* Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) found his home run stroke during batting practice Friday, the work out day before the start of the first annual Tourament 12. .... 2014 Canadian draft list 2013 Canadians in the Minors 2013 Canadians in College Letters of Intent
COUTO: Lefty Stevenson starts for Maritimes …
VERGE: Camping with the Alomars
By Bob Elliott
Sandy Alomar, Hall of Fame father, first met Josh Naylor in January on a walk into the Rogers Centre outfield.
And Friday, workout day, before the start of Tournament 12, Poppy Alomar saw Naylor with a business end of bat in his hand for the first time.
The 10 teams and 220 players begin play Saturday morn.
Naylor hit five consecutive homers from coach Adam Stern in batting practice, two of which landed in the second deck.
There was silence as coaches, hitters and Toronto Blue Jays scouts gathered around the batting cage watched in amazement.
The 27 scouts representing 23 teams, 25 recruiters from 18 schools and opposing pithcers in the next group watched in quiet from the Rogers Centre grandstand.
“Ah, I think the wind was blowing out on that second one,” said former Blue Jay outfielder Lloyd Moseby, who still has it ... after all these years.
Naylor may have went deep the most often during a pro scout day workout for the 221 players and 10 teams, but it was North York’s Gareth Morgan who went the farthest.
Morgan launched a long bomb into the second deck in left, which was a difficult round of batting practice since between rounds when he stepped out we counted no less than three coaches who approached him offering advice for the next round.
Morgan is the top rated Canadian for the June 2014 draft and like Naylor are teammates on the Canadian Junior National Team and the Ontario Blue Jays.
The walk ...
Behind the batting cage at the Rogers Centre in January, Jose Bautista had finished his hitting session with a group of youngsters attending the Blue Jays winter camp.
Now, it was time for questions from the young ins:
“How fast does your car go?”
“Is your house 1/2 or 1/4 the size of the Rogers Centre?”
“What was your favorite gift you ever received when you were my age?”
“Do you like Mr. Bean?”
“How many Lamborghinis do you own?”
We heard the questions and listened as Bautista handled all the answers, but we missed getting the name the Markham youngster in the funky teal jersey, who had bonked Bautista with a whiffle ball (turned out it was Jordan Korman-Moore), so we walked out to centre where players from all stations gathered for an end-of-the-day, picture taking session.
Behind second, Naylor joined on my left side said hello as we walked in step towards centre.
Two strides later, Hall of Fame father Alomar joined in on my right side.
And it went like this after the intial introductions:
Me: “Hey Poppy, you should see this guy, he can really hit.”
Alomar looked at Naylor: “How is your disipline?”
Me: “On or off the field Poppy?”
Alomar, whacking the hefty Naylor in the chest: “At the dinner table.”
Poppy Alomar was impressed with Naylor’s batting practice.
“I think he’s lost weight since January,” he said. “I don’t think weight will be a problem for him. He was outstanding. His quickness is in his hands. That was impressive for a guy who isn’t eligible until 2015.
“When you represent yourself like that you can go a long way.”
Nayor is listed 6-foot, 225 pounds.
“He’s not any bigger than Prince Fielder was when I saw him as a high school junior (grade 11),” said a veteran evaluator.
Said another: "The guys with our club say he was Canada's best hitter in Taiwan at the World Junior championships."
Moseby and a host of other coaches were impressed with Naylor’s pop.
The ones on tap
Recruiters can’t wait to see Maritimes Grey LHP Myles Vincent (Corner Brook, Nfld.). Vincent, who learned under the Island’s best in Frank Humber, is attending Prairie Baseball Academy and is eligible to trasnfer to another university in January in time to pitch this spring.
Scouts also spoke about looking forward to seeing Alberta Red’s Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) from the PBF Redbirds. He starts against Ontario-Maroon and LHP Brodie Harkness Saturday morn at 10:30.
Fastest man in the building was Quebec White INF Louis-Phillipe Pelletier (Montreal, Que.) of Academy Baseball Canada, who ran a 6.44 60-yard dash.
Ontario Black’s OF Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, Ont.) from the Ottawa-Nepean Canadian had a good day in the cage and ran a 6.5.
Prairies Brown INF Reid Fritzke (Swift Current, Sask.) of the Swift Current Indians impressed at the plate.
BC Orange C Luke Hornaski (Langley, BC) with the Langley Blaze attracted the eye of college coaches.
BC Orange C-3B Mitchell Robinson (Surrey, BC) with the Langley Blaze went deep during BP.
Ontario Maroon OF Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.) of the Great Lake Canadians, showed well.
BC Orange OF Griffy Goyer (North Vancouver, BC) from the North Shore Twins, had a strong session in the cage.
Ontario Green SS Luke Tevlin (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Terriers, showed well in all facets.
Ontario Black’s Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets impressed scouts.
Futures Navy’s OF Cooper Davis (Mississauga, Ont.), a 2017 draft, ran a 6.6.
The turf at the Rogers Centre made for faster times in the two lanes set up on the left field towards centre. Many were a few ticks better as some were last logged at the Major League Scouting Bureau camp at Connorvale last month:
INF Louis-Phillipe Pelletier Montreal ABC Quebec White 6.44
OF Demi Orimoloye Orleans, Ont. Ottawa-Nepean Canadians Ontario Black 6.5
OF Drew Simmons Scarborough, Ont. Ontario Blue Jays Ontario Black 6.56
OF Jesse Mycock-Faure Victoria, BC Victoria Mariners 6.6
OF Cooper Davis Mississauga, Ont. Mississauga North Tigers/Ontario Blue Jays Futures Navy 6.6
INF Tanner Kirwer Sherwood Park, Alta. Sherwood Park Dukes/Playmaker U/FX Academy Alberta Red 6.6
OF Gareth Morgan North York, Ont. Ontario Blue Jays Ontario Green 6.7
OF Jean Francois Garon Terrebonne, Que. Royals de Repentigny Quebec White 6.68
INF Royce Ando Mississauga Ontario Blue Jays Ontario Maroon 6.68
OF Chris Acosta, Laval, Que. ABC, Quebec Blue 6.7
Scouts on hand
Canadian-based scouts from (13): Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s, Anaheim Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Toronto Blue Jays.
U.S.-based scouts from (10): Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros.
No shows on workout day (seven): Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Schools in attendence:
University of Miami, University of Kentucky, North Carolina State, University of Missouri.
St. John’s University, Northeastern University, University of the Pacific.
University of Maine, Niagara University, Siena College, University at Buffalo, University of Akron.
Northern Kentucky, Long Island University, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lewis-Clark State College, Bryan College, Wayne State University.