BA's No. 1? Taylor, then HSers Balazovic, Shields
2016 Region Draft Report: Canada
By Hudson Belinsky
Last year was a banner year for Canadian baseball players. Calgary’s Mike Soroka and Ontario’s Josh Naylor were both selected in the first round, and other Canucks went soon after. The Reds nabbed Miles Gordon in the fourth round, and the Brewers pounced on Demi Orimoloye shortly thereafter. Not a bad year, eh?
This year’s crop of Canadians is solid, but lacks the top-of-the-draft that last year’s class had. Prep right-handers Jordan Balazovic and Austin Shields offer high ceilings but low floors. There are a couple solid college pitchers at the University of British Columbia, with Curtis Taylor and Alex Webb having outstanding seasons. The powerful bat of Andrew Yerzy is another enticing option, though signability will play into Yerzy’s equation.
Ultimately, this is a pretty vanilla year for the Great White North. Next year, however, is shaping up to be another excellent year.
NATIONAL TOP 500 PROSPECTS
BA 500 Scouting Reports
1. Curtis Taylor, rhp, British Columbia (National Rank: 130)
2. Jordan Balazovic, rhp, St. Martin SS, Mississauga, Ont. (National Rank: 134)
3. Austin Shields, rhp, St. Mary Catholic SS, Hamilton, Ont. (National Rank: 189)
4. Andy Yerzy, c, York Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto (National Rank: 248)
5. Alex Webb, rhp, British Columbia (National Rank: 439)
6. Clayton Keyes, of, Bishop Carroll HS, Calgary (National Rank: 494)
OTHER PROSPECTS OF NOTE
7. Josh Burgmann, rhp, Vauxhall (Ab.) Academy of Baseball
8. Mathieu Gauthier, rhp, Lower Canada College HS, Montreal, Quebec
9. Jake Polancic, rhp, Walnut Grove Secondary, Langley, B.C., Canada
10. Bruce Yari, 1b, University of British Columbia
11. Isaac Deveaux, of, College Edouard-Montpetit, Quebec, Canada
12. R.J. Freure, rhp, Robert Bateman HS, Burlington, Ont., Canada
13. Nick Howie, of, Garth Webb Secondary, Oakville, Ont., Canada
14. Luke Van Rycheghem, c, Ursuline College HS, Chatham, Ont., Canada
9. Toby Handley, of, Stony Brook
33. Iannick Remillard, rhp, Canisius
7. Billy Germaine, 1b, Southern Arkansas
Billy Germaine, 1b, Southern Arkansas – Germaine’s power (18 home runs this season) could make him a late-round pick. He also has a good arm that doesn’t play much at first base.
5. Matt Lloyd, of, Iowa Western CC
Matt Lloyd, of, Iowa Western CC – Lloyd is an athletic outfielder with a good arm and average power potential. If he makes it to Indiana he could be a two-way player as he’s 86-89 mph off the mound.
(5th in top six Baseball America prospects in Iowa)
23. Bryan Saucedo, rhp, Davenport (Mich.) University
Bryan Saucedo, rhp, Davenport (Mich.) University – Saucedo was drafted out of a Toronto secondary school in 2012 in the 29th round as a first baseman. Now he’s a power pitching prospect at 6-foot-6 with a low-to-mid-90s fastball. He didn’t have a good season because of control problems.