About the Program

Welcome to the Angels Amateur Baseball Academy

We have spent countless hours of consultation with current and former college coaches, professional baseball players, and scouts from different Major League affiliations to develop this program.  It works.  We are not re-inventing the wheel and there are no shortcuts.  We do our best to help each player grow, develop, and get exposed. We will teach you the “Angels Way” which has been extremely successful since our inception in 1983.

Play for the Angels Academy

As an Angel, there is a long history of excellence that has been paved by players from all over the state of Arizona, and some from Texas, California, and New Mexico. We expect all players to represent themselves, their parents, their teams, their coaches, and their fans with character and integrity. Each player is expected to work hard and leave the field better than when they arrived.

If you have what it takes to be an Angel, or would like more information, send an email to our Director of Player Personnel, Ryan McKinley, at ryanmckinley2001@yahoo.com. Please include your
name, phone number, and a brief description of your playing experience and qualification.



As an Angel, you will compete along side players with the same goals. Growing as a player means you understand that “getting your work in” is as important as the number of innings you play.



We are one of a few scout programs that have practices where you develop skills with the instruction of one the finest coaching staffs in the U.S. Our coaches know the game, and know how to teach it. We have coaches that have played at the major college and professional
level, at all positions. From team drills to individual instruction, you will learn the latest techniques from coaches that have played the position at the highest levels.


Get Exposure

As an Angel, there is no better place to be exposed to college recruiting coordinators and professional scouts. During the fall, Tempe Diablo welcomes college coaches and local scouts that know Mr. Gracio will assemble a talented group. These coaches and scouts love the fact that they can see and evaluate many talented players in one place.

Countless hours of consultation with current and former professional baseball players and scouts from different Major League affiliations, in addition to input from numerous college coaches has culminated in a program that offers aspiring collegiate and professional prospects one of the greatest development and exposure experiences in the United States. Led by John J. Gracio, the John Gracio Angels Amateur Baseball Program has reached more than 1,500 aspiring baseball players in the southwest.

Since it’s inception as the Chicago Cubs High School Scout Team in 1983, Mr. Gracio’s program has produced several current and former major league players. The season begins in September with the Fall Scout Team that is selected each year from talented high school juniors and seniors. These teams represent the State of Arizona in games against junior colleges in the southwest and
culminates with the Arizona Fall Classic each October. The purpose of these teams is to expose players to college level baseball and to provide an opportunity to be seen by college coaches and professional scouts. These are elite teams that have a rich tradition in putting together a highly talented group of top college and pro prospects in the state.

The program’s success speaks for itself! The program’s success rate since 1996 for placing students in college baseball programs is 92%. In addition, over 100 players have been selected in Major League Baseball’s amateur baseball draft.

In 2008, Gracio added the Angels Amateur Baseball Program to introduce the concept of organizational baseball to younger players, and create a pipeline of talent for the Scout Teams.  These teams play in the fall and summer. It is important to recognize the difference between the two programs.

Over the past 15 years, I have seen very talented high school baseball players get misguided and wind up not playing baseball at the college level. We want to be able to help the right kids find the right colleges, so they can earn a college degree while playing this great game at the next level.

Like the Fall Scout Program, the Angels Amateur Baseball Program also begins in the fall with one team in each graduating class but typically expands in the summer to offer additional opportunities to deserving student-athletes and provide our coaches with an opportunity to make proper evaluations on each player in an effort to select the elite players to the fall program. Our criteria is not always talent. We look for players that have ability, compete
and takes their individual development seriously.