*The 2014 Major League Baseball Draft is quickly approaching and this years class of Canadians is looking strong as the final pre draft showcases near and the big day approaches. 2014 Canadians in College Letters of Intent 2014 Canadian draft list 2013 Canadians in the Minors 2015 Canadian draft list
By Bob Elliott
With the annual June amateur draft of high schoolers and collegians nine weeks away, scouts are bearing down and players are headed into the home stretch. Gareth Morgan and the Ontario Blue Jays headed to Perfect Game’s High School Showdown Tournament in Fort Myers Thursday.
As for the 2014 draft:
The No. 1 Canadian is OF Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays and the Canadian Junior National Team. Morgan didn’t impress all that much according to some scouts in Florida as he had two doubles and four RBIs facing first and second year pros.
In Arizona with the Langley Blaze he was as hot as the desert collecting seven hits against the young farmhands of the Cubs, Padres, Brewers, Reds. Morgan homered, doubled and made a fine running catch against the Cubs. At Mesa he went over protective screen into parking lot during batting practice.
At Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, he pun Brandon Morrow’s cap at with a comeback liner through the box.
He went to Fort Myers for the National High School Showdown but did not see much in the way of strikes.
Morgan, who has committed to North Carolina State, is a rarity amongst Canadians. Can you name the last five Canadian outfielders, with enough range, speed and power to play right field.
* RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) Central Arizona College
Two-hit, seven strikeouts in complete-game 6-0 win over Yavapai ... Now 6-3 with a 3.02 ERA ... 79 Ks and 15 walks in 53 2/3 IP ... Other wins over Gateway, Southern Idaho, Okanogan, Northeastern, South Mountain ... 4 double-figure K outings ... Drafted in 20th round by Reds (‘12) ... Ranked 91st on Allan Simpson’s top 200 JUCO prospects (down from 66th) ... 3rd best on PG’s top 92 JUCO in Az
* OF Jean-Francois Garon (Terrebonne, Que.) of the Royals de Repentigny and the Junior National Team.
Garon was a quarterback before switching to the diamond. “He’s fearless, he’s raw but there is plenty there to work with,” said one top evaluator. “He has size, arm, hands, speed.” ... Garon had five hits including a double against the Detroit Tigers and tripled against the St. Pete’s ... “Some may think he’s better off and going into next year’s draft,” said a scout.
* 3B-C Mitchell Robinson (Cloverdale, BC) Langley Blaze/Canadian Junior National Team.
7-for-13, 2 Ds, T in Az ... HR vs. Phillies, Double off Brandon Morrow, plus 3 other hits in FLA ... Good arm strength ... Has shown good bad speed ... Committed to Florida International ... 251st on PG top 500 list (down from 242nd) ... Robinson was MVP as Langley beat the Vauxhall Jets 11-3 in Kamloos going 3-for-3 with a triple and two doubles raising his stock.
* RHP Cody Chartrand (Nanaimo, BC) Lewis-Clark State College
5 BBs, 11 Ks, in 9.2 IPs ... 4 Saves, 1-0, 1.86 in 7 G, 1 GS ... Had been 93-94 MPH ... 9th on PG’s top 25 prospects in NAIA ... 2nd on PG’s top 7 college list in Idaho
* RHP Zachary Pop (Brampton, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays, Langley Blaze and the Canadian Junior National Team.
5 IPs, 5 Ks, 0 H fastball 84-91 MPH at Fort Myers ... 3 IP, 2 Ks, three 2 BB, 2 H vs. Salisbury Knights ... 88-91 MPH vs. Padres in Az. with better slider ... 4 BB, 3 Ks in 5 IP vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers ... 253rd on PG top 500 list (down from 244th)
* OF Brian Doran (Ayr, Ont.) Maine Black Bears
Six doubles, two triples, nine RBIs ... .315, .784 OPs in 24 games ... 3rd on PG’s list of top 17 college players in Maine.
* INF Robert Byckowski (Etobicoke, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays and the Canadian Junior National Team.
Doubled in three runs to beat the Future Stars Baseball in Fort Myers ... HR, 2 RBIs vs. Faith Baptist ... One scout compares him to Jamie Romak without as strong an arm ... Projects as a first baseman ... Committed to Florida Gulf Coast University.
* 1B-LHP Mitchell Bigras (Sarnia, Ont.) Great Lake Canadians/Canadian Junior National Team
Asks one scout after multiple looks: “What is he? A pitcher of a position player?” ... 2 scoreless vs. St. Pete’s JC ... 2 BB, 4 Ks in 4 IP ... 58% of pitches for Ks ... 1 H in FLA ... Compared to John Olerud by Sandy Alomar at T12.
* INF-RHP Matt Lloyd (Okotoks Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs Academy/Team Northeast/Canadian Junior National Team
3-for-9 in FLA ... 2 BB, 3 Ks in 5.1 IP vs. pros in FLA ... Named to PG all-tourney team in Phoenix in September ... 2013 Underclass Honorable Mention
* LHP Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, Man.) Vauxhall Academy Jets /Canadian Junior National Team
85-88 MPH in spring ... 4 BB, 5 Ks in 5.2 IP vs. Toronto Blue Jays plus inter-squad game ... Touched 90 MPH at MLB camp in Vauxhall ... Committed to Stetson University
*LHP Kurt Horne (Sooke BC) Langley Blaze/Dbacks Team BC/Canadian Junior National Team
84-87 MPH with decent curve in Az ... One unearned run against the Reds with 3 K in 3 IPs, 1 hit, 1 BB ... Touched 90 with a better curve against the A’s double-A lineup.
* RHP Skylar Janisse (Maidstone, Ont.) Langley Blaze/Central Michigan University
3 IP, 3 Ks, 3 R vs. Cubs extended in Az. at 88-90 MPH ... Academically ineligible - a draft like Keaton Briscoe? ... Drafted in 34th by NY Yankees (‘11)
* RHP-INF Michael Foster (Pickering, Ont.) Northeastern University
92 MPH for SV vs. Central Michigan, ... 5 BB, 8 Ks, in 9 IP ... 4 SV, 1-0, 3.00 in 6 G ... Opp. Avg. .188 ... At the plate: D, T, HR, 14 RBIs ... .289 in 23 G, .721 OPS ... Interest from M’s, NYY, NYM, Angels, Rangers, Rays, Braves, DBacks, Phillies, A’s, Padres, Cubs
* RHP Daniel Procopio (Toronto, Ont.) Seminole State College
6 BBs, 9 Ks in 7.2 IP ... 0-1, 7.04 ERA ... Drafted by NY Mets in 2013 (22nd round) ... Rated 73rd on Perfect Game’s top 200 JUCO prospects
* OF Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.) Great Lake Canadians/Dbacks Team BC/Canadian Junior National Team
3 hits, 2 triples vs. Mid Atlantic Rookies at Jupiter ...