|2009 9U Team Phenom (CA)|
When you Google the word "Phenomenon" on the web, you will find entries that describe it as an extraordinary event or an observable occurrence. Team Phenom is a 9u elite travel baseball team that plays out of Moreno Valley, California. Joe Keller, founder and General Manager of the team, coined the team name to describe the beginning of an extraordinary team. Keller's background is in grassroots marketing in athletes that turned into an elite AAU basketball coach. What does elite basketball have to do with travel baseball? Well nothing for most, but everything to Joe Keller. Keller has been instrumental in the development of young boys into college men. In Keller's view, it takes the discipline of hard work along with talent to build a champion.
Abel Casanova, a former professional baseball player, is the Manager of Team Phenom. He has a Joe Torre-like approach to the game that compliments Keller's Vince Lombardi/Bobby Knight motivation and discipline for the players. What's most unusual is that Casanova does not have a boy or related to any of the boys on the team. This gives the team an unbiased evaluation of talent and a special relationship with each player. Abel insists that all players obtain at least a 3.0 GPA to play and will provide scholastic assistance if needed.
Team Phenom was formed in May of 2008, and quickly assembled the best talent throughout Southern California. By September of 2008, they won the Triple Crown 8U Fall Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. There is a unique dedication of parents and players, with the average parent driving 70 miles round-trip to practice. The team practices three days a week and holds plyometrics training twice a week. The success of the team has been built on pitching and defense, but has plenty of power and speed to compliment. The pitching staff is made up of six strong pitchers that all throw in the mid 50's, with two kids throwing in the low 60s. After the success in the 8U and 9U levels, Team Phenom has successfully competed in 10U tournaments since October of 2008, playing in two to three tournaments a month.
Team Phenom is "Forging the Evolution of a Team" at a young age. Not to mention, the incredible chemistry that this team holds. The team is made up of the following players: Jraan Brooks, Nolan Ewens, Edgardo Gonzalez, Dallas Grant, Blake Hebert, Robert Humble, Jordan Keller, Zachary Lew, Zach Marin, Daniel Mendez, Isaiah Paige, Justin Sullivan, and Trevor Wilson (Oregon). In 2009, Team Phenom will be traveling to
TBS will be keeping a close eye on this up and coming team.