* Greg Hamilton selects teenagers for the Mizuno camp, grade 11 and grade 12 students for the Canadian Junior National Team and big leaguers and minor leaguers for the World Baseball Classic team. ....
By Bob Elliott
The top evaluator in 2008 does not work for a big-league club.
Yet, he makes more decisions in a calendar year than anyone.
He picks the invitees to the annual Mizuno camp for the best 60 15 and 16-year-olds in Canada, the national junior team, the Olympic team and World Baseball Classic rosters.
With all of those duties and the success he has had developing at the lower levels and success getting Canada to the Olympics again, Greg Hamilton of Ottawa is the winner of the annual Canadian Baseball Network scout of the year honours.
Hamilton edged Georgetown’s Bill Byckowski (Reds) and Port Moody, BC’s Wayne Norton (Mariners).
Hamilton was named the most influential Canadian in baseball in 2007.
“The best Canadian eligible for the draft this year, like every other year, wasn’t signed by a pro team and that’s Greg Hamilton,” said Bob Engle, the Seattle Mariners head international scout.
The junior team is a year round commitment, taking players to tournaments as well as instructional camps in Florida in April, March and October. There is also a 10-day trip to the Dominican to play pro teams.
“You can pinpoint when Canadians began to succeed,” said Walt Burrows, Canadian MLB director of scouting. “Greg took the junior team to Florida the first time in 1999, with Justin Morneau and Jeff Francis. Players receive pro calibre coaching and were exposed to better competition against pros. “No wonder the players we’re developing aren’t organizational guys, they’re all-stars. Greg prepares players for college or pro ball.”
Previous scout of the year winners were Bill Scherrer of Buffalo, (Marlins); Bill McKenzie of Ottawa (Rockies); Tim Harkness of Oshawa (Padres); Cambridge’s Ed Heather (Jays); Wayne Norton of Port Moody, BC (Orioles), Walt Jefferies of Paris, Ont. (Blue Jays); Claude Pelletier (Mets) of Ste-Lezare, Que., the late Jim Kane (Braves) of Brampton, Ken Lenihan of Beford, N.S. (Major League Baseball Bureau), Dick Groch of Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Yankees), Burlington's Jim Ridley (Twins), Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC) MLB Scouting Bureau, Montreal's Alex Agostino (Phillies) and Australia's Howie Norsetter (Twins).