Laura Finaldi, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Some of the best young baseball players in the world will compete this month in Sarasota-Bradenton for a baseball World Cup title.

This week kicks off the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup 2021 at two local spring training venues — Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium and Bradenton’s LECOM Park. The event brings together the top 12 under-18 baseball teams from all over the world to compete in 50 games for the WBSC Baseball World Cup.

The tournament is designed to introduce fans to “tomorrow’s stars today,” according to USA Baseball; past participants include Clayton Kershaw, Alex Rodriguez, Bryce Harper and more. Teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania will participate this year.