February 28, 2017
Baseball Canada announces Junior National Team spring training roster
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA - Baseball Canada has selected the players invited to the Junior National Team’s annual Spring Training camp at the Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg, Florida from March 24-April 2.
The team will hold daily practices at the complex and play an 8-game exhibition schedule. Seven games are scheduled against squads consisting of minor league prospects from the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox (in Fort Myers) and Baltimore Orioles (in Sarasota) organizations.
The highlight of the week will come on March 25th when the team will travel to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin to take on a split-squad version of the Toronto Blue Jays including players from the big-league roster. This is the sixth time in seven years that the two sides have come together for an exhibition game.
“The relationship with the Toronto Blue Jays is tremendously important to Baseball Canada,” said Junior National Team Head Coach and Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton. “The Blue Jays have been great supporters of our National Teams program for a long time, so the chance for both organizations to play this game is truly special.”
Fans in Canada will be able to watch the game on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, Sportsnet NOW or listen on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.
Hamilton leads the coaching staff that includes Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who will be a guest coach for a fourth consecutive year, along with Mike Johnson, Adam Stern, TJ Burton, Rick Johnston and Tim Nelson.
“I am once again looking forward to working with some of Canada’s top 18 and under players in St. Petersburg,” said Alomar. “Through events like Tournament 12 I have been able to see the great talent that exists in Canada today which is exciting for the future of baseball in this country.”
The Spring Training Camp is one of four remaining events that will assist in the selection process to determine the 20-player roster that will represent Canada in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Ontario from Sept. 1-10, 2017.
“We’re at the point in our program where we can get a sense of what our roster will look like in Thunder Bay,” said Head Coach and Director of National Teams, Greg Hamilton. “The Spring Training Camp will offer our coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate players in a competitive environment, and at the same time, expose players to a level of competition that they will face at the next levels of the game.”
All 29 players named to the roster participated in the Junior National Team program’s Fall Instructional League Camp that took place last October in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Two players named to the roster were selected last June during the MLB First-Year Player Draft: OF Clayton Keyes (17th round, Blue Jays) and RHP William Sierra (28th round, Mets). Neither player signed and are therefore eligible for the 2017 draft.
Two players (Cooper Davis and Adam Hall) named to the roster represented Canada at the 2015 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Osaka, Japan where the team finished in sixth.
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