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 Fall Instructional League Camp in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., from October 1 to 11.
The camp includes daily practices and a seven-game professional schedule against Fall Instructional League clubs from the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays organizations.
All games and practices will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves, with the exception of the October 10th contest against the Blue Jays that will take place at their minor league complex in Dunedin.
Twenty-four players named to the roster will be making their Junior National Team debuts at the Fall Instructional League Camp signifying a changeover in the two-year cycle of the program that saw several players graduate following the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in September.
“This camp will serve as an introduction to the Junior National Team program for the majority of our roster while also preparing players for future international competition and the challenges associated with the next levels of the game,” said Head Coach and Director of National Teams, Greg Hamilton. “From a coaching standpoint, it will allow the staff to evaluate players in a highly competitive environment and provide an opportunity for instruction and player development.”
RHP Ben Abram, RHP Eric Cerantola, OF Denzel Clarke, RHP Griffin Hassall and C/3B Noah Naylor represented Canada at the U-18 World Cup and will return for the Fall Instructional League Camp while RHP Tate Dearing, LHP Jaden Griffin and INF Damiano Palmegiani have previous experience with the Junior National Team program.
Greg Hamilton takes his familiar post as head coach of the club and will be supported by a slew of former pros and National Team players including TJ Burton, Jeff Francis, Pete Orr, Adam Stern and Rene Tosoni while Robert Fatal joins the staff as a guest coach.
With a fourth-place finish at the U-18 World Cup in the rearview, the Junior National Team program will now focus its efforts on player development and preparing for the 2018 COPABE U-18 Pan Am Championships that will serve as a qualifier for the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.
Newcomers to the faall roster include from the:
Ontario Blue Jays: OF Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.), SS Jaden Brown Mississauga, Ont.), C Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont.), LHP Caden Griffin (Ottawa, Ont.), OF Joel McKnight (Brooklin, Ont.) and INF TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont.)
Academy Baseball Canada: RHP Olivier Morin-Larocque (L’Ancienne-Lorette, Que.), INF Edouard Savoie (St-Eustache, Que.) and OF Nicolas Tremblay Mont (St-Hilaire, Que.)
Langley Blaze: RHP Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) and LHP-OF Justin Thorsteinson (Richmonnd, BC.
Toronto Mets INF Daniel Carinci (Ajax, Ont.) and LHP Mets Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket Ont.).
Great Lake Canadians: C Ryan Faragher (London, Ont.).
Lafleche Dragons: RHP Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, Que.).
North Shore Twins: RHP Declan Dutton (Vancouver, BC),
Ontario Royals: 1B Ryan Magdic (Beamsville, Ont.).
Ontario Yankees: RHP Zack McQuaid (Oshawa, Ont.).
Okanagan Athletics: RHP Carter Morris (Vernon, BC)
Okotoks Dawgs: OF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.).
Sasktoon Cubs: RHP Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.).
St. James A’s: RHP Cameron Thickson (Winnipeg, Man.).
Vauxhall Dawgs: C Martin Vincelli-Simard (Boisbriand, Que.)