Boyd, Osborne, Canucks with top JUCO teams

* SS Louis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) of the Cochise Apaches and C-3B J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) of the Polk State Eagles are the only two Canadians ranked in the top 200 Perfect Game prospects. Boyd is rated 74th, while Osborne checks in at No. 176. ....  

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By Bob Elliott

It’s been a memorable few months for Louis Boyd.

Playing shortstop for the Cochise Apaches, Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) helped his team reach the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series last May at Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Col.

Hitting .533 (8-for-15) with two doubles and six RBIs he earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

And Boyd signed a Letter of Intent to attend the University of Arizona Wildcats this fall.

The next few months he could have more memories ...

Boyd was the top Canadian on Allan Simpson’s Perfect Game JUCO prospects. Simpson, a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, has the 5-foot-10 infielder listed 74th on the top 200 list. Former Blue Jays unsigned draft Phil Bickford, now at Southern Nevada, is ranked No. 1.

The only other Canadian listed is C-3B J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) of the Polk State Eagles, who is rated 176th.

Both Boyd and Osborne earned 2014 Canadian Baseball Network all-Canadian college Team Honourable Mention honors. 

Boyd hit .343 with 13 doubles, three triples and three homers, while knocking in 38. He had an .985 OPS, while going 13-for-18 stealing bases.

Osborne batted .292 in Florida with 12 doubles, two triples, three homers and 53 RBIs. He had an .749 OPS in 53 games.

jd osborneOsborne was tied for second in RBIs behind leader Chris Shaw (64), Midland Chaparrals and even with Nick Studer (Toronto, Ont.) of Doane Tigers with 53 RBIs each.

The son of Clare Osborne, former Oshawa Legionnaires, Kingston Ponies, Ottawa-Nepean Canadians, Little Britain Pirates, Whitby Chiefs ace right-hander and later an OBA coach of the year with Whitby, played for the Toronto Mets and coach Ryan McBride. Osborne has committed to the Tampa Spartans next fall.


The top 50 teams: Perfect Game’s top 50 JUCO teams pre-season includes 31 Canadians on their rosters ...

1. Iowa Western Reivers SS-RHP Matt Lloyd (Calgary, Alta.)

The Iowa Western Reivers’ won their third NJCAA national championship in the past five years beating the Miami Dade Sharks in 2014. A freshman, Lloyd is a graduate of the Okotoks Dawgs program for coaches Allan Cox, Greg Wolfe and A.J. Fystro as well playing for for Greg Hamilton with the Canadian Junior National Team.


2. San Jacinto Gators INF Josh Croft (Powell River, BC) and OF Max Wood (Vancouver, BC)josh croft

Croft will hit in the lead-off spot, play second or third base. His reputation as one of the hardest working and most intense/intelligent players Gators was recognized by coaches who named him one of the team captains. He hit six doubles, with two triples and 19 RBIs in 47 games. He hit .310 with a .779 OPS. Croft is a Parksville Royals grad and played for coach Scott Rodway.

Wood has transitioned from middle infield to the outfield and has done so quite well. Wood continues to get stronger and more physical. He has some of the fastest hands on the team, second fastest 60 time (6.61) and has been clocked at 91 MPH from the outfield. The freshman is expected to platoon in the outfield. Wood played for the Vancouver Canadians and coach Dave Empey.


5. St. Johns River State Vikings. INF Kyle Hann (Oakville, Ont.).

Hann is a transfer from the Mississippi State Bulldogs after a medical red shirt season limited him to 12 games and four starts. Hann hit .100 with a double and one RBI. Hann played for coach Danny Bleiwas and the Ontario Blue Jays, as well playing for for Greg Hamilton with the Canadian Junior National Team.


10. Grayson County Vikings. OF Travis Wacker (Oakville, Ont.)

Wacker is a freshman after playing for coach Matt Baird and the Field House Pirates.


16. Blinn Buccaneers OF Jager Toffan (Regina, Sask.) and OF Austen Swift (Etobicoke, Ont.)

jaggar toffanToffan led Blinn with 60 hits, including six doubles, a triple and three RBIs, while knocking in 24 runs in 61 games. He batted .283 with a .720 OPS. Toffan is a grad of the Vauxhall Jets program and coach Les MacTavish as well playing for for Greg Hamilton with the Canadian Junior National Team.

Swift is a freshman, who played for coach Danny Bleiwas and the Ontario Blue Jays.


19. Cochise Apaches. SS Louis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC).

Boyd hit .343 with three homers and 38 RBIs. He played for coach Larson Bauck with the North Shore Twins.


20. Central Arizona Vaqueros. RHP Connor Noble (Vancouver, BC) and RHP Christian Botnick (Brampton, Ont.)

Noble was 4-2 with one save and a 3.71 ERA last year in 13 games, making seven starts. He walked 15 and struck out 43 in 51 innings. Noble played for the Vancouver Cannons and coach Dave Empey as well playing for Greg Hamilton with the Canadian Junior National Team.

Botnick transferred from the Howard Hawks. He pitched for coach Danny Bleiwas and the Ontario Blue Jays plus Greg Hamilton and the Canadian Junior National Team.


22. Seminole State Trojans. LHP Christopher Sauvé-Gebhardt (Mascouche, Que.), OF Philippe Berthiaume (Lac St-Charles, Que.) and RHP Tristan Legault (Repentigny Que.).christian

Sauvé-Gebhardt was 5-1 with one save and a 6.17 ERA in 13 games, making 10 starts. He walked 40 and struck out 36 in 58 1/3 innings.

