West Michigan manager, Toledo hitting coach Leon "Bull" Durham and Erie left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly will all be headed to the 2011 World Cup and Pan Am Games, USA baseball announced on Thursday.
West Michigan native and former Detroit Tigers pitcher Andy Van Hekken was also named to the team.
The team will compete in both the IBAF Baseball World Cup in Panama City, Panama, scheduled for Oct. 2-15, and the Pan American Games near Guadalajara, Mexico, set for Oct. 20-25.
Only players who are not currently on a team's 40-man roster were eligible.
USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler said
"We feel like we have assembled a strong team of both seasoned veterans and young players who are excited to represent their country. This will be the first time our professional team will have the opportunity to bring home two gold medals, and we look forward to taking on that challenge."
USA Baseball may not carry the cachet of some of the other national teams, but this is still a pretty nice honor for all of the men involved.
Jim Henry of Fanhouse spoke to Young last October about his pride in USA Baseball, which he won a gold medal playing for at the 2000 Olympics.
Smyly finished his first year of professional baseball, having split time between Advanced-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, with an ERA of 2.07 in 126 innings. He had 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.6 walks per nine innings.
In 2010, USA finished in third in the Pan Am Games with a tournament-best 9-1 record. That loss came to the Dominican Republic in the single elimination semifinals. Several of the players, including Mike Trout and Eric Hosmer, made their MLB debut this season.