April 16, 2018
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA - Baseball Canada is pleased to announce the names of 32 athletes that have been invited to the Junior National Team’s (U-18) annual Extended Spring Training Camp in West Palm Beach, Fla., from April 19-28.
The camp will take place at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and surrounding complex, the brand new spring training home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
In West Palm Beach, the Junior National Team will play a six-game professional schedule against extended spring training squads from the Astros and Nationals organizations, while two inter-squad games and a match-up against the independent Fort Lauderdale Stars are also on the schedule. The juniors will hit the road on April 24 to face a prospects club from the Minnesota Twins organization in Fort Myers.
The Extended Spring Training Camp is sandwiched in between the Spring Training Camp that took place in St. Petersburg, Fla., in March and May’s Dominican Summer League tour. These three camps are integral components of the Junior National Team program and aid in the selection process of Canada’s roster for the upcoming COPABE U-18 Pan Am Championships in the fall that will also serve as a qualifier for the 2019 WBSC Baseball World Cup.
-Twenty-seven of the 32 players named to the roster attended the Spring Training Camp in St. Petersburg, Fla., in March including RHP Ben Abram, RHP Eric Cerantola, OF Denzel Clarke, RHP Griffin Hassall and C/3B Noah Naylor who represented Canada at the 2017 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup last September.
-Five players named to the roster will be making their Junior National Team debuts in West Palm Beach. They include: C/1B Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, Ont.), RHP Evan Elliott (Toronto, Ont.), OF Kendall Keller (Pilot Butte, Sask.), OF Jayden Knight (Langley, B.C.) and 1B/3B Dylan Ohlsen (Chilliwack, B.C.).
-Greg Hamilton takes his familiar post as head coach of the club and will be joined by a slew of former National Team and professional players including Chris Begg, Rick Johnston, Chris Leroux, Pierre-Luc Laforest, Pete Orr and Adam Stern.