Set against the vast youth sports-industrial complex, the film follows the rise and fall of an ex-minor leaguer, coach and father named James “Grit” Douglas and his Southern California travel baseball team, the Storm. Through the growing business of sport, Grit’s come a long way since his days of T-ball and playing the game for fun. His main goal now as a coach is to get his prodigy flame-throwing pitcher, Skylar Sinclair, drafted. That objective quickly descends into a personal vendetta, when Skylar is poached by Paul Higgins, the manager of the elite, big budget Dallas Select travel team. To right this perceived wrong, Grit makes it his mission to take a borderline player, just as he once was, the Storm’s shortstop Tremaine Jackson and drill him to the elusive “next level”. To complicate matters, Tre and Skylar were close friends until the poaching, which has now made them bitter competitors. Even worse, Grit’s new obsession with getting Tre drafted is driving a wedge between Grit and Avalon, his soccer phenom daughter who now feels as if she’s an afterthought to the Travel Ball system.
And for good reason, Grit then dips into the family savings to fly Tre to the Dominican Republic, where baseball is a way of life, a culture unlike the trappings of the status-driven, American youth travel and club development system. Already wrestling with the language barrier, Tre quickly realizes he’s a fish out of water competing against stronger, equally talented Dominican teen athletes, many from impoverished homes. Slowly, Tre learns the underbelly of the sport from the DR players and Grit’s former teammate, Coach Lil’ Papi who’s crafted the games of Major League Baseball All-Stars. Tre, unexpectedly, also discovers Grit’s agenda is also not so altruistic. At the same time, Avalon competes against a European 17U women’s’ football club team and learns she’s not alone with a father who overlooks his daughter.
This tees up the intense third act drama between Grit vs Tre, Tre vs Skylar, Grit vs Higgins, then ultimately Avalon confronting her misguided father. Then, as the film hurls towards its sizzling inside pitch of a finish, the Storm win their way to a national tournament against the very Dallas Select. Here at a seemingly winner-take-all moment, Tre realizes the depth to which his own coach Grit has stumbled and has a chance to compete against the projected #1 draft pick Skylar. Tre sees something more however, he sees the only way out, by once again embracing the spirit of the game he grew up with and loves. Somewhere in this searing competition between hope, money and the love of a simple game, lies the heart center of the human journey.