Elliott: Scouts scour Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, BC

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Scouts scour the country looking at the likes of Noah Naylor, Denzel Clarke, Ben Abram, David  Rhodes, Tate Dearing, Félix-Antoine Chénier Rondeau and a whole bunch of other players.

 

By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network

A total of 12 scouts showed to see 58 players from the Ontario Blue Jays, Toronto Mets, Ontario Nationals and Team Ontario Astros in the continuing auditions for June and the 2019 draft at The Athlete Matrix in Mississauga.

As the first pitcher began to toss lightly, a scout wondered aloud, “How many guys in this country have already thrown 90 MPH?”

Well, we can remember roughly 10 years ago that we could count up 12 high schoolers who had hit 90 MPH with their fastball before going outside.  

RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) of the Great Lake Canadians, RHP Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) of the Saskatoon Cubs, RHP David Rhodes (White Rock, BC) of the Seattle Select and RHP Tate Dearing (White Rock, BC) of the Langley Blaze.

One, two, three ... and four. That’s it.

Then, the Ontario Blue Jays pitchers began to throw with the radar gun to the catcher’s left, blinking after each pitch.

RHP Evan Chenier (Georgetown, Ont.) flashed a 91 MPH fastball and RHP Jacob Kush (Guelph, Ont.) tossed a couple of 92s, while 89 MPH seemed to be the norm.

“I tip my hat to Mike Steed, it’s been a while since we have seen that much for velocity,” said one scout as the evaluators moved to watch the catchers throw to second base. Steed doubles as the Ontario Blue Jays pitching coach and is a scout for the Cincinnati Reds as well.

There were so many 89s, that one scout pulled out his gun to check his radar gun against the Ontario Blue Jays to see whether it was set up a couple of notches. 

“Half the time the guns were the same, the rest of the time one MPH difference, that was the norm,” said the scout.

The scout moved on to watch the catchers, led by Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.), then the outfielders led by Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets, and the infielders throw. And then players took batting practice. 

And the 90s continue to roll on as scouts moved from one facility to another.

_ Ontario Terriers RHP Evan Elliott (Toronto, Ont.), a 2019 draft, was clocked at 90 MPH at The Baseball Zone.

_ And the same day LHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, Ont.), also a 2019 draft, had his fastball clocked at 90 MPH.

Then, there was a steady diet of 89s from players eligible for the 2019 draft and scouts moved on to see the players at The Baseball Zone in Mississauga, Out of the Park Sports in Scarborough, in Montreal, the Duvernay Field house in Okotoks and Vauxhall, Alta. as well. 

RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) of the Ontario Terriers was there (“And he’ll get to 90 when he gets outdoors,” said one scout); RHP Zachery McQuaid (Oshawa, Ont.) of the Ontario Yankees; Ryan Capuano (Toronto, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets; RHP Diego Dominguez (Vaughn, Ont.), RHP Brandon Deans (Mississauga, Ont.), LHP Brandon Fraser (Burlington, Ont.) RHP Colton Tyler (Erin, Ont.), RHP Thomas Murphy (Toronto, Ont.), of the Ontario Blue Jays; RHP Theo Millas and LHP Justin Thorsteinson of the Langley Blaze; RHP Evan O’Toole (Bridgewater, NS) of Vauxhall Jets; Tylor Jans (St.Albert, Alta.) of the Prospects Academy. 

There was a time when Canada meant pitching prospects. 

Period.

It was difficult for position players to catch the eye of scouts.

Recently there have been position players selected in the first 100 players in North America in of late:

1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) of Ontario Blue Jays, who went to the Miami Marlins in the first round in 2015.

C-INF Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) of the Langley Blaze chosen by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round of the 2008  draft.

C Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) of Langley Blaze, a first rounder to the Texas Rangers in the first round in 2010.

SS Kevin Nicholson (Surrey, BC) of Stetson College a first rounder in 1997 to the San Diego Padres. 

INF Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) of Team Ontario selected in the first round by the Atlanta Braves in 2000.

 ABC's Ntema Ndungidi (Montreal, Que.) was drafted by Wayne Norton of the Baltimore Orioles. 

ABC's Ntema Ndungidi (Montreal, Que.) was drafted by Wayne Norton of the Baltimore Orioles. 

OF Ntema Ndungidi (Montreal, Que.) Academie Baseball Canada, a first rounder to the Orioles in 1997. 

C Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) of the Etobicoke Rangers, a second rounder chosen by the Reds in 2002.

C Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets, a second rounder to the Ariizona Diamondbacks.

INF Adam Hall (London, Ont.) Great Lakes Canadians a second rounder to the Orioles in 2017.

SS Danny Klassen (Leamington, Ont.) second round to the Brewers.

 Former Ontario Blue Jays OF Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont.) was scouted and signed by Seattle Mariners' scout Wayne Norton. 

Former Ontario Blue Jays OF Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont.) was scouted and signed by Seattle Mariners' scout Wayne Norton. 

 

OF Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays, a second rounder to the Seattle Mariners second 2014.

RF Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) of Langley, third round to the Mariners in 2013.

C Justin Morneau (New Westminister, BC) North Delta Blue Jays to the Twins in the third round in 1999.

C Chris Robinson (Dorchester, Ont.) of University of Illinois and the London Badgers in the third round of 2005 to the Tigers.

1B Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, Ont.) Team Ontario, third round to the Indians in 2005. 

And C-INF Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) is expected to be the top high school player in June.

* * *
So are pitchers coming back to the forefront?

“Keep in mind, that the 90s are coming from our oldest players,” said one scout. “The question shouldn’t be how many 90s do we have. It’s how many 89s? And how old are they? For once, we don’t have to worry about velocity as being the main factor in our evaluations. Now, we can go back to watching guys pitch, because that’s what it’s about.”


Ontario Blue Jays Scout Day
The Athlete Matrix in Mississauga

Top Infield Veloctiy

2018 Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 92 

2018 INF David McCabe (Courtice, Ont.) Ontario Astros - 91 

2019 Jaden Brown (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays- 89

2018 Tyler Small (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 89

2019 TJ Schofield (Brampton, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 86

 Ryan Johnston (Oakville, Ont.) ... Photo: Play In School. 

Ryan Johnston (Oakville, Ont.) ... Photo: Play In School. 

2018 Ryan Johnston (Oakville, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 85

2018 Kyle Kush (Guelph, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 85 

2019 Jason Chiu (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 85

 

Top Outfield Velcocity
2018 Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) Toronto Mets - 96

2018 Austin Wilkie (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 95

2019 Joel McKnight (Brooklin, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 93

2019 Dasan Brown (Hamilton, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 92 

2018 Brandon Clarke (Newmarket, Ont.) Ontario Astros 91 

 

2019 Ciaran O’Dowd (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 90

2018 Ryan Santos (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 88 


Top pop times

2018 C Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 1.82 

2019 C Blake Buckle (Guelph, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays - 2.03 

2018 Justin Raspanti (Milton, Ont.) Ontario Astros - 1.88 

 

 RHP Jacob Kush (Guelphh, Ont.) hit 92 MPH

RHP Jacob Kush (Guelphh, Ont.) hit 92 MPH


Top velocities
2018 RHP Jacob Kush (Guelph, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays, flashing 92 sitting 90-91 

2018 RHP Evan Chenier (Georgetown, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays touching 91 sitting 89-90 

2019 RHP Brandon Deans (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays sitting 87-88 touching 89  

2018 RHP Thomas Murphy (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets 87-89

2018 Diego Dominguez (Vaughn, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays sitting 87-88 touching 89 

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2019 LHP Nick Fraser (Burlington, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays 87-88 hitting 89

2018 RHP Colton Tyler (Erin, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays touching 89 

2018 RHP Ryan Capuano (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets 87-88

2019 RHP Kyle Lev (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays sitting 87-88 flashing 89 

2018 LHP Adam Parker (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets 87-88


2019 LHP Carter Seabrooke (Peterborough, Ont.) Toronto Mets 87-88 

2018 RHP Dimitri Stamatopoulos (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays sitting 88

RHP Lukas Barry (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays touching 87 sitting 85-86 

Scouts: Murray Zuk (Souris, Man.) of the San Diego Padres, Denis Boucher (Laval, Que.), New York Yankees, Jay Lapp (London, Ont.) Toronto Blue Jays; Adam Stern (London, Ont.) Boston Red Sox; Matt Higginson (Oakville, Ont.) Oakland A’s; George Halim (Dundas, Ont.), Arizona Diamondbacks; Peter Orr (Newmarket, Ont.) Milwaukee Brewers; Mike Steed (Burlington, Ont.) Cincinnati Reds; Adam Arnold (London, Ont.) Toronto Blue Jays; Meyer Shemtov (Richmond Hill, Ont.) Colorado Rockies; Derek Bloomfield (Strathroy, Ont.), Kansas City Royals; Trevor Nyp (Kitchener, Ont.) Washington Nationals, plus Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) Baseball Canada.

 ABC RHP Olivier Morin Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) hit 90 MPH.

ABC RHP Olivier Morin Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) hit 90 MPH.


Montreal
At Claude Robiallard Sports Complex

2018 RHP Olivier Morin Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada 89-90 

2018 RHP Kurt Dillan (Long Sault, Ont.) Academy Baseball Canada 90

2020 Simon Lusignag (Varennes, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada 90  

2018 RHP Charles Lefebvre (Laval, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada 86-88

 

Pop Time to second

2018 C Olivier Mayrand (Laval, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada 1.90

2018 Raphaël Pelletier (Repentigny, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada 1.97

2018 C Martin Vincelli-Simard (Boisbrand, Que.) Vauxhall Academy 1.97 

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Other prospects
2018 Félix-Antoine Chénier Rondeau (Blainville, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada 6,39 seconds
(Record for 60 for ABC program)

2018 Nicolas Tremblay (Mont St-Hilaire, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada

2020 Jason Begin (Sherbrooke, Que.) Academy Baseball Canada exit velocity off bat 94 mph

Scouts: Murray Zuk (Souris, Man.) Padres; Alex Agostino (St. Bruno, Que.), Phillies; Denis Boucher (Lachine, Que.) Yankees, Raimondo Callari (Cote Saint-Luc, Que.) Giants; Jasmin Roy (Longueil, Que.), Blue Jays, plus Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) Baseball Canada.

 RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) who grew up playing at the historic Fairgrounds. 

RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) who grew up playing at the historic Fairgrounds. 

Ontario Terriers Scout Day
(At the Baseball Zone)

Best prospects
2018 RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 

2019 RHP Evan Elliott (Georgetown, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 

2019 RHP Austin Gomm (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Terriers

2020 RHP-OF Michael Stremlaw (Oakville, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 

2020 LHP Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 

 

2019 OF Jamal Armstrong (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Terriers

2020 LHP Campbell Ellis (Georgetown, Ont.) Ontario Terriers

2021 SS Eligah Hammill (Oakville, Ont.) Ontario Terriers

2020 C Tyson Gomm (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 

 RHP Evan Elliott (Toronto, Ont.) of the Ontario Terriers

RHP Evan Elliott (Toronto, Ont.) of the Ontario Terriers

Top Velocities
2019 RHP Evan Elliott (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Terriers - 90

2018 RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) Ontario Terriers - 89

2020 RHP-OF Michael Stremlaw (Oakville, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 83-85 touched 86.

2020 LHP Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 81-83 

2020 LHP Campbell Ellis (Georgetown, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 78-80

 

2020 LHP Tiago Gulino (Brampton, Ont.) Ontario Terriers 75-77

Scouts: Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC), Minnesota Twins; Bill Byckowski (Georgetown, Ont, Cincinnati Reds; Jay Lapp (London, Ont.) Toronto Blue Jays; George Halim (Dundas, Ont.), Arizona Diamondbacks; Meyer Shemtov (Richmond Hill, Ont.) Colorado Rockies; Adam Arnold (London, Ont.) Toronto Blue Jays.

 

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LHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket Ont.) of the Toronto Mets and son of former Baltimore Orioles farmhand Paul Thorpe hit 90 MPH

Out of the Park Sports
(Scarborough, Ont.)

Top Velocities

2019 LHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket Ont.) Toronto Mets 90

2018 LHP Adam Parker (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets 87-88

 OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets. Photo: Amanda Fewer.

OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets. Photo: Amanda Fewer.

Top Performers
2018 OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) Toronto Mets 

2018 INF Tyler Black (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets

2018 INF Daniel Carinci (Ajax, Ont.) Toronto Mets

2019 C Ryan Leitch (Whitby, Ont.) Toronto Mets

2019 OF Noah Hull (Toronto, Ont.) Toronto Mets

 

2019 OF Kieran Gagnon (Orangeville, Ont.) Toronto Mets

Scouts: Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC), Minnesota Twins and George Halim (Dundas, Ont.), Arizona Diamondbacks.

 OF Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) of the Vauxhall Academy Jets. Photo: Amanda Fewer.

OF Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) of the Vauxhall Academy Jets. Photo: Amanda Fewer.

At Vauxhall, Alta.
Top performers

2018 OF Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) Vauxhall Academy Jets 

2018 INF Ty Penner (Lethbridge, Alta.) Vauxhall Academy Jets

2019 OF Kendall Keller (Pilot Butte, Sask.) Martin Academy/Regina Wolfpack

2018 INF Liam Vulcano (Surrey, BC) Vauxhall Academy Jets

2019 OF Dayton Peters (Abbotsford, BC) Vauxhall Academy Jets

 

2019 INF Mike Brisson (St. Albert, Alta.) Prospects Academy

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RHP Tylor Jans (St. Albert, Alta.) of the Prospects Academy hit 89 MPH.


Top Velocities
2018 Tylor Jans (St. Albert, Alta.) Prospects Academy 87-89 

2019 OF-RHP Evan O’Toole (Bridgewater, NS) Vauxhall Academy Jets 87-89

2018 RHP Joe Karall (St, Albert, Alta.) Prospects Academy 86-88

2018 RHP Garrett Hawkins (Biggar, Sask.) Vauxhall Academy Jets 85-88 

2018 LHP Adam Macko (Stony Plain, Alta.) Vauxhall Academy Jets 85-87

 

2018 LHP Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, NS) Vauxhall Academy Jets 85-86

2019 RHP Chase Florendine (Lethbridge, Alta.) Vauxhall Academy Jets 85-86

2020 RHP Chas Wheatley (Edmonton, Alta.) Prospects Academy 84-85

2020 RHP Levi Abbott (Lethbridge, Alta.) Vauxhall Academy Jets 83-84

2019 LHP Thomas Little (Lethbridge, Alta.) Vauxhall Academy Jets 82-84

2019 LHP Liam Froment (Morinville, Alta.) Prospects Academy 82-84

2020 RHP Andrew Yusypchuk (Edmonton, Alta.) Prospects Academy 81-84

Scouts: Murray Zuk (Souris, Man.) Padres; Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC) Twins; Marty Lehn (White Rock, BC) Brewers; Les McTavish (Vauxhall) Mariners; Dale Tileman (Taber, Alta.) Tigