and 2013) and having represented the Azzurri in 71 games internationally, Jack Santora is no newcomer. Currently coaching within the Los Angeles Angels organization, he is an Italian baseball veteran having played in Rimini (2007-2014, including two European titles in 2010 and 2012) and San Marino (2015-16).

10-year MLB veteran Chris Denorfia also joins the Team Italy coaching staff after playing for the Azzurri squad in the World Baseball Classic in 2009 and 2013. He currently serves as the manager of Colorado Rockies Double-A affiliate Hartford Yard Goats.

Another face familiar to Team Italy followers is Brian Sweeney, who played eight years on the professional level between stints with the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and the Nippon-Ham Fighters. Currently the bullpen coach for the Cleveland Guardians, he pitched for Team Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and also served as pitching coach in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Last but not least is the new face to Italian baseball: Blake Butera. Having played 80 games between Rookie and Single A ball in the Tampa Bay Rays organization between 2015-16, he became the youngest manager in Minor League Baseball history at age 28 as skipper of the Rays’ Single-A affiliate Charleston Riverdogs. Blake Butera went on to become named MiLB Manager of the Year in 2021 and lead his team to win the 2022 league title with a record of 88-44.

The Team Italy Future Stars Baseball Game between the white and blue squads will last five innings and feature players destined for either professional or collegiate careers. Team physican Dr. Davide Ortolina and athletic trainer Massimo Baldi will be on hand to assist the Team Italy coaching staff. Admission is free and open to the public.

The following players will represent Team Italy White:
Pitchers:
Claudio Scotti (Fortitudo Bologna)
Alex Bassani (Fortitudo Bologna)
Gabriele Quattrini (San Marino)
Daniele Di Monte (Florida Complex League Tigers)
Matteo Marelli (Senago)
Position Players:
Giulio Monello (catcher, Parma Baseball 1949)
Marco Ragionieri (catcher, Oltretorrente PR)
Filippo Venditti (1B, Academy of Nettuno)
Williams Wong (2B, Settimo BC)
Gabriele Angioi (SS, Cagliari)
Daniele Di Persia (3B, Academy of Nettuno)
Tommaso Battioni (CF, Parma Baseball 1949)
Alessandro Volpe (LF, Lindenwood University Lions)
Andrea Pasotto (RF, Milano Baseball 1946)

The following players will represent Team Italy Blue:
Pitchers:
Matteo Bocchi (Fortitudo Baseball Bologna)
Mattia Aldegheri (Parma Baseball 1949)
Enrico Zanchi (Bergamo Baseball Softball)
Simone Carnevale (Bergamo Baseball Softball)
Giacomo Taschin (Rovigo Baseball Softball)
Position Players:
Alberto Mineo (catcher, New Black Panthers Ronchi)
Andres Annunziata (catcher, Academy of Nettuno)
Samuele Gamberini (1B, Fortitudo Baseball Bologna)
Manuel Zazza (2B, Lion’s Nettuno)
Edoardo Cornelli (SS, Old Rags Lodi)
Federico Ricci (3B, Academy of Nettuno)
Riccardo Bertossi (CF, Fortitudo Baseball Bologna)
Samuele Bruno (LF, Academy of Nettuno)
Alessandro Barbona (RF, Academy of Nettuno)

Forza #Italia!