Baseball Canada names 33 to Junior National Team spring roster

 Toronto Mets alum Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) is one of the players that has been named to the Canadian Junior National Team's spring roster. Photo Credit: WBSC

Toronto Mets alum Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) is one of the players that has been named to the Canadian Junior National Team's spring roster. Photo Credit: WBSC

March 6, 2018

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

OTTAWA- Baseball Canada is pleased to announce the names of 33 athletes that have been invited to the Junior National Team’s (U-18) annual Spring Training Camp taking place at the Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg, Florida from March 15-24.

The camp includes daily workouts, a six-game professional schedule against minor league prospects from the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays organizations, with two Intersquad games and an exhibition contest against the Fort Lauderdale Stars also planned.

This will be the seventh time in the last eight years that the Junior National Team has held its Spring Training Camp in St. Petersburg.

“We’re grateful for the relationship we have with Mayor Rick Kriseman and the City of St. Petersburg who’ve made us feel welcome since day one,” said Head Coach and Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton. “Our players are treated to a professional atmosphere that allows us to maximize training and development time for our program.”

The highlight of the week will come on March 17 when the team will travel to Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin to take on a split-squad version of the Toronto Blue Jays. This is the seventh time in eight years that the two sides have come together for a game that has become a true celebration of the Baseball Canada/Toronto Blue Jays’ partnership.

Fans in Canada will be able to watch the game on Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet NOW and listen across the Sportsnet Radio Network live from Dunedin beginning at 1 pm E.T.

“We’re very fortunate to have the support of both the Blue Jays and Sportsnet to play this game which is broadcast live across Canada,” said Junior National Team Manager Greg Hamilton. “This game has become an event that our program and players look forward to each year and we’re extremely appreciative of the support from both our corporate partners.”

Roster Highlights:

- Thirty-two of the 33 players named to the roster attended the Fall Instructional League Camp last October in Orlando, Fla. One newcomer, Toronto-born RHP Braden Halladay, will be making his Junior National Team debut during the Spring Training Camp. Halladay is the son of Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner that spent 12 of his 16 big league seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.

- Also named to the roster, RHP Ben Abram, RHP Eric Cerantola, OF Denzel Clarke, RHP Griffin Hassall and C/3B Noah Naylor, all represented Canada at the 2017 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup last September and helped Canada to a fourth-place finish.

- Greg Hamilton takes his familiar post as head coach of the club and will be joined by Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time World Series champion Roberto Alomar, who joins the staff as a guest coach. The staff will also feature a slew of former pros and National Team players including Chris Begg, TJ Burton, Jeff Francis, Pete Orr, and Adam Stern.

Coming off a fourth-place finish at the 2017 U-18 World Cup, the Junior National Team program is now focusing its efforts on player development and preparation for the 2018 COPABE U-18 Pan Am Championships in the fall that will serve as a qualifier for the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Spring Training Roster
Spring Training Schedule
Spring Training Pitching Rotation

Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.