By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA- Baseball Canada is pleased to announce the names of 30 athletes that have been invited to the Junior National Team’s (U-18) annual tour through the Dominican Summer League (DSL) from May 18-26.
The team will play 13 games over nine days against Dominican Summer League clubs from the following Major League Baseball organizations: New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Manager Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) leads the coaching staff that includes former National Team member Chris Begg (Uxbridge, Ont.) along with Robert Fatal (Boucherville, Que.) who is attending as a guest coach.
The Junior National Team program has travelled to the baseball hotbed every year since 2001 providing young Canadian players with a truly unique baseball experience.
“The Dominican Summer League camp is a very important component to our Junior National Team program that will provide an invaluable experience to our players,” said head coach Greg Hamilton “Players will be challenged with an intense schedule, while also dealing with elements in the Dominican Republic that they don’t face at home. The strides taken at this camp will better prepare our team for success going forward.”
All 30 athletes named to the roster competed in the Extended Spring Training Camp last month in West Palm Beach, Fla., including RHP Ben Abram, RHP Eric Cerantola, OF Denzel Clarke, RHP Griffin Hassall and C/3B Noah Naylor who all represented Canada at the 2017 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup last September.
In addition to providing an excellent development opportunity for players, the Dominican Summer League camp will aid in the selection process of Canada’s roster for the COPABE U-18 Pan Am Championships that will take place November 23-December 2 in Panama City, Panama. This event also serves as a qualifier for the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.