CHICAGO – Elite Baseball Training announced today that Rick Strickland’s highly successful St. Louis Pirates Travel Baseball Club will become Elite Baseball Training – St. Louis. The Pirates, who began their fall program in 1997, then expanded into a summer program in 2007, have seen nearly 100 players sign D1 scholarships since the program’s inception. 3 former Pirates, including former 1st round pick Jake Odorizzi, are currently on Major League Rosters. Strickland voiced that it is Elite Baseball Training’s common development goals and the digital presence they have promoting players that is attractive in the move.

“As baseball guys, our focus tends to be on the field, as it should be,” Strickland said, “but in today’s recruiting world, there has to be someone in the background working for the kids constantly. Elite Baseball Training has a systematic approach to getting player information in the hands of college and pro scouts, as well as the infrastructure and staff to promote players to the schools they are interested in. It’s a big win for players that have been in the Pirates organization.”

Elite director, Justin Stone said on the merger, “It’s an exciting time for both groups. We’re happy we can provide Rick’s players the guidance and assistance in furthering their baseball careers. Personally, the St. Louis market is one I’ve been interested in because of my ties to the city and Southern Illinois. It gives us an opportunity to attract talent from a larger geographic region. With the number of high end players continuing to grow under the Elite Baseball Training umbrella, it will make our organization that much more attractive to scouts looking for future players.”

The Elite / Pirate merger will begin this fall, with full integration happening by November, Stone stated.

Elite Baseball Training is a national player development and travel team organization based out of Chicago. You can find them at or Twitter – @elite_baseball

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