CEO: John Owens
John Owens college baseball career began as a Pitcher for Palm Beach before he transferred to take the mound for University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 2002 Owens started the Charlotte Hurricanes Baseball Organization (now SBA CANES) with the dream of exposing a select group of players to the best competition in the nation while teaching an advanced level of play. This dream has evolved to 30 teams in the organization competing nationally in every age group. In 2010, Owens decided to take his vision to another level by opening “Showcase Baseball Academy” where athletes can develop their skills and learn to showcase their talents to best serve their TEAM.
Owens is President and CEO of Ameritrust and Owens Management Group; where he started in 1995. He has been awarded the Charlotte Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year award, Charlotte business Journal 40 under 40, Inc Magazines, INC 500 for 2 consecutive years, and Carolina Parent top 40 for 3 consecutive years. In 2009 and 2010 he has been awarded Top Entrepreneur by Charlotte Business Leader Magazine. Owens serves as a member of the Charlotte Chamber’s Board of Advisers and as a board member of the UNC-Charlotte Athletic Foundation. He earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of North at Carolina at Charlotte.
President: Jake Robbins
Jake Robbins is a former Major League Baseball pitcher with 6 organizations. Jake ended his career with the Chicago White Sox AAA affiliate Charlotte Knights. He appeared in major league games in 2004 for the Cleveland Indians at the age of 28. The only run he gave up was a solo home run by Jacque Jones on September 24 of that year. Since retiring before the 2008 season Jake has continued in the game of baseball by helping young baseball players achieve their dreams of playing in college and “the show”.
Jake believes he is a better teacher of pitching than he was on the mound himself. Attributing his successes in teaching to God. “God gave me the ability and opportunity to play this great game and now I want to use the knowledge that was given to me, to help kids accomplish their dreams.”
Hitting Instructor: Rafael Mendez
Showcase Baseball Academy adds Rafael Mendez to their team of instructors. Rafael is a former catcher in Minor League Baseball who played his career in the Detroit Tigers organization.
Mendez was drafted in 2002 by the Detroit Tigers in the 17th round. Mendez played 7 years with the Tigers earning a Gold Glove award in 2003 and 2004. He was invited to the “Big League Camp” in 2004 and 2005.
Rafael is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Puerto Rico where he was Captain of his varsity baseball team for 4 years. He received the MVP award his Junior and Senior year.
Pitching Instructor / College Recruiting Coordinator: Tomas Cruz
Tomas Cruz is a native of Amarillo, TX where he graduated from Amarillo High School in 2006. From there, Tomas began his college career at Seward County Community College in Liberal, KS. Tomas’ sophomore year, he anchored the Seward Saints pitching staff with an 11-3 record and a 2.22 ERA in 81 innings pitched. He struck-out a record high 85 batters and walked only 11 in 14 appearances. Cruz tossed seven complete games and two shutouts while becoming the first Saints pitcher to win 11 games since 2004. While there he was named: the Jayhawk West Most Valuable Player, First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Region VI, and named to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Baseball 2nd Team All-American.
After Seward, Cruz continued his college career by signing his National Letter of Intent to pitch at Clemson University. At Clemson, Cruz served as a bullpen pitcher for the Tigers. During his two year, Cruz helped lead the Tigers to two Super Regional Appearances and one College World Series appearance. In his final appearance as a Tiger, at the College World Series, Cruz pitched three scoreless innings in relief.
Following the CWS, Cruz went back to the west to pitch for the Liberal Bee-Jays. He posted a 2-0 record with four save and a 0.56 ERA during the regular season as a closer. In the NBS World Series, he appeared in 5 out of 8 games, picking up two wins and a save. Cruz led the Bee-Jays to a NBC World Series win, with 3 ½ innings of work allowing no hits, no runs and 5ks.
Following the 2010 season, Cruz stayed at Clemson as a student assistant pitching coach and a student assistant strength and conditioning coach. In 2011, Cruz served as the Graduate Assistant for Wingate University. There he was the pitching coach, a recruiter, and the strength and conditioning coach.
Hitting and Catching Instructor: Ryan Price
Kelsey Bruder: Hitting Instructor
Kelsey Bruder is a Corona, California native and a 2011 graduate of the University of Florida. During her softball career at UF Kelsey was a 4 time Women’s College World Series Participant and was the National Runner up twice. She was named a 2 time All- American, a 2 time Academic All-American, the 2011 SEC Player of the Year, and the 2011 Honda Award Winner citing her as the nation’s top collegiate softball player. She was also the 2011 recipient of the Ben Hill Griffin award honoring her as the best female athlete at the University of Florida. She concluded her amateur career by receiving the NCAA Top 8 Award, which is given to the 8 most outstanding athletes in all of men’s and women’s collegiate athletics.
Kelsey continued her career by playing three years of professional softball for the NPF’s USSSA Pride. From there, she began her collegiate coaching career at Murray State University before moving back to coach at her alma mater, the University of Florida. In 2013 Kelsey took a brief hiatus from softball to intern full time with the sports ministry group Athletes in Action, which serves and supports UF’s athletes who seek to grow in their walk with Christ.
Kelsey has recently moved to Charlotte and is eager to help build a softball academy that will enable girls to maximize their potential and achieve their goals.