Jamieson impressed A's scout Higginson

*Sean Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.) made quite an impression on scout Oakland A's Matt Higginson, so much so Higginson drafted and signed Jamieson.  

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By Bob Elliott

Sean Jamieson said Oakland A’s scout Matt Higginson blended in with the crowd.

But after watching the Canisius College shortstop when the Griffs opened in Cary, N.C., on Feb. 18, Higginson said Jamieson “made it so I had to keep coming to his games.”

That’s how well Jamieson played — standing out in a crowd of players.

Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.), a college senior, was selected by the A’s in the 19th round.

Twenty seconds later Jamieson’s phone rang. It was Higginson from inside the A’s war room in Oakland.

“I heard my name on the net and Matt phoned ... maybe 30 seconds later tops,” Jamieson said.

Higginson slept on the red-eye to Toronto Wednesday night, drove to Brantford and signed his infielder in a coffee shop.

“We met half way,” said Jamieson Thursday night from Buffalo. Jamieson flew to Phoenix Friday for the start of the A’s mini camp and then will be assigned to a short-season club, possibly rookie-class Burlington, Vt.

“I didn’t really care (about the signing bonus), I wanted a chance, I just want to play. I’d talked to Matt only once before, but he said he was at our games.”

Higginson also drafted 3B Eric Wood (Oshawa, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays, who the A’s will “monitor through the summer.”

While Higginson was blending into the crowed watching Canisius, Jamieson shared Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year honours as he hit .350 in 57 starts with 13 doubles, two triples, 13 homers, 51 RBIs and a 1.100 OPS.

His double play partner Steve McQuail, selected in the 30th round a year ago by the Blue Jays, told him when he arrived in Dunedin he found another level of coaching.

“The next few days will be so much learning, I can’t wait to learn,” Jamieson said. “I can’t get wait to get on the field, I’m excited — maybe too excited — but when they hand me that uniform ...”

The shortstop said Mike McRae (Niagara Falls, Ont.)  the only Canadian coaching an NCAA Div. I school, helped get him ready for the draft and what lies ahead. The Jays selected two Canisius Canucks: reliever Chris Cox (St. George, Ont.), in the 39th round and lefty Shane Davis (Belmont, Ont.), in the 42nd. The Jays also had interest in Jamieson.

The A’s scout was at Canisius when Jamieson came up in the bottom of the 10th, his team down a run and hit an 0-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a walk-off win.

“You see a guy do that in a pressure situation, well he was an easy guy to like,” said Higginson. “It’s nice to see an under the radar guy get a chance. Just because a guy’s not a guy in high school doesn’t mean he won’t be.”

In Oakland Jamieson’s video was shown and Higginson spoke to scouting director Eric Kabota and others.

“I see him as a guy who can play the middle, he can stay at short, but he also could play second or third,” Higginson said. “He has an average arm, is an average runner, is strong defensively and has a chance to hit for average with some power, He’s pretty determined.”

Jamieson played for Mel Oswald’s Canadian Thunderbirds and without a scholarship offer was set to attend the University of Western Ontario.

Then he headed to Niagara County Community College.

“I was really small and we were one of the worst teams in western New York,” said Jamieson. Coach Matt Clingersmith brought in “a bunch of Ontario kids who didn’t have scholarships to go elsewhere.”

The group included the likes of: C Evan Baglieri (Niagara Falls, Ont.); INF Brendan Burns (Woodstock, Ont.) , OF Ryan Dea (Dunnville, Ont.) RHP Ray Gonzalez (Markham, Ont.),  INF Dylan Little (Melbourne, Ont.),  INF Ryan Malhotra (Oakville, Ont.), RHP Paul McKenna (Oakville, Ont.),  1B Ryan Turner (Pickering, Ont.),  RHP Matthew Whidden (Hamilton, Ont.), RHP Cameron Cartwrigh (Newmarket, Ont.), LHP David Hucsko (Cambridge, Ont.),  LHP Devin Karlson (Kitchener, Ont.), 1B Jordan Windisc (Oakville, Ont.) and  C Tyler Windisch (Oakville, Ont.).

By the second year they went to the Junior College World Series in Tyler, Tex. McCrae recruited Jamieson to Canisius College where he wouldn’t just blend into the crowd.