By: Holly McNeil
Canadian pitching prospect Carson Perkins had a great 2015 and is looking to continue the trend into 2016.
The Bienfait, Sask., native saw a year full of tournament wins, MVP awards, and a collection of other accolades.
The 17 year-old attends Vauxhall Academy, a baseball-specific high school in Alberta, the same school as three of his Tournament 12 teammates. The school allows students to play and practice more than most other schools would.
“It's good, it's a spot for guys to go and get their work in, the coaches are great,” said Perkins. “(When) I went there I wasn't that much involved in (baseball) and it totally switched around.”
At last year’s T12 tournament, Carson and his Prairie teammates were able to upset the reigning champs from Quebec, and Perkins was named the tournament’s MVP after pitching nine innings of two-run ball over two winning starts.
“My team won gold, and I was the MVP,” Perkins said. “It was awesome, it was so surprising, I literally found out after the very last game on the field”
The right-handed pitcher stands at a towering 6’ 5” and has a reputation as a guy that his T12 teammates loved playing behind.
Prairie catcher John Malainey told Canadian Baseball Network that Perkins was a guy that the boys loved to play behind, that he “gave 110 per cent” all the time, and that he would cheer them on from the bench or the field.
“I'm a very high energy, naturally high energy guy,” Perkins said. “So when the guys are hitting and stuff I like to joke around and try and be a positive influence I think, and then when I go out everyone seems to step up behind me so it's awesome, it's a great feeling.
Perkins idolizes Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman for the way that he plays the game. Stroman was a quick crowd favourite because of his energetic style, and the way he interacted with his teammates.
“I like how he's so high energy the energy that he brings to the team and to the game is crazy,” Perkins said. “As soon as he got out there as soon as he was back out you see everyone starting to fall in love with him and the energy that he brings, he's a cool guy”
Perkins got lucky as he just happened to see Stroman while at the Roger Centre.
“I met him in Toronto. It was cool, I came in, I was on the mound I walked in the dugout, he was standing outside the dugout watching the game standing alone.” Perkins said. “I walked straight over there and talked to him for about five minutes it was just really cool to be able to talk to him for even just five minutes.”