Baseball Canada announces invitees for Junior National Team Selection Camp
October 24, 2018
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA- Baseball Canada is pleased to announce the names of the 28 athletes invited to the Junior National Team’s (U-18) Selection Camp, to determine the 20-player roster that will represent Canada at the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championship in the cities of Chitré, Las Tablas and Santiago, Panama from November 23 – December 2.
The top four countries from the event will qualify for the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Gijang, South Korea.
Selection Camp will take place from November 14 to 20 at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in Palm Beach, Florida - the spring training home of both the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
“Selection Camp will allow the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate players in a competitive environment before making final roster decisions,” said Head Coach, Greg Hamilton. “Our program has been building towards this event for the better part of a year with the goal of ultimately securing one of four available spots in the 2019 U-18 Baseball World Cup.”
Selection Camp will feature daily workouts and a five-game schedule, including two games against the United States along with a pair of match-ups against the Fort Lauderdale Stars and one game against Palm Beach State College. An inter-squad game is also scheduled. All games and workouts will be held out of FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
The Selection Camp roster features four players who helped Canada to a fourth place finish at the 2017 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, including RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.), OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.), RHP Griffin Hassall (Newmarket, Ont.) and C/3B Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.).
Naylor, a first round pick (29th overall) of the Cleveland Indians, headlines a list of six players named to the roster who were selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft. Others include Abram (37th Round/Padres), Clarke (36th Round/Mets), INF/OF Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, B.C.) (35th Round/Blue Jays), C/INF LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) (25th Round/Twins) and RHP Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) (26th Round/Brewers).
RHP Tyler McWillie (Watrous, Sask.) will be attending Selection Camp as a first-time member of the Junior National Team program. All other players named to the roster have previous experience with the program.
Hamilton leads the coaching staff that includes former National Team players Chris Begg (Uxbridge, Ont.) and Hyung Cho (Scarborough, Ont.) who will be joined by Robert Fatal (Boucherville, Que.). Former big leaguer Adam Stern (London, Ont.) will attend camp as a guest coach.