Travel baseball teams contain a high level of talent and allow players to compete against other top teams in the area. With a reputation of consistently producing the top players, elite travel teams provide select players with an opportunity to compete at a national level. These top organizations have several players on a yearly basis that commit to the best college baseball programs in the country. With this premier level of talent, it is no surprise that these teams regularly sit at the top of national travel baseball rankings.
Travel teams participate in a variety of competitive tournaments. The tournaments are mostly held throughout the Summer months to limit interference with high school baseball schedules. Having said that, there are some that still take place throughout the Spring and Fall.
Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report are probably two of the more recognizable organizations that operate tournaments for travel ball teams. Over the past 20 years, these organizations have built an immense network of high level travel teams, which ensures that every event they operate is extremely competitive.
The hundreds of tournament events that these organizations run are often highlighted by a premier national event. For instance, Perfect game’s version of this is the WWBA World Championship. This event features a collection of the top travel teams across the country and the winner is essential deemed the best travel team in the nation. With a high concentration of the top prospective college baseball players, the tournament attracts over 700 college baseball coaches and scouts. For players that are interested in playing at the next level, this is one of the highest exposure events in all of amateur baseball.
Scouting organizations and a variety of other websites publish travel baseball rankings on a yearly basis. While a team’s performance at these national events are heavily weighted, other tournaments at the regional level are still factored in. With strong performances at some of these events, a team will have a legitimate shot of making the top 50 national ranking.
Here are the top 10 travel teams from 16U through 18U. To find the full rankings from 10U through 18U, you can check out Perfect Game’s ranking page.
18U Travel Baseball Rankings
- Next Level Baseball 18u | FL
- Midland Redskins | OH
- Okotoks Dawgs 18U Black | AB
- Nelson Baseball School | GA
- East Cobb Yankees | GA
- NEB National | MA
- 643 DP Cougars 18U Beasley | GA
- eXposure 18U Prime | TN
- Mississippi Rays 18u | MS
- So Cal Renegades 18U | CA
- Canes National 17 | VA
- Florida Burn 2020 Platinum | FL
- East Cobb Astros 17U Navy | GA
- Dirtbags 17U Skrap Pak | NC
- Team Elite 17U Scout Team | GA
- Rawlings Arkansas Prospects-Menard | AR
- Scorpions 2020 Founders Club | FL
- San DIego Show | CA
- Dallas Patriots 17u Stout | TX
- NorCal Baseball Prime | CA
- Team Elite 16U Scout Team | GA
- Scorpions 2021 Founders Club | FL
- East Cobb Astros 16u | GA
- Canes National 16U | VA
- Dulins Dodgers 16U Ince | TN
- Elite Squad 16U National | FL
- Academy Select 16U Ingram | TX
- Dulins Dodgers 16U Godwin | TX
- Hit Factory PRO | FL
- Cangelosi Sparks 2021 Black | IL
Is Travel Baseball Right For You?
To be a part of one of these teams, players will have to try out or be invited to play. As mentioned before, travel baseball teams contain the top talent in the area, which means that every player won’t make the team. Before joining a travel baseball team, a player should understand the level of commitment that is required.
First and foremost, it is commitment of your time. Travel baseball teams spend a majority of their weekends participating in tournaments, especially during the summer months. Travel and overnight stays are required for some of these events, as they can span across several states. In addition to actual games, these teams practice and train regularly to prepare for the upcoming events.
There is also a significant financial commitment. With travel, tournament fees, practice facilities, and coaching staff salaries, the expenses can stack up pretty quickly. It’s not uncommon for travel baseball costs to be in the thousands of dollars for a single season. The top level organizations are even more expensive. Seeking the best competition in the region/country, these teams require more frequent and longer distance travel. These organizations also have more experienced coaching staffs and higher quality practice facilities, both of which come at additional costs.
You might be faced with the decision of joining a travel ball team earlier than you think. Most organizations start offering travel baseball teams for players that are turning ten (10U). 18U is the last age segment for travel baseball. Players that turn 19 are typically in their freshman year of college, and at that point will have different opportunities for summer baseball.
To close things out, travel baseball is not only a great opportunity for players to development their skills but it also provides for a high level of exposure to college coaches and professional scouts. Being a part of a travel organization can definitely payoff. A lot of highly recruited D1 players and MLB draft picks will tell you that their travel baseball organizations were a big reason why they were able to become some of the best players in the country..