It's staff, headed by president Randy Curtis and executive director Mike Spiers, is filled with former Major League players like hitting instructor Matt Nokes (Yankees and Tigers) and pitching instructor Terry Clark (Rangers, Angels and Orioles). There are also college coaches and professional scouts on staff.
Curtis, the president, was a two-time New York Mets Minor League Player of the Year. Spiers, the executive director, is a scout for the Boston Red Sox and the West Coast Director for Perfect Game USA.
ABD Academy started in the early 1990s as a training program to help high school players develop into college players. From there it grew into what it is today – one of the premier baseball academies and travel-team organizations not only on the West Coast, but in the nation.
"Our goal has always been to try to work with players and give them a road map on how to get to college as far as their development," Spiers said. "That's pretty much how we've always been, and we've had pretty good success with college placement for our players.
"Now it's in a situation where we're not only doing that, but we have a lot of players who are getting the opportunity to play professional baseball out of high school."
ABD will put 12 of its best teams and all of its best players on a big stage this weekend.
The ABD Bulldogs, Mustangs, NC Bulldogs, Red Dogs, Tigers and Trojans will compete at the Perfect Game/Evoshield National Championship (Upperclass) Friday through Monday (Sept. 24-27) at Goodyear Sports Complex in Goodyear, Ariz.
ABD's Boxers, Bulldogs, Nevada, Reddogs, Surfdogs and Valley Dogs will take part in the Perfect Game/Evoshield National Championship (Underclass) at Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Ariz., over the same four days.
This summer, ABD Academy fielded 35 high school age-group teams with close to 500 players. Although it was set up to serve the Southern California community, players from all over the country are welcomed. "We get a lot of players by word of mouth," Spiers said. "Players will come to us and the players we don't know anything about, we'll have a tryout."
The program produced four Aflac All-Americans this summer – third baseman/outfielder Travis Harrison (2011, Aliso Viejo, Calif.), infielder Christian Lopes (2011, Huntington Beach, Calif.), left-handed pitcher Henry Owens (2011, Huntington Beach, Calif.) and left-hander Daniel Camarena (2011, Bonita, Calif.).
Owens is Perfect Game's 15th-ranked national prospect in the high school class of 2011. Harrison is ranked 15th, Lopes 18th and Camarena 38th. Camarena has committed to the University of San Diego.