July 10, 2018
Blue Jays stay hot in Georgia
By Nate Schweers
EMERSON, Ga. – The Ontario Blue Jays – Travers improved to 6-0 at the 16u WWBA National Championship on Tuesday with a 5-4 win over Indiana Expos – National. The boys from north of the border clinched top spot in Pool C with the win, and will play one more pool game before the single elimination championship bracket begins Wednesday night.
The Blue Jays received a standout performance from center fielder Dasan Brown on Monday. Brown delivered what would prove to be the game’s biggest swing, sending a ball off the bat that went deep over the wall in left.
“The previous at-bat he struck me out and I was kind of thinking about it a little bit on my way back to the dugout,” said Brown, who is a native of Oakville, Ont. “My next at-bat he threw me that first pitch and I was able to jump on it and really put a good swing on it.”
Brown had only the one hit during Monday’s game, but he made his presence known in the field as well. Brown was able to come up firing to nab a runner at the plate with an extremely impressive throw early in the game. Brown grew up playing centre and it clearly shows while he captains the outfield.
While Dasan Brown had a great day, he is not to be confused with Jaden Brown. Brown, who is another member of the 2019 class, is ranked as the 22nd-best player in 2019, and the best in Ontario.
Brown makes his trip to LakePoint this week after a great performance at the Perfect Game National Showcase last month. Brown has kept getting better through every Perfect Game event he has attended, and the chance to play at Tropicana Field is one he was extremely thankful for.
“It was a great experience getting to play against the top players in the country,” said Brown. “It was really life changing for me. I will never forget that moment playing on that field.”
Brown is hopeful that will not be the last time he plays in a Major League Baseball stadium over the course of the summer. Ranked as the one of the best in the class of 2019, Brown could potentially hear his name called during next week’s Perfect Game All-American Classic Selection Show.
The PG All-American Classic takes place Aug. 12 at Petco Park in San Diego. This year’s selection show will coincide with the MLB All-Star Game, and Brown along with many other players from around the country will be tuning in to see if they have made the cut.
Brown has also committed to playing his college baseball at Kentucky in the fall of 2019, and will join a lineage of successful Canadian players that have gone through Lexington.
“It’s just a big family over there and they were really warming to me,” said Brown, who is a member of a Kentucky recruiting class the currently ranks as the 22nd-best in the country. “They have also been very receiving and successful of Canadian with Zach Pop and Tristan Pompey, who was just drafted this year. It just seemed like the right spot for me.”
Ontario Blue Jays head coach Sean Travers had nothing but positive things to say about his shortstop. While Jaden Brown has always been a good player, Travers believes a recent change in mind set has been the key to his success.
“He’s [Jaden] really started to come into his own because I think he has really started to take the pressure off himself,” said Travers. “I think at first he was going out there and trying to worry about Jaden, and now he is worrying about his teammates and the game just starts to come along when you do that.”
The Blue Jays program is no stranger to success at the travel ball level, and they are often looked at as one of the premier travel ball organizations in Canada. The program has placed 432 players in colleges in the United States and Canada over the last 20 years, and has seen 110 of their players taken in the draft.
Jaden Brown is leading a team that has their sights set high for this 16u WWBA National Championship. At 6-0 and already in the playoffs, playing their game and showing up ready to go the rest will be a key to walking away as champions.
“We just need to keep playing our game,” said Travers. “Pitchers throw strikes and not walk anybody, play good defense, and play fast.”