Elliott: Caissie at the draft, eligible next June

Fieldhouse Pirates OF and Team Red T12 standout Owen Caissie (Burlington, Ont.) revealed today that contrary to online listings, he is eligible for the 2020 MLB draft. Photo: Tyler King

Fieldhouse Pirates OF and Team Red T12 standout Owen Caissie (Burlington, Ont.) revealed today that contrary to online listings, he is eligible for the 2020 MLB draft. Photo: Tyler King

By Bob Elliott

Canadian Baseball Network

The news from Thursday’s Red-Black game in the seventh annual Tournament 12 showcase was two scoreless innings each from Vicarte Domingo and Jesse Fayant in a 5-4 win.

Domingo (Vancouver, BC) of the UBC Thunder entered with his team down 4-1 and then Fayant (Regina, Sask.) of Regina Athletics picked up the save.

The real news came moments after when prospect Owen Caissie (Burlington, Ont.) of the Fieldhouse Pirates explained that he was eligible for next year’s draft. Caissie is listed as a 2021 draft eligible on the Perfect Game website. He’s listed as a 2021 grad in the Tournament 12 program and elsewhere.

Many along scouts row seated In the Action seats thought the 6-foot-3, 185 pounder was a 2021 draft too.

“But he was born in 2002, he should be eligible for next June’s draft,” said one scout. “He’s not the only one I’ve been watching and then looking at the program which does not match up -- it’s been giving me a headache all day.”

“My graduation year? I graduate next spring, I’m in grade 12, but I reclassified, which means I’ll take a year off before going to school.”

But you could be drafted come June.

“Yes, but I’m taking a gap year,” Caissie said.

Sounds like the old days when players would use a victory lap to improve their marks before heading south. Gap year or victory lap, whatever he says he is not going to the University of Michigan next fall as he could, but the autumn after that.

Caisse says he has marks in the 80s and that he’ll spend the entire gap year getting bigger and stronger and working at Baseball 365, a shirt company, owned by his coach and former Blue Jays farmhand Lee Delfino.

Originally, Caissie committed Nov. 29 2018 to the SEC powerhouse University of Kentucky in Lexington, for the Fall of 2021. Kentucky made a coaching change and so did Caissie choosing to join Ontario Terriers LHP Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.) at Michigan.

Assistant head coach Nick Schnabel did the recruiting for coach Erik Bakich. Caissie said that the main reason he chose Michigan was the coaching staff.

Three games in Caissie is 2-for-7 with four walks and four stolen bases. He’s the guy who went into the second tank twice on Tuesday on scout day.

“I’m not seeing a lot of strikes or fastballs,” he said.

It’s the same treatment the likes of Josh and Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.), plus Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont.) and Andrew Yerzy (North York, Ont.) -- who was in the house yesterday -- all received their grade 12 years.

“I told him when he stops seeing strikes, he knows he’s being noticed, but find a way to hit them anyway,” said Fieldhouse. director of player development George Halim. “I’m trying to teach him that it’s not about finding strikes to hit, but hittable pitches.”

Caissie will head to Jupiter in October with Doug Mathieson’s and Jamie Bodaly’s DBacks Langley Blaze. Great Lake Canadians C Nicholas Thibodeau (Burlington, Ont.) may also be added.

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Looking good, feeling good: Scouts were still talking about RHP Carson Lumley (London, Ont.) of Mike Lumley’s London Badgers ... About Academy Baseball Canada’s Joshua Jones (Blainville, Que.) ... About LHP Carson Hindmarsh (Saskatoon, Sask.) of the Saskatoon Brewers ... LHP-1B Justin Thorsteinson (Langley, BC) of the Langley Blaze ... About RHP Will Watson (Brampton, Ont.) of FiledHouse ... About OF David Calabrese (Maple, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays ... RHP Simon Lusignan (Varennes, Que.) of the Okotoks Dawgs ... Ontario Terriers INF Elijah Hammill (Oakville, Ont.) ... About RHP Turner Spoljaric (Lisle, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets ... About LHP Mitch Bratt (Newmarket, Ont.) of the Mets ... About Brody Alexndre (Swift Current, Sask.) of the Swift Current 57s and Team Saskatchewan ... About RHP Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) of the Blaze ... About RHP Jackson Fraser (Buenta Vista, Sask.) of Okotoks ... About RHP Vicarte Domingo (Vancouver, BC) of the UBC Thunder ... About Mid-Island Pirates Connor Caskenette (Duncan, BC) ... About Owen Caissie (Burlington, Ont.) of FieldHouse ... About RHP Jack Seward (Port Moody, BC) of the Coquitlam Reds.

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Pro scouts watching from major league teams (one added ): Anaheim Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland A’s, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays. Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg is on hand. Usually teams have one or two players here. Also evaluating is Dana Duquette, son of the former Montreal, Boston and Baltimore GM.

However, a number have three scouts here, including cross checkers. Not that this June is a bumper crop, but the Canadian Junior National Team will not be making its annual trip to Florida since it just returned from the World 18U in Korea. Plus Canada’s senior team will soon leave for Premier 12.

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Recruiters watching from four and two-year schools (one add): Kentucky, Sacramento State, Gonzaga, St. John’s, Utah, Illinois, Illinois State, Northern Kentucky, Campbell, University of British Columbia, Iowa Western, Howard.