Canes American Position Player Preview


This isn’t a second-tier team, they’re not a lesser group. Canes American is built to win championships, just like it did last summer taking home the 17U World Wooden Bat Championship at the East Cobb Complex, bettering 227 other teams.


This summer will begin the second weekend in June in Emerson, Ga. for the PBR National Team Invite and will wrap up in the same place in mid-July for the PG World Series.


We’ve put together a roster of 13 position players, and a couple of those guys could see time on the mound as well, as the Canes American team looks to defend its WWBA title and win another ring this summer.


Infielder Dixon Williams (Grimesland, N.C./D.H. Conley) is returning for his third season and was part of a dog-piling Canes squad last summer in Florida at the PG WWBA Underclass Championship. Williams, an East Carolina commitment, says that joining the Canes is one of the best decisions he’s ever made, and is looking forward to being back on the field this summer with some of those same teammates from last year.


“I’m looking forward to the first tournament and seeing all the old guys and meeting the new guys,” Williams said. “Canes baseball has prepared me for baseball and life in so many ways. All of my coaches have helped me grow not only as a baseball player but a better man. They have helped me reach my goal of playing at the next level and have prepared me for it and for that I am forever thankful.”


One of our newcomers who will feature heavily in the outfield is Daniel Love (Falls Church, Va./Fredericksburg Christian). Currently uncommitted, Love believes that joining the Canes is going to help him become a better player as he’s around players who share the same drive to become the best they can possibly be.


“This program has guys who are dedicated to the game and it is very nice to share the field with guys who are just as passionate as you,” Love said. “This summer I am most looking forward to playing at the highest level possible and winning a championship. The Canes have a culture of winning and that is something I am very excited to experience firsthand. I look forward to being able to go into every tournament and game and expecting to win.”


Middle infielder Connor Rasmussen (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) returns this summer knowing what winning with the Canes feels like. An East Carolina commitment, the left-handed hitter says that playing for the Canes has helped him become a better player because he sees the best competition week in and week out.


“My most memorable moment with Canes is winning the WWBA championship last fall. It was great to see all of the hard work that we put in all year pay off in winning a championship,” Rasmussen said. “Canes has helped me become a better player because we face the best competition in the country. You know you’re going to see everybody’s best arm because you know that want to be the team to beat you. Every time you step on the field the coaches have something to tell you that will help you and develop you as a player.”


Outfielder Bryce Blaser (Newport Beach, Calif./New Harbor) is suiting up with the Canes for the second straight summer and he, like so many others on the roster, cherished winning the title in Fort Myers, Fla. last fall. Currently uncommitted, Blaser is eager to meet his new teammates and reunite with his old ones.


“After all of the rain delays we were able to win four straight on the last day and win the tournament. Winning WWBA was something you want to do and being able to do it was something I won’t forget,” Blaser said. “Canes has helped me develop into a better player by putting me in the best situations to succeed and play against the best competition. I’ve developed me into a more knowledgeable player in all aspect of the game with great coaching each year.”


College of Charleston commitment Taye Robinson (Clarksburg, Md./Clarksburg) is in his second season with the Canes and he attributes some of his success to the coaching he received last year. An infielder who could see action at any position, Robinson says he’s ready to be back around the “brotherhood” in the Canes dugout. 


“Canes has developed me to be team player. The coaches have pushed me to be the best I can be and if I was struggling in any aspect, they helped me get out of the struggle by giving me amazing tips,” Robinson said. “I joined the Canes because I know it’s the best organization in the world. I would see the Canes at tournaments I would go to and it looked like an amazing experience and an amazing brotherhood that I wanted to be a part of.”


One of our long-tenured Canes is corner infielder Cameron Burgess (Southport, N.C./South Brunswick), who could also see some time on the mound as a right-handed pitcher. Back for his fifth season, the East Carolina commitment says he’s seen growth in his game and leadership abilities because of his time with the Canes.


“I have developed better leadership skills and always having the drive to get better any chance I get. Every season I play with the Canes I end the year better than I started, as a baseball player and an individual,” Burgess said. “My most memorable moment while playing with the canes has to be winning the 2020 PG Underclass Championship. That tournament really brought our team together and we drove each other to our full potential. We all took one game at a time and that eventually lead us to winning the tournament.


Also back for his fifth season with the Canes is outfielder and first baseman Eli Serrano (Gainesville, Va./Patriot), who could also feature on the mound as a pitcher. A commitment to N.C. State, the left-hander was also a big part of the 14U National Team that won the WWBA Championship three years ago. 


“I can’t wait to get back with the boys this summer to play. There’s nothing like the bond with the guys you play with in the summer,” Serrano said. “Playing with the Canes has upped my game tremendously. They helped me become the player I am today and helped me get the exposure I needed.”


One of the men behind the dish for us this summer is catcher Cannon Peebles (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover), who is committed to play his college baseball at Old Dominion. Peebles, in his first year with the team, is ready to get to know his new teammates and compete for championships.


“In the past I have been on teams that show up and aren’t mentally nor physically prepared. Showing up for a game/tournament with canes I know will be different and we will all be pushing each other to get better,” Peebles said. “One of the main reasons I wanted to join the Canes was the fact that I will be able to surround myself with the best players possible who all want each other to be better. Another reason is the coaching. I want to develop fast as a player and be able to play competition as much as possible.”


Corner infielder Judd Utermark (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) has four years with the Canes under his belt as well and is back with aspirations to win more than just the WWBA championship in Fort Myers last year. A commitment to Ole Miss, the right-handed power hitter is ready to get back on the field with his teammates this summer.


“Canes Baseball has offered me with some of the most talented coaches I could ever imagine. Their skills and knowledge about the game has taught me many different skills,” Utermark said. “I am looking forward to seeing former teammates and being able to reconnect with them. Playing with guys I’ve already been able to compete with is always fun and I am looking forward to it. I can’t wait to see the improvement some of my teammates have made.”


One of the men patrolling the outfield for us this summer is Keenan Proctor (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian) and he has potential to hit near the top of the order as well. A commitment to UCLA, Proctor is in his first season with the Canes and will cherish his last travel ball summer before heading to the west coast.


“I wanted to join Canes because of the competitive nature of the entire program. It seems like everyone wants to win and everyone wants to be the best player on the field,” Proctor said. “I’m looking forward to the relationships with my teammates the most. Getting to be around your teammates all summer, playing the sport you love, and competing on the highest level is an unmatched experience. I am really looking forward to building relationships with my Canes teammates and contributing to the brotherhood.”

The Canes American team will also feature catcher Henry Cooke (Stuarts Draft, Va./Miller School), who is committed to Virginia Tech; middle infielder Blain Simonich (Waxhaw, N.C./Weddington), who is committed to UNC Greensboro; and utility player Aidan McDonald (Aldie, Va./Independence), who is committed to James Madison.


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