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Drew Waters and Caleb Thielbar Named to Team USA Roster

Team USA officially announced their Premier12 roster that will attempt to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, and it feature two Braves players.

Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

Team USA Baseball made the announcement for their roster for the Premier12 baseball tournament in November, the first tournament that will give Team USA an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. The roster features 28 players, and group play will run from November 2nd through November 4th. Team USA will be in a group with Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the Netherlands and the top two teams from that group will move to the Super Round in Tokyo from November 11th to the 16th. The official website for the tournament is here and the highest finishing team from the Americas will be qualified to go to the Olympics.

The big name for the Braves going to the tournament will be outfielder Drew Waters, who Talking Chop named as our number three prospect in the system. Waters is the second highest rated outfield prospect named to the team and could see substantial playing time for Team USA although that outfield is packed with other players who had success at Triple-A this season. The 20 year old Waters is the 23rd ranked prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, and the third highest rated on the Team USA roster. He was a dominant hitter for Double-A Mississippi and finished his season with an .847 OPS there before being promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett at the end of the season. While Waters struggled some after a hot start, he still held his own in his first taste of Triple A and finished the season with a .309/.369/.459 slash line across two levels. Waters is the third youngest player on the team and one of two switch hitters on the roster.

Joining Waters will be left handed relief pitcher Caleb Thielbar, who the Braves got from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for cash considerations. The 32 year old Thielbar isn’t a prospect but he has had some major league experience with a 2.74 ERA in 98 23 innings. Thielbar has not pitched in the major leagues since a six game stretch with the Tigers in 2015, and was added to the Braves organization for relief depth at the end of August. Thielbar only pitched one game in Gwinnett, a scoreless two innings, and finished the season with a 3.22 ERA between Toledo and Gwinnett. Thielbar is one of five left handed pitchers on the roster, and one of three that have major league experience.

During the 2015 Premier12 the games were streamed on the official website as well as on the WBSC youtube channel though there has yet to be an announcement of such for this iteration of the tournament. You can find the official schedule here.

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