Elite 2016 Looks for Championship Run With Roster AdditionsBy: Cory Zomick
Elite Baseball Training’s 2016 coaches Rich Ruffolo and Mike Ferri were excited by the talent level they saw as the team finished its first fall together. Now, after some winter roster additions, if you ask the coaches about how they feel about their team going into the summer, you’ll find both smiling from ear to ear.
Anthony Holubecki, Freddie Fitte and Jeremy Houston will join Elite in anticipation of competing for a National Title in events like the USA Baseball Championships and the Perfect Game World Wooden Bat.
Elite 15U Co-Manager Rich Ruffolo said, “I think this puts us over the top in our quest for a national championship caliber roster. Since this team first came together last fall we have had a tireless group effort in obtaining, what we feel to be, this complete roster. These three additions give us the missing components we have been looking for all year. Adding these two arms and a true middle infielder, all with outstanding ability, completes us both offensively and defensively.”
Elite Director Justin Stone went on to say, “On paper, this is a stronger team than our Perfect Game National Runner Up team of a year ago because this team goes eight deep of #1 type arms. This may be the deepest pitching staff you’ll find anywhere in the country at the 2016 level.”
Anthony Holubecki (Kanleland 2016), burst onto the exposure scene this winter. A wiry, 6’3″ pro frame with a lightning quick arm, Holubecki is the projectable type of young arm colleges look to recruit. His, already, 85 mph fastball is easy to project into a 90+ arm in a year or two.
Freddie Fitte (Notre Dame 2016), is a frontline left handed starter that is a competitor. Coach Ruffolo and Ferri had known Fitte after competing against him for years at the youth level. In addition to an already live arm, with a heavy fastball, Fitte has a long, lean and loose 6’2″ body. He will undoubtedly be one of the top left handed pitchers in this Illinois 2016 class.
Jeremy Houston (Mt. Carmel 2016), who will travel with the team to the USA Baseball Championships, is, according to Stone, “one of the top 5 position players in the 2016 Illinois class.” Houston, who plays regularly for the Chicago White Sox ACE team, has strong baseball bloodlines. His brother Jerry is a recent commit to the University of Oregon in the PAC 12.
Stone says, “Jeremy is going to follow in Jerry’s footsteps. He has a chance to be a big time college prospect. You have to have a certain amount of ’98 birthdays to compete in the USA event, and I immediately thought of Jeremy, He has a very good shot at making the National Team.”
Coach Ruffolo added, “To compete in these tournaments, several of which are the top 16U tournaments you’ll find across the nation, you need a talent pool of players, of the likes which we have. I’m excited to see these guys gel and see how far they can go together.”
Stone continued, “It’s unusual to find players like Holubecki and Fitte at this point of the year. They both had unusual circumstances with their former teams and came to us at the same time. I’m especially excited for the USA tournament as Holubecki and Houston are ’98 birthdays and have a really good shot at making the USA Baseball 40 man trials roster. Based on what I saw last year as a USA Baseball Trials Coach, we have more than a handful of guys with a legitimate shot to make that club with a good week in Arizona.”
Check out each athlete’s prospect video on their roster page.