Quantrill passes on Wrigley impresses at East Coast
* RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) turned down a trip to Wrigley Field to pitch for Canada in Italy and now he’s in Korea with the Canadian Junior National Team ready for the Worlds to begin. Photo: Alexis Brudnicki ….
By Alexis Brudnicki
With this year’s draft in the bag, signees signed and having now almost completed their first season of pro ball, and with college recruits settling into their respective dorm rooms, this could be a good time to take a glance at what next year’s draft has to offer.
North of the border, there is one name for 2013 that already stands out among the rest.
The young right-hander has already turned several heads, and will have a chance to turn a few more before next June rolls around. Decision-making time will be especially tough for Quantrill, however, with a commitment to Stanford University already two months in the books.
When Stanford first came into the picture, it sounded as if school might be a lock for the 17-year-old who exudes intelligence even in just short conversations. But the professional route is far from the back of his mind now.
“I was just formally accepted a couple weeks ago, but [I made the commitment] a couple months ago now,” Quantrill said. “But who knows? Maybe I won’t be going there.”
Maybe, as the pitcher alluded to, he will skip school for now and take the pro route. Either way, it’s possible that he will be following in his father Paul’s footsteps.
The elder Quantrill went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, then headed into pro ball. He played the majority of his days with the Toronto Blue Jays, also spending time with his original team the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and Florida Marlins.
Cal will have plenty of experience and wisdom to draw from when he makes his choice next summer.
“I don’t have an advisor but my dad would be the closest thing for me to that,” the teenaged Quantrill said. “And he’s open. If I said I wanted to go pro, I’m going pro. There’s no pressure to do either one. So I’m really looking forward to it.
“I guess it kind of depends how next year goes and if I’m the kind of guy that it would be worth going in the draft or not. He’ll definitely help make my decision but it’s in my hands. He’ll give me advice but I’ve got the final decision.”
One thing seems to be for sure, and that is the fact that Cal is likely to make an intelligent and informed decision. There’s a reason that he’s committed to Stanford, though he downplays his off-the-field gift.
“I don’t know if I’m the smartest guy, but I work real hard at school,” Quantrill said. “My parents have always really put pressure on school, that it’s important as well, so Stanford is a really good match for me. I looked at other really good schools, but I think Stanford was probably the best mix of both.”
Just getting into the elite university is an accomplishment, and the ballplayer says it says it wasn’t easy.
“I think I got 2040 or something like that [on the SAT],” Quantrill said. “Those things are hard. I was in there for like six hours doing that thing. I didn’t have to do it again; I got lucky there. And they didn’t make me take the subject test, which was key because I wasn’t looking forward to going back.”
One shot was all he needed at school, and he’ll have his shot at pro ball in the near future.
Heading off to the IBAF 18U World Championships in Seoul, Korea, there is plenty of talent on the Canadian junior roster that will take part. But head coach Greg Hamilton believes that the native of Port Hope is the player to watch out for.
“Cal Quantrill, obviously Paul’s son, is a special talent,” Hamilton said. “He has the opportunity to go to Stanford University to be able to play the game. And Cal can really compete. He loves to pitch in games that matter and he makes pitches.
“He’s going to be a very, very good pitcher. He’ll have the opportunity obviously to consider the school route but I think he’s going to open a lot of eyes from a professional perspective, too, by the time his draft comes around.”
Quantrill missed out on the opportunity to open some eyes when he opted out of attending the Under Armour All-America Classic. He and Gareth Morgan were the lone Canadians extended an invitation, but while the game was being played at Wrigley Field, they were heading into the first day of the Italian Baseball Week Tournament in preparation for the world championships. He did impress at the East Coast Professional Showcase (see below).
“That was a pretty cool thing,” Quantrill said of being invited to the Under Armour game. “I mean, those are the best players in the States and it’s an honour that I would even get chosen to play with those guys. I was looking forward to it, but this is a pretty good substitute.”
The right-handed hurler is looking forward to the competition, but knows that his team needs to be prepared to win right out of the gate.
“It’s key that we place pretty high in our group obviously, but I think the biggest challenge is we have to get off to a good start against some of those big teams,” Quantrill said. “We can always put up a good fight against the Australias and the Italy, but it’s South Korea and the Chinese Taipei that we really need to play against. If we can’t beat them, we’re not winning the thing.”
And “winning the thing” is definitely something that Quantrill believes is in the realm of possibility for Team Canada.
“I think we have a pretty good team,” he said. “We have really good pitching. We hit off and on, but when we hit, we hit well. So I really think if we get on a little streak, we could do something. The U.S. is overall a better team, everyone knows that, but if you have one good day, well, it’s baseball. We can beat them.”
CONOR GLASSEY writes in Baseball America — RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) was one of standouts who caught his eye at at East Coast Professional Showcase:
Another pitcher with big league bloodlines, Cal’s dad Paul pitched in the majors from 1992-2005 and was an all-star in 2001. Cal has a thin build at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds with long arms and legs, though he also showed good athleticism and fielded his position well. Quantrill’s fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range with good downhill plane and some armside run. His second best pitch is a changeup around 75-76 mph and he threw a couple sliders at 79 mph. Quantrill showed a clean delivery and worked quickly during his outings. Quantrill showed excellent poise on the mound. That should come as no surprise considering his background and the fact that, as a member of the Canadian Junior National Team, he’s used to pitching against college and pro hitters. With an SAT score of 2040, Quantrill was also one of the brightest students at the event and is committed to Stanford.