By Bob Elliott
For the first time there won’t be any Canadian talent on display at the annual Futures Game on July 12.
Major League Baseball along with MLB.com and Baseball America select the best young prospects who make up the Team USA and the World rosters. This year’s game at the Great American Park in Cincinnati won’t see anyone carrying a Canadian flag during pre-game ceremonies.
Before you cancel your Baseball America subscription or quit clicking on MLB.com you should know a few things:
While this was one of the best June drafts for Canucks since 2002, the total number of Canadians in the minors was at 54 when it came time to make the selections.
The likes of OF Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC), C Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC), SS Sean Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.) RHP Jared Mortensen (Abbotsford, BC), LHP Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, Ont.), LHP Shane Dawson (Drayton Valley, Alta.) and 3B Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) all could having been considered.
Yet, all committed to defend Canada’s Pan Am gold medal, meaning that they were not eligible.
And finally, candidates had to be selected from lists of players approved by clubs in order to be named. Each team approves 2-to-6 candidates. And not one Canadian made the list.
OF Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Toronto Blue Jays, RHP Nick Pivetta (Victoria, BC) of the Washingtion Nationals, LHP Evan Grills (Whitby, Ont.) of the Houston Astros, Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ont.) of the Minnesota Twins and 3B Eric Wood (Pickering, Ont.) of the Pittsburgh Pirates would have been possible suggestions.
It’s like that race track expression: you can’t win if you don’t bet.
In this case, you can’t be selected if he’s not on the approved list.
And zero Canadians were on the approved list.
Since 1999 25 players have been named to the Futures Game with Justin Morneau, Brett Lawrie Erik Bedard and Aaron Myette each being named twice.
Futures Game Participants (1999-2014)
Name Year Team
Phillippe Aumont 2008 Mariners
Erik Bedard 2001, 2002 Orioles
Jeff Francis 2004 Rockies
Tyson Gillies 2009 Mariners
Rich Harden 2003 A’s
Shawn Hill 2003 Expos
George Kottaras 2006 Padres
Pierre-Luc LaForest 1999 Devil Rays
Brett Lawrie 2009, 2010 Brewers
Jordan Lennerton 2013 Tigers
Kyle Lotzkar 2012 Reds
Adam Loewen 2005 Orioles
Trystan Magnuson 2010 Blue Jays
Scott Mathieson 2005 Phillies
Russell Martin 2005 Dodgers
Chris Mears 1999 Mariners
Justin Morneau 2002, 2004 Twins
Aaron Myette 1999, 2000 White Sox
Ntema Ndungidi 2000 Orioles
James Paxton 2011 Mariners
Dalton Pompey 2014 Blue Jays
Michael Saunders 2007 Mariners
Scott Thorman 2003 Braves
Rene Tosoni 2009 Twins
Phillippe Valiquette 2010 Reds