He may not hold the title of youngest player at this year’s Tournament 12 (as he did last year), but Adam Hall may be the most polished 15-year-old hitter in the country when he takes the field at Rogers Centre for workout day on Sept. 16.
This summer, the shortstop from London, Ont. played three levels up with the 18U Great Lake Canadians. As a player with a late birthday, he was actually eligible to play 14U.
“That’s truly amazing,” said former big-leaguer Adam Stern, a coach with the Canadians. “Comparative to his own age group, I haven’t seen anyone near Adam’s class. And he didn’t just compete at this level [18U], he stood out.”
Hall spent the year hitting in the heart of the Canadians’ lineup in tournaments and exhibition contests across Canada and the U.S. The highlight of the season for Hall was competing in the Gene Bennett Classic in Ohio, where the Canadians went 2-2 and lost by a run to two of the top 18U teams in the eastern U.S. (the Midland Redskins and the Ohio Warhawks).
“We really made a name for ourselves as an organization,” said Hall, who moved from Bermuda to London as a 12-year-old to pursue his baseball dreams. “And personally, I developed a lot, both on the mental and physical side of the game.”
He’ll still be among the youngest players at this year’s T12 event, alongside players such as INF Ryan Kula (Etobicoke Rangers) and Canadians pitcherGarner Spoljaric, as well as Tristan Pompey (Toronto Mets), whose brother,Dalton, earned a September call-up to the Toronto Blue Jays this year. Hall says his youth is a source of pride.
“I think being younger than your competition and your teammates is a great asset to your personal development,” he said. “It always provides you with challenges to overcome and you are always striving to become better than them right now, rather than two or three years from now.”
His coaches with the Canadians say they saw that all year from the youngster, who has worked equally hard on his defensive game at shortstop as he has on his hitting. A former cricket player, Hall’s instincts on the baseball diamond continue to impress coaches and evaluators alike.
“He really understands the game and he thinks the game,” said Stern. “And as impressive as his development has been physically, we saw him really mature on the mental side of the game. On a team where players were three and four years older, by the end of the season Adam was taking on a leadership role.”
With one Tournament 12 already under his belt (he went 2-for-6 with a pair of triples last year for the Futures Navy squad), Hall says he knows what to expect this time around. As for goals, the 15-year-old says he’d like to run the 60 in under 6.7 seconds on workout day. In games, he’s simply looking to showcase his talents.
“I want to show that I’m able to consistently put together good at-bats and hit the ball hard, even if I don’t get on base,” he said. “And, of course, I’d like to play solid defence.”
– Follow Todd Devlin on Twitter @ToddDevlin