Berthiaume and Legault are freshman. Sauvé-Gebhardt and Legault both played at the ABC under coach Joel Landry and pitching coach Alex Agostino and with the Repentigny Royals managed by Dany Prata.


28. Connors State Cowboys RHP Tyler Sutton (Brampton, Ont.), 1B-3B Conner Stevenson (Keswick, Ont.) and SS Bryce Dimitroff (Burlington, Ont.)

tyler suttonSutton was 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA. He walked five and struck out 11 in 12 innings.

Stevenson hit .310 with five doubles and six RBIs in 14 games.

Dimitroff, whose roots go back to football -- Tom Dimitroff was an all-American at Miami of Ohio, played and coached the Ottawa Rough Riders, as well as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Tom Dimitroff Jr. is the GM of the Atlanta Falcons -- is a freshman.

All three played for coach Danny Bleiwas and the Ontario Blue Jays.


29. Polk State Eagles. C-3B J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.)

Osborne batted .292 with three homers and 53 RBIs. He played for the Toronto Mets and coach Ryan McBride.


31. Crowder Roughriders. C Kyle McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) and OF Kyle Blackwell (Waterdown, Ont.).

McDonald played for the Ontario Terriers and coach Scott Van de Valk, while Blackwell played for coach Matt Baird and the Field House Pirates. Both are freshmen.


32. Midland Chaparrals INF-OF Chris Thibideau (Dartmouth, NS), INF Justin Clarkson (Nanaimo, BC), RHP Jesse Borden (Dartmouth, NS) and C-RHP Ryan Braun (Cloverdale BC).

Thibideau hit .323 with 64 hits including 11 doubles, six triples the 14 homers and knocked in 49. chris thibideau

He slugged .653, had an OPS of 1.046 and was 7-for-12 stealing bases to earn a berth on the Canadian Baseball Network All-Canadian College First Team.

He played for coach Les McTavish at the Vauxhall Academy as well as Greg Hamilton with the Canadian Junior National Team after playing for Ken Lenihan in Dartmouth.

Clarkson hit .362 with 72 hits — including 17 doubles, six triples, five homers — 49 RBIs and a 1.034 OPS to earn a berth on the Canadian Baseball Network All-Canadian College Second Team honors

He played coach Doug Rogers with the Nanaimo Pirates and coach Les McTavish and the Vauxhall Jets Academy.

Borden and Braun are freshmen. Borden pitched for coach Les McTavish and the Vauxhall Jets Academy, while Braun played for the North Delta Blue Jays and coach Michael Caleb.


36. Yapavai Roughriders. RHP Eric Hegadoren (Victoria, BC)

Hegadoren is a transfer from the College of the Canyons Cougars after pitching for Anthony Pluta and the Victoria Eagles.


41. Salt Lake Bruins. RHP T.J. Baker (Acton, Ont.) and OF-RHP Chris Fougner (Victoria, BC).

TJ-Baker-webBaker was 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA in nine games making two starts. He walked six and struck out 17 in 20 2/3 innings. He pitched for the Ontario Terriers and coach Scott Van de Valk.

Fougner pitched for the Victoria Mariners and coach Mike Chewpoy.


45. New Mexico Thunderbirds. LHP Fernando Fernandez-Beltran (Montreal, Que.), C-3B J.P. Rousseau (Blainville, Que.), RHP Jean-Francois Dionne (Trois-Rivers Que.).

Fernandez-Beltran was 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 13 games making nine starts. He walked 34 and struck out 47 in 51 1/.3 innings.

Rousseau hit .290 in 15 games with a triple and four RBIs.

Dionne is a freshman, who pitched for coach Philip Tomlinson at College Lafleche Landry after pitching for Les Aigles de Trois-Rivieres.

Fernandez-Beltran and Rousseau played at the ABC managed by Joel Landry, while Alex Agostino was his pitching coach, as well as the Canadian Junior National Team and coach Greg Hamilton. 


49. Northeastern Oklahoma A@M Golden Norse. SS Brad Antchak (Delta, BC) and RHP Dany Giroux (Levis, Que.)

Antchak hit .309 with 51 hits, including nine doubles, six triples and four homers in 54 games. He drove in 41 runs and was 20-for-25 on the base Antchak-Brad paths. Drafted in the 39th round by the Houston Astros played for coach Gerry White with the North Delta Blue Jays. the Canadian Baseball Network All-Canadian College Third Team.

Giroux was 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA in eight games, making five starts. He walked 11 and fanned 24 in 30 2/3 innings. He wore the ABC colors and his pitching coach in Montreal was Alex Agostino.


How ‘bout them Whitecaps: The Galveston Whitecaps enter the 2015 season on the heels of a they their best record (41-19) in 14 years.

Right-hander Jeremy Sylvester (Regina, Sask.), returns to lead a staff that finished third in the nation in 2014 with a combined 2.58 earned run average (ERA) in 60 games. Sylvestor, 13th on returning national JUCO pitchers list worked out of the bullpen posting a 1-1 record and two saves in 16 appearances. He struck out 19 against nine walks in 25 innings.

Offensively the Whitecaps placed two players in the top six of returning position players in the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) and four in the top 30. Left handed hitting third baseman Raphael Gladu (Trois-Rivieres Que.), posted a .348 batting average collecting 70 hits and 31 RBIs along the way.

Galveston is ranked fifth in the JUCO pre-season Region 14 South ranking behind No. 1 San Jactio, Blinn, Alvin and Wharton.