Fall Tryouts Announced, Fall Schedule Posted

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The New York Nine has released the fall 2016 schedule online and is looking for the top amateur baseball players in the area. We will host our initial fall tryout on Thursday, August 18th at Frank Padavan (Preller) Fields located at 236-02 Hillside Ave in Bellerose.

All potential players ages 14-18 should report prior to 5pm to check in.

Please bring all proper equipment, as well as wooden bat. The complex is natural grass, so please also be sure to have appropriate footwear. The fall is a strictly wooden bat scheduled season at all age levels. There is no fee associated with this tryout.

Once again, the Nine was successful this past summer season, as 100 percent of our senior class is committed to college and set to continue their athletic careers with varying forms of scholarship aid.

Please fill out the form below to register for next Thursday’s workout or email info@newyorknine.org with any additional questions/inquiries.

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Nine Announce Fall Coaching Staff Additions

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The New York Nine, in an effort to always provide coaches who have a deep knowledge of the game of baseball at the highest levels, as players and teachers, are pleased to announce the following staff additions for the upcoming 2016 fall season: (alphabetically listed)

Marcus Cayenne – Cayenne graduated from Howard University and received his law degree from Barry University’s Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in 2008. Cayenne began his coaching career as a student assistant coach with Howard University, then on to Norman Thomas HS in 2006. Marcus was an intern with the Washington Nationals Baseball Operations department in 2008. In 2009, Cayenne was hired by the Oakland Athletics as an Area Supervisor covering Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, and has multiple draft picks to his credit. Cayenne brings a vast knowledge of the game on the teaching, coaching, recruiting and scouting sides with him to the Nine. He also brings his passion for teaching and creating future opportunities at the next level for student athletes.

Mariel Checo – Checo starred at Norman Thomas HS, leading the club to it’s first and only PSAL city title. After being drafted by the hometown Yankees, Checo helped lead the GCL Yankees to their league championship in 2011 punching out 41 batters in 27 innings, while only allowing 18 hits. In 2012 Checo picked up seven victories at class-A Charleston while fanning 47 batters in 40 innings against only 30 hits. In 2016, he was named an Atlantic League All-Star with the York Revolution.

Melvin Garcia – Garcia was a plus defender with a plus arm (100 mph from the outfield) when drafted and signed by the Toronto Blue Jays out of James Monroe High School. A multiple time All-City selection, Garcia led the Eagles to two PSAL Championship Games. At the Professional level, Garcia made only two errors, reaching as high as short season A ball in Vancouver.

Francisco Gracesqui – Gracesqui, a self made hard worker and student of the game, was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as an undrafted Free Agent out of Sullivan County College. Gracesqui, a southpaw hurler, helped lead his alma-mater George Washington High School to the PSAL city crown in 2012. He threw 8 innings in the Championship game and earned MVP honors. Gracesqui allowed only 73 hits in 94 career minor league innings with the Jays, punching out 108 with a career 2.20 era while reaching class-A Lansing in the Midwest League helpful site.

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2016 New York Nine Fall Ball Information

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As the summer season winds down, the New York Nine is actively preparing for the upcoming fall season. If you are between the ages of 14-18, athletically qualified and looking for premium baseball instruction and opportunity, the New York Nine is the place for you. Since 2006, we have helped over 200 athletes continue to play baseball in college and over 40 players have signed professional contracts.

The Nine Fall Program has a schedule designed to accomplish multiple albeit similar goals singulair medicine. The program is designed to give athletes a chance to show what they can do in front of the New York Nine staff, college coaches and professional scouts. During the Fall Program the New York Nine coaches evaluate how student athletes play in games and give them an extended tryout for the upcoming summer. We also schedule multiple tournaments where student athletes are given a chance to show their tools and skills in front of MLB scouts and college coaches.

Please click here to sign up for (or fill out the form below) and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for tryout information.


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Scout Team Runners-Up at 18u Impact Blue Ridge Championships, Miss Playoffs at CABA 18u World Series in Spectacular Fashion

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Blacksburg, Virginia – The Scout team kicked off their two event southern swing with a second place finish at the 2016 18u Impact Blue Ridge Championships held at Virginia Tech.

Yohn Zapata set the tone for the tournament by fanning seven in a complete game win to open pool play at Salem Kiwanis field, the former home of the Salem Red Sox. The park was built in 1932, and contained seats from the original Yankee Stadium. It was an incredible place to play. Austin Cole also fanned four batters in one inning of work.

Trevor Johnson set a new organizational mark by swiping his 20th base of the summer, and now has a total of 22. Brendan Brooks hit .545, scoring seven runs and stole three bases. Outfielder Edward Madera went 9-16 (.563) with a booming home run in the championship game. He also scored six times. Nick Vella was 8-19 (.421) scoring three times, swiping three bags and driving in six. Rory Smith drove home four while batting .438. As a team the Nine hit .340 with a .455 OBP.

The road weary Nine then made the six hour trip into beautiful Charleston and prepped for their 9am game vs the Indiana Rawlings Tigers, which was postponed by rain in the bottom of the seventh with the Nine trailing 3-2 with the bases loaded and one out. More on this at the end of the article.

For the week, the Nine battled to a 2-2-1 record and were on the fringe of making the playoffs. Matt DeMartini fired a complete game shutout over the Carolina Prospects allowing only one hit while striking out two. Chris Pichardo was masterful in a complete game tie with Team Ontario. He scattered seven hits while fanning four. Shandon Herrera went 5 2/3 allowing six hits while fanning nine vs the playoff bound Upstate Mavericks.

Danny Perez got on base to a .600 clip while also blasting a long home run vs the Upstate Mavericks. Edward Madeira continued his torrid hitting by batting .455, slugging .636 and reaching base .625 pct of the time. Danny Alfonzo drove home five while hitting .333. As a team the Nine walked 32 times against only 18 strikeouts. This set up an amazing finish as the Nine needed a win in the completion of the rain shortened first game to have a shot to move into the playoffs.

After pool play was done the Nine returned to Dennis Park where they loaded the bases with one out and their 3 and 4 hitters due up. On a 2-1 count, Danny Perez got under a fastball and lifted a fly to shallow center which the runners were unable to advance. Nate Webb fell behind 1-2 when he drove a fastball deep to right center and appeared to have ended the game with a walk off grand slam. The Tigers center fielder made a catch for the ages as he went over the fence bringing the ball back, and held the ball while crashing into the fence to end the game. It was a spectacular play on a ball that was hit on the button.

With the college coverage and follow up, pro coverage, and our juniors getting a jump on their college process it was a very successful trip.

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Current Scout Team College Commitments (More To Come)

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July 9, 2016 – Although their current record doesn’t (yet) indicate the wealth of talent and athleticism on the Scout Team roster, players are continuing to receive and accept very strong opportunities and offers from collegiate athletic programs.

“Now that everyone is in town, done with school, personal and family commitments and recovered from high school based wear injuries, I expect a very strong couple of weeks and a successful close to the 2016 summer season”, stated Scout team manager Ian Millman. “I also would like to note that our boys from the Bay Area came to us pre-committed, and we are thrilled they entrusted
us with the continuation of their athletic development and exposure to the scouting community.”

Players listed alphabetically (Only those roster players committed):

Players Name Grad Year Commitment Affiliation
Baez, Vladimir 2016 Seminole (FL) State Division 1 JUCO (Region 2)
Belen, Wellington 2016 Odessa (TX) College Division 1 JUCO (WJCAC)
Brooks, Brendan 2017 UC- Irvine Division 1 4-YR (BIG WEST)
Brierley, Chandler 2016 Stevens (NJ) Tech Division 3 4-YR (EMPIRE 8)
Johnson, Trevor 2016 Dartmouth Division 1 4-YR (IVY)
Milano, Preston 2017 Queens (NY) College Division 2 4-YR (ECC)
Pena, Andrew 2016 Cochise (AZ) College Division 1 JUCO (ACCAC)
Perez, Danny 2016 Western Oklahoma Division 2 JUCO (Region 2)
Pichardo, Chris 2016 Sullivan County College Division 2 JUCO (Region 15)
Ramos, JC 2016 Western Oklahoma Division 2 JUCO (Region 2)
Smith, Rory 2017 UC – Riverside Division 1 4-YR (BIG WEST)
Taveras, Justin 2016 Mansfield (PA) Univ. Division 2 4-YR (ECAC)
Vella, Nick 2016 Erskine (SC) College Division 2 4-YR (CC)
Webb, Nate 2017 UC – Riverside Division 1 4-YR (BIG WEST)
Zapata, Yohn 2016 Odessa (TX) College Division 1 JUCO (WJCAC)
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Johnson named MSG Varsity Connecticut Player of the Year

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June 21, 2016 – Scout team center fielder Trevor Johnson brought home some serious hardware, being named the 2016 MSG Varsity Connecticut High School Baseball Player of the Year. The Dartmouth bound Johnson batted .470 with four home runs, 23 runs scored and 24 RBI leading The Brunswick School to their second consecutive FAA conference championship.

When asked about the accomplishment, the team-first and always humble Johnson stated, “Coming into Brunswick my sophomore year I knew that we had a talented and devoted group of guys in my class. We all shared a great work ethic and a bundle of talent which lead us to being one of the best teams around. In the end, winning the FAA championship and being ranked as the 38th best team in the nation by perfect game, were great honors that reflected the work we put in. Personally, winning the player of the year award for Connecticut was a great honor that I couldn’t have achieved without the help of my teammates and coaching staff. As a whole I couldn’t have asked for a better senior season.”

Johnson is a top of the lineup catalyst for the Scout Team who consistently sets the tone both with his on field ability and off the charts competitive nature. “Trevor leads his teammates by example,” stated Scout Team Manager Ian Millman. “He has an advanced feel for the game, off the chart instincts, and a competitive drive that most players his age should have but don’t. I think multiple MLB organizations missed on this kid this past June, and they will take careful notice of him at Dartmouth. He is a legitimate two-way threat and I won’t be surprised if his name is all over our record board by summer’s end.”

When asked about his return to the Nine for his important pre-freshman season he stated, “I decided to play with the Nine Scout team to continue within a competitive, winning culture and play tough competition in order improve my game every day. This will best prepare me for Dartmouth.”

Here are two links to Johnson’s distinctive and well deserved accolades:



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Scout Team’s Alfonzo, Papazoglou and DeMartini Capture PSAL Crown

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The “D Train” rumbled through the Bronx and roared into Yankee Stadium yesterday for the PSAL AA Championship game.

LHP Dimitri Papazoglou was masterful in a nine strikeout performance, leading the Bayside Commodores to it’s first ever city title. Papazoglou allowed no earned runs through six frames for the win. For the 2016 post season, he posted a 3-0 record with a 0.00 ERA. After the game, Papazoglou added, “It was an amazing experience and I was glad to have been able to be the starting pitcher. We played with much heart knowing that this was our year to win it all.”

Infielder Daniel Alfonzo paced the offense going 2-3 with an RBI. “It is an amazing feeling winning the city championship, All of the hard work paid off,” said Alfonzo. “Now my next goal is to win the national title with the Nine”.

Matt DeMartini secured the save with a roller coaster seventh, as the first two runners reached base, but a comeback liner to DeMartini turned into a double play at second. After the final ground ball out, the celebration began. “Playing in the PSAL Championship was a great experience.” said DeMartini. “Being able to end my last High School season at Yankee Stadium and being able to win was just a dream. We played with heart and we knew what we had to do.”

Congrats to these three fine New York Nine student athletes and the Bayside Commodores.

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Alumni Dunn, Sheffield selected in First Round of 2016 Amateur Draft

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New York Nine Alum Justin Dunn, a right handed pitcher from Boston College and Team New York Alum Jordan Sheffield, a right handed pitcher from Vanderbilt University were both first round selections in the Rule 4 draft yesterday.

Dunn, who was selected 19th overall by the New York Mets, is currently 4-1 with a 1.49 era. He has fanned 66 batters in 60 1/3 innings while only allowing 46 hits and a .208 batting average against him. He was named an All-American, and his 11-strikeout performance in his last outing against Tulane helped lead BC to winning the Oxford regional.

Sheffield, a Tennessee native, was snagged by the Los Angeles Dodgers with pick number 36. Sheffield was a three time winner of the SEC pitcher of the week award while leading the Commodore staff with 8 wins, a 3.01 era and 113 strikeouts. At one point this season Sheffield didn’t allow an earned run for 32 consecutive innings.

We wish these two outstanding young men well as they advance their careers at the professional level.

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Alumni Player Capsule – Kelvin Espinosa

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For our first Alumni Player Capsules is 2006 Scout Team catcher and current Future 15s Head Coach, Kelvin Espinosa. Kelvin is currently living in Goldens Bridge, NY with his wife, Lyracel, and his daughter. You can reach Kelvin on Twitter: @KELZZZ10 and Instagram: @ON3SEV3NFLAT.

What years were you with the organization?

I was with the organization in 2006, which was also my senior year at George Washington High School.

What are some of your favorite highlights/memories with the Nine that you can share?

One memory that I will always remember is playing in the NABF World series in Jackson, Mississippi. We were one of three New York teams there and no one knew who we were, but by the end of that tournament we were pretty much rock stars. We finished 3rd, if I’m not mistaken, which is a huge accomplishment coming from the northeast and facing the top notch talent from the south that gets to play year round. One of my favorite memories from that tournament was when we played against the Colorado Jets, with the winner advancing to the final 4. We were tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 6th inning when I came up and knocked a 2 RBI double down the left field line to help us win that game and advance. The funny thing is that the Colorado Jets pitcher I hit that double off of would become my college teammate the following year. I never knew that I could bond with a group of guys like I did that one summer on the Nine. The memories we made, the tournaments we won will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Did the Nine afford you the collegiate/professional exposure you had hoped for?

When I graduated High School in 2006, I hadn’t been recruited. I’ve always been the guy that flies under the radar, but when Ian Millman stepped into my life, it changed me forever. Coach Millman gave me a shot when others didn’t. He let me showcase my talent on a national level. When my summer with the Nine came to an end, I was offered a scholarship to play at Garden City CC in Kansas. Growing up in Washington Heights, you either become a pro ballplayer or bust, in the eyes of the baseball community. But, I really felt that college would help me grow as a player and as a person and boy did it!

What College/University did you attend? What was your major? Did the Nine play a role in your college selection?

As a freshman I attended Garden City CC where my major was sports and fitness. if it weren’t for the New York Nine I honestly don’t know where I would be today. After Garden City, I transferred to Alfred State College where I finished my Sophomore year. At Alfred State, I was a 2nd Team All-Conference catcher and was 3rd in the NAIA in runners caught stealing. When I completed my junior college years I transferred to Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia (NAIA Nationally ranked 4th in the country). At BPC, I was 2nd Team All-Conference and lead the nation in runners caught stealing, and our team advanced to only its second ever NAIA College World Series. My Senior year, I was again named to the All-Conference team and was handed the Southern States Athletic Conference Gold Glove Award at the catcher position.

How did the Nine prepare you for the challenges and obstacles faced in your daily life?

I wasn’t one of the top recruits at my school and was thrilled when Coach Millman added me to the Scout Team roster because the New York Nine Scout team was the best in the area. Our pitching staff that year was probably one of the best in the nation. we probably had 3 or 4 guys drafted on that staff and I was pretty much in control every game, playing in big stadiums and in front of big crowds. I honestly think that contributed greatly to my growth as an adult. Learning how to control your emotions in front of hundreds or thousands of people isn’t very easy but with that New York Nine team, everything felt easy, especially with the amount of talent we had.

What is your current occupation?

I am currently working for Cintas Corporation as a Service Sales Representative and proud New York Nine Coach.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I honestly listen to all kinds of music. I was raised in New York, and going to school in Kansas really opened my eyes and ears to different cultures, so I would have to say country music, rap and hip hop. I am a huge Jason Aldean fan when it comes to country music and Jay-Z is my favorite rapper, who I love to listen to when I work out. What a mix!

Who are the most influential people in your life?

The most influential people in my life have always been my mother, brother and sister. I am the youngest of three and with all of their life experiences they’ve taught me rights and wrongs. They always guided me away from harm and always encouraged me to do what I love. They were always my biggest baseball supporters from Little League all the way to my final college game in Georgia, which they attended.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Ten years from now I can picture myself opening my own baseball facility. But, meeting all kinds of people throughout my baseball journey has made me very flexible, and 10 years from now is a long time so we’re just going to have to see what the future holds.

If you could share one message with current or future New York Nine players and their families, what would it be?

If your child wants to play baseball in an environment that represents the real world and professional baseball, New York Nine is the place to be. The things they will experience throughout the summer can change a young athlete’s life forever. I played in New York all my life as a kid and my first trip out of state was with the New York Nine and I will be forever grateful. I have been a coach here for 4 years and I always try to give the kids an even better experience than I had as a player here. I like to maintain a professional and caring relationship with my players because at the end of the day, baseball helps us gain an appreciation for all types of people and how life really works.

Any closing thoughts?

I appreciate everything that the New York Nine has done for me in my life. This is the best organization I know and it is why I have been apart of it for 10 years. This is a family that has built bonds to last forever. So from my family to the New York Nine family, congratulations on a successful 10 years of great baseball, friendships and brotherhood and I hope to be apart of another 10 years.

New York Nine: A Decade of Excellence

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The start of the summer season marks the 10th anniversary of the New York Nine. In our first decade, we have enjoyed watching hundreds of our athletes enter the collegiate and pro ranks as well as the workforce and gone on to great success. Now that some of our alumni have begun to have families of their own, one of the the things that we have learned is helping our current players and families connect with our alumni and their families is very important. Our off field focus this year will be connecting with our alumni. We will be doing alumni player capsules over the course of 2016. Each player has a story to tell and an experience to share, and collectively, their stories and experiences make the New York Nine.

Unfortunately we had our database crash and we lost many of our alumni contacts. We are asking any and all New York Nine/Team New York alumni to contact us at alumni@newyorknine.org.

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