Daniel Descalso to Represent Team USA

Daniel Descalso was one of 23 players named to the Team USA World Cup squad on Thursday.

St. Louis Cardinals' prospect Daniel Descalso was among 23 players named to the Team USA World Cup team on Thursday. The defending International Federation Baseball World Cup champions are set to defend its 2007 championship in Europe from September 9-27.

Descalso is hitting a combined .299/.372/.464 with 10 home runs and 68 RBIs between Triple-A Memphis and Double-A Springfield this season. The Cardinals drafted the University of California-Davis product in the third round of the 2007 MLB First Year Player Draft.

The 22-year-old will try to duplicate the feats of Cardinal prospects that helped the USA bring home the Gold for the first time in 33 years with a victory of Cuba in 2007. Serving as the team's leadoff man, Colby Rasmus hit .382/.500/.706 to lead the team in OPS. He was one of only two Americans named to the World Cup All-Star team. Bryan Anderson was solid behind the plate while Chris Perez pitched sparingly out of the bullpen.

Joining Descalso will be highly regarded prospects Pedro Alvarez, Justin Smoak, and Buster Posey. The Texas Rangers' Kasey Kiker, Rasmus' former high school teammate, will headline the pitching staff along with Trevor Reckling out of the Los Angeles Angels' system. The complete Team USA roster can be found here.

Manager Eddie Rodriguez will lead the USA coaching staff for the 2009 World Cup. Joining Rodriguez are pitching coach Kirk Champion, hitting coach Ernie Young, 3rd base/bench coach Jamie Quirk, bullpen coach Rolando de Armas, and auxiliary coach Jim Bowie.

The World Cup Team will train from September 2-6. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The team is scheduled to begin tournament play on September 10 in Regensburg, Germany. In its first game of the Cup, the US will take on the usually formidable Venezuelan team. Joining them in Pool E play are Germany and China.

Players eligible for selection were those not currently on 25-man Major League Baseball rosters.

Editor's update: In a change from our original article, the Cardinals still plan to send Descalso to the Arizona Fall League once his Team USA commitment has concluded.

Dustin can be contacted at dustin@whiteyball.com.
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