* LHP Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, Man.), LHP J.P. Stevenson (Hunter River, PEI) and INF Robert Byckowski (Etobicoke, Ont.) all impressed on Day 1 of Tournament 12. .... 2014 Canadian draft list 2013 Canadians in the Minors 2013 Canadians in College Letters of Intent
MORISETTE: Day 1 Wrap
WORKOUT DAY: Naylor goes second tank
COUTO: Lefty Stevenson starts for Maritimes …
VERGE: Camping with the Alomars
By Bob Elliott
When you talk about performance on Day One at the Tournament 12 you have to talk about three players:
_ Prairies Brown LHP Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, Man. 2014) Vauxhall Academy Jets.
_ Maritimes Grey LHP J.P. Stevenson (Hunter River, PEI, 2013) Vauxhall.
_ And Ontario Maroon INF Robert Byckowski (Etobicoke, Ont. 2014) Ontario Blue Jays.
Byckowski went deep to right -- a ground-rule double -- deep to left -- a ground rule double -- against Alberta Red and then a solo homer over the centre field fence against Quebec White.
Byckowski had four at-bats against Alberta Red and reached all four times (two ground-rule doubles, two walks) and facing Quebec White homered, was hit by a pitch and popped up ... so seven at-bats, six times on base.
“He’s progressed since I last saw him at the East Coast Showcase,” said one scout.
Onyshko struck out nine in four innings against Futures Navy, including the first seven hitters of the game. After a walk he was back on track with a strikeout and a pop up. He threw 35 pitches, 28 for strikes. Pitchers enjoy starting at-bats off with a 1-1 count.
“He was 83-87 MPH, changed speeds very well, he can pitch,” said one evaluator.
Stevenson, like Onyshko a member of the Canadian Junior National Team, pitched five scoreless aginst Ontario Black, allowing one hit and two walks, while striking out nine. He threw 56 pitches, 38 for strikes.
“How ‘bout that a kid from PEI going five scoreless against an Ontario team, how many times have you seen that at the nationals?” said a scout. “Usually we don’t care who wins or get too caught up in how a kid performs, we’re too busy doing our work. I’m from a small town, I was rooting for him. It was a great underdog story. He can pitch.
“And the Maritimes have Myles Vincent going in the second game ... the boys from down East could be off to a 2-0 start. Does that could as an indicator that baseball in the country is improving -- from coast to coast. Vincent could be facing college hitters coem January.”
We came all this way for this
The Rogers Centre crowd almost went tilt as Ontario Black played Maritimes Grey. Ontario skipper Nigel Wilson made nine subsitutions lifting Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays and OF Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, Ont.) When the scouts complained (“why take out two of the top three players at the showcase, the guys we came to see hit?”) to T.J. Burton, the two were re-inserted into the lineup at different spots in the order. Each had another at-bat before the game ended as Naylor hit a major-league pop up and Orimoloye walked. Everyone went home happy -- save for the New Yorker running the MLB.com Game Day function.
Some others who impressed scouts and recruiters with their comments:
Ontario Green RF Green Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont. 2014) Ontario Blue Jays singled and knocked in a pair against BC Orange. He also stung the ball hard to short, struck out looking and reached on an error.
“In some ways this showcase is very important for him, in other ways it isn’t: people who like him have seen him do so well and people who don’t like him aren’t going to change their mind off this short a sample. And it’s early: he has more than eight months until the draft.”
Maritimes Grey RP Andrew Case (Saint John, NB, 2014) of the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs, worked two innings against Ontario Black and struck out all six men he faced. He threw 21 pitches, 15 for strikes.
“Hitters were overmatched.”
Alberta Red RHP Michael Soroka (Calgary, Alta. 2015) of the PBF Redbirds worked three scoreless allowing only two hits. However, he walked three and fanned five. Control was a problem, as he threw 52 pitches, 29 for strikes.
“He sat about 84-85 MPH.”
Alberta Red Jackson Wark (St. Alberta, Alta., 2015) allowed one unearned run in one inning.
“That young man is going to eb a hard thrower some day.”
Ontario Green Zach Pop (Brampton, Ont. 2014) Toronto Mets, pitched four innings allowing one run on two hits and a walk, while fanning five.
“Throws a heavy ball, not a lot of movement, think he projects as a reliever.”
Ontario Green C Darren Shred (Brampton, Ont. 2015) Ontario Blue Jays showed a big-time arm from behind the plate.
“I’d still like to see him pitch, he throws hard enough. I don’t know if he has a second pitch.”
BC Orange Kurtis Horne (Sooke, BC, 2014) Langley Blaze, allowed two runs on three hits and a walk.
“Pop vs. Horne was the best match-up of the day, neither hurt their stock.”
BC Orange 3B Mitchell Robinson (Surrey, BC, 2014) Langley Blaze, pulled a ball off the top of the fence in left for a double.
Futures Navy RHP Liam Munshi (Mississauga, Ont. 2015) Ontario Blue Jays matched up against Onyshko ... on the mound and almost on the strike out column, fanning six in three innings. He threw 32 pitches, 20 for strikes.
“He was 82 MPH, I liked him.”
Prairies Brown INF Reid Fritzke (Swift Current, Sask., 2014) Swift Current Indians, doubled against Munshi.
“He came out of no where on the work out day, I don’t think he was that well known outside of the province. You’ll probably seen him in a Team Canada uniform.”
Quebec White INF Louis-Phillipe Pelletier (Montreal, Que.) of Academy Baseball Canada, who clocked the fastest time on the work out day (6.44 in the 60-yard dash) had a one-out, two-run single in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie and provide a 3-1 win over Ontario Maroon.
“He’s a speedy energetic type, he’s a little like Nick Punto. Looks like he could be an offensive force. Built like a bull. A pro? Maybe. But has the make up to be a solid college player.”
Ontario Green RHP Joel Pierce (Windsor, Ont. an ex-pro FA) pitched four scoreless allowing one hit and fanning six.
“He was with the Brewers and coule get another chance.”
Ontario Maroon RHP Matthew Ianni (Ottawa, Ont., 2015) Ottawa-Nepean Canadians stepped onto the mound and threw his first pitch.,
“He’s a giant (6-foot-7) with an old-timey over-the-head delivery ... hmmm, his first pitch there was 89 MPH. Not bad."
Man, you can tell that without a gun, your eyes are good?
“Yep, I just looked up at the auxiliarry scoreboard,” said the scout.
Didn’t know that they had that working.
Ontario Maroon 1B Mitch Bigras (Sarnia, Ont. 2014) Great Lake Canadians, was hitless against Alberta Red and Quebec White.
“I’d like to see him pitch. He has a pitcher’s frame (6-foot-5, 186 lbs). He kind of casts when he swings, that’s why you saw his best bolt a fly ball to left, rather than pulling the ball to right field.”
Scouts are eager to get a look at BC Orange RHP Josh Burgmann (Nanimo, BC) of Vauxhall, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday.
8 a.m. Maritmes-Grey vs. Quebec-Blue
10:30 a.m. Alberta-Red vs. Prairies-Brown
1 p.m. BC-Orange vs. Ontario-Black
3:30 p.m. Futures-Navy vs. Quebec-White
6 Ontario-Green vs. Maritmes-Grey
8:30 p.m. Ontario-Maroon vs. Prairies-Brown
The Top 10 Speedsters
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-Tapia, Laval, Que. ABC, Quebec Blue 6.7
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 (11): Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Marked absent (six): Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Cardinals.
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.