The Elite Development Invitational is a joint effort on the part of Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Asociation and USA Baseball to further promote the involvement and development of aspiring ballplayers across the country. Working off of the success of the Breakthrough Series in providing rising junior and senior high school players exposure to the next levels of the game, the EDI will serve as a conduit to engage and mentor players through their development within the sport.
In 2017, Major League Baseball and USA Softball introduced EDI Softball with girls participating from across the country and Puerto Rico. The coaching staff included five Olympans, inlcuding Jennie Finch.
Each July, more than 200 young ballplayers ages 12 - 16 participate in the once-in-a-lifetime training experience featuring many former MLB players as coaches and mentors. Camp instructors have included Jerry Manuel, Dusty Baker, Maury Wills, Regie Smith, Eric Davis, Tom "Flash" Gordon, Homer Bush, Endy Chavez, Lou Collier, Bob Didier, Dave Gallagher, Marquis Grissom, Edward Guzman, Jeffrey Hammonds, Mickey Hatcher, Ken Hill, Ron Jackson, Ken Landreaux, Leon Lee, Rob Picciolo, Chris Speier, Michael Tucker, Lenny Webster, Dmitri Young and visits from Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Ken Griffey, Jr. Kids received training in all aspects of game fundamentals and character development. Additionally, classroom scenarios provided them insight into academics, social media, collegiate recruiting, NCAA compliance, health and wellness, along with hearing personal experiences of their acclaimed coaches.
EDI expanded to softball in 2017. The camp welcomed young women from across the country and Puerto Rico for a five-day camp as an extended version of the Breakthrough Series. It is a highly intense program that mirrors' the USA Softball Women's National team's training camps, giving the players an opportunity to see what life is like as they prepare for International Competitions and the Olympics. The week includes staff introductions, seminars, special guest speakers and specialized coaching instruction to players pursing collegiate careers.
Special guests at the Baseball EDI camps have included Commissioner Rob Manfred, Joe Torre, Harold Reynolds, Tony Clark, Jerry Manuel, Dave Winfield and Ken Griffey, Jr. , and for Softball, Jennie Finch, and Jenny Topping, among other top elite athletes serving as coaches for the youth athletes. They each addressed the groups emphasizing the experiences learned at camp and how to implement their learned skills in life and on the baseball and softball fields.