Elliott: 2018 CBN Draft Blog; Day 2 (3-10)

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By Bob Elliott

Canadian Baseball Network

12:20 PM The best of the rest: Heading into Day II of the 2018 draft of high schoolers and collegians, OF Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Kentucky Wildcats is listed seventh of the remaining players available. Pompey was listed 51st by MLB.Pipeline.

JIM DESHAIES

12:24 PM Swimming upstream _ The Le Moyne Dolphins out of Syracuse used to be a powerful program. RHP Jon Ratliff was a first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1993. LHP Jim Deshaies of Massena, NY (same home town as Otis the Drunk on Andy of Mayberry) was a 21st pick in 1982. He went on to win 84 wins for the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. Deshaies is now a Chicago Cubs broadcaster. Deshaies had the great line years ago whhen asked about social media. "Social Media? in my day, social media was going for a beer after the game with Neil Hohfeld (who used to cover the Astros for the Houston Chronicle. 

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RHP Peter Hoy (Cardinal, Ont.) was a 33rd round pick of the Boston Red Sox. Hoy was always coach Hal Rockburn's choice to start a "must win" game. C Andrew Russo, a third round pick was drafted by the Phillies in 1973 and Jim Wessinger was a sixth-round choice in 1976.

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Yet the best Le Moyne story in 1994: C Cameron Pelton blew out his knee in a bang-bang slide at home plate in his final game with the Ottawa-Nepean Canadians. He headed off to school with a lot of rehab ahead of him. He worked and worked -- without removing his hospital band from when he had the knee surgery done in Ottawa, while being told he would not catch come spring. The next spring Pelton did not play in the first game of the sppring trip. Yet, in Game 2 as the DH, he doubled, ripped off his hospital band and stuck it under the second base bag. Pelton played four seasons at the Syracuse school. All of which leads us to a pick that we missed on Monday night. Le Moyne has since dropped from Division I to Division III ball. RHP Josiah Gray of Le Moyne went 72nd over-all on Monday to the Cincinnati Reds. Gray pitched for former Blue Jays reliever Scott Cassidy. who earned conference coach of the year honours. 

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1:21 PM Another brother duo: One pick after the Toronto Blue Jays went deep into the heart of Texas for another high schooler from Magnolia, the Miami Marlins chose OF Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) with the 89th pick over all. Pompey's brother, Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) was a 16th rounder in 2010. While Dalton received a $150,000 signing bonus from scout Jamie Lehman (Brampton, Ont.), the slot money for 89th is $642,600. Alex Smith is the Marlins scout credited with draftingTristan Pompey, the former Toronto Met. On the up side, scouts compared Tristan to Dexter Fowler and he was expected to be a Day One pick. On the down side, he did not have a lot of success hitting with wood in the Cape Cod League. Our Dustin Scaracini did a Podcast with Tristan. 

The Jays selected RHP Adam Kloffenstein, a high schooler from Magnolia Tex. The same team as their No. 1 pick SS Jordan Groshans. Brian Johnston coverd Texas for the Jays. He also signed Anthony Alford, Kendal Graveman, who was in the Josh Donaldson trade to the Oakland A's and LHP Chad Girodo,

Perfect Game

Scouting Report

64. Tristan Pompey of, Kentucky (JR)
B-R, 6-4/200, Mississauga, Ont. 
Previously Drafted: Twins '15 (31)



Pompey has been a bit of a divisive prospect this spring, but after returning from a minor early season injury he's been outstanding atop of the Kentucky lineup. He's a bat-first prospect who will likely be a left fielder in professional baseball, but offers intriguing offensive upside as a switch-hitter with power from both sides. His body projects well to handle additional strength and there's the potential for him to have plus raw power from both sides of the plate to go along with a good overall feel to hit. 

1:51: PM Kentucky PR machine is on it, as Tristan Pompey lands with the Miami Marlins. Matt May on Pompey being drafted by the Marlins. 

2:22 PM: Another Kentucky man on the move: The Boston Red Sox chose C Kole Cottam of the the Wildcats in the fourth round.  The slot money for 130th is  $417,800. John Pyle was the scout who drafted the C-1B, who hit 19 homers this spring.Cottam's father Jeff Cottam (Burlington, Ont.) played for the University of Memphis Tigers. Kole was born in Knoxville, Tenn., which makes his WBC eligible, like Jameson Taillon. Our Matt Betts did a feature on Cottam explaining his background. 

 

Perfect Game

Scouting Report

322.Kole Cottam c/1b, Kentucky (JR)
R-R, 6-3/225, Knoxville, Tenn.
Previously Drafted: Never Drafted

 

Cottam split time behind the plate and at first base this season and was one of Kentucky's best and most consistent hitters. He slashed .352/.438/.667 with 12 doubles, 19 home runs and 50 RBI. He's a very strong, physical catcher who has a chance to play the position long-term, and his righthanded raw power is an added bonus to the profile. 

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2:49 Draft memory: In 1993 we finished up our conversation with RHP Chris Carpenter, selected 15th over-all by scouting director Bob Engle. Engle also drafted RHP Roy Halladay with the Jays and when he covered Latin America for the Seattle Mariners, he signed Felix Hernandez. All three won Cy Young awards. Carpenter was only the second first-rounder from the state of New Hampshire and he was a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. We asked what he had in mind for that night?

He said he was going to coach Green's house to watch the game?

The Blue Jays or the Red Sox?

He said "Both ... he has two TVs."

3:54 PM Dog hours of the draft: We asked a scout from a team which had yet to pick a Canadian.

You guys participating? Like the Rolling Stones said "Start me up ..."

He replied with a list

Michael Brettell, Central Michigan
Nick Trogrlic-Iverson, Central Arizona
Kyle Stubbins, Douglas College
Mitch Robinson, UBC
Eric Cerantola, Great Lake Canadians
Ben Abram, Ontario Terriers
RJ Freure, Pitt  

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3:59 PM _ High, hard and handsome: The Houston Astros chose R.J. Freure (Burlington, Ont.) with their sixth pick from the Pitt Panthers. Slot money for the 192nd pick is $237,600 US. Freure is an Ontario Blue Jays grad. Last year's total of Canadians drafted in the first 10 rounds (four) has already been equaled. 

Perfect Game

Scouting Report

205. RJ Freure rhp, Pittsburgh
R-R, 6-1/205, Burlington, Ontario
Previously Drafted: Never Drafted



A draft-eligible sophomore this June, Freure has been a critical piece out of the Panthers’ bullpen as he has made a team-high 25 appearances which have spanned 55 innings, showing his durability and stamina. Freure, who is strongly built with a power reliever’s profile at 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, has been just that for Pitt in 2018 with a fastball/curveball combo that he has used to collect 90 punchouts on the year while limiting opponents to a .230 average. While Freure has been used almost exclusively out of the bullpen this spring, his delivery isn’t an up-tempo, high effort type often associated with power-armed relievers, and in fact he has just the opposite with a simple, balanced delivery that you’d be more likely to find in a starting arm. The velocity comes easy for Freure as he’ll work in the 92-95 mph range with his heater and he holds it well over his multiple inning stints. A separator for Freure from other hard throwing bullpen pieces in the ACC however is his plus curveball, a hammer of a pitch that offers 12-to-6 shape and late bite.

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4:27 PM It's Unanimous: We’re unsure if we’re going to hear his name today, but big news for Ethan Skuija. He was named All Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year in the California CC Association. 

Skuija was a unanimous choice for the Ohlone Renegades after finishing first in wins 13; third in strikeouts with 109 and fifth in ERA, with a 1.70 ERA. Now is some accomplishment with upwards of 90 teams in California.

Skuija  has signed with Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners of the WAC Conference, a NCAA Division 1 program for the 2018-19 season.
 
He is not the only former Victoria Eagle on his way to school. SS Kobe Morris (Victoria, BC), a Crowder Roughriders, signed with University of Alabama Crimson Tide, another NCAA Division 1 team.

And another Eagle-Roughrider is 2B-OF Tyler Duncan (Sooke BC), who signed with Arkansas State Red Wolves, a NCAA Division I program. 

Ron Arcuri coached all three in 2012 as bantams.

6:41 PM The totals: Through Two Days

Four selections in the first 10 rounds is the same as a year ago. The record is 10 in 2015. This year’s two-day totals of four selections in the first 10 rounds equals 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2017.


Players selected:
By Organization: Astros, Indians, Marlins and Red Sox.

By Province: Ontario 3. 
(Kole Cottom was born in Knoxville, Tenn, his father, Jeff, is from Burlington, Ont.).