NC State junior catcher Patrick Bailey has spent the last three weeks playing with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, and the team has just finished its final series across the world in Japan.
After defeating Cuba 4-1 in a five-game series in North Carolina, USA traveled to Taiwan where it went 2-1 against Chinese Taipei and lost in 10 innings to Taichung.
Bailey had a tough go with this stretch of games, finishing 1 for 8 with a walk in two starts. However, the Collegiate National Team went 2-0 with Bailey behind the plate and 0-2 with him on the bench.
Continuing the stretch overseas, Bailey and the USABCNT traveled to Japan for the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series. Unfortunately, Bailey couldn’t turn the bat around, going 1 for 8 in a 2-3 week for USA against Japan.
Overall, the team went 9-6 with its best showing being 4-1 against Cuba. Then it finished 2-2 in Taiwan and 2-3 in Japan. It is a step back from last year’s 12-3 record, but USA only had one series at home this summer instead of the two series in the United States last year.
Bailey split time the whole summer with Arkansas’ Casey Opitz behind the plate, essentially playing every other game since July 2. With the NC State baseball catcher behind the plate, USA went 6-3, better than the 3-3 record with Opitz as the starter.
After Bailey’s 4-for-11 start through the Cuba series with four RBIs, three runs and two walks, he finished 2 for 16 with three walks, ending his summer season with a .222 batting average. Although the numbers were down from his regular-season stats, he was facing elite-level competition without getting the start each game.
This was a huge opportunity for Bailey to show professional scouts what he can do against the best collegiate players in the world before his draft year. As a switch-hitting catcher with his skills, it should be an exciting year to see how far up the MLB draft board his name climbs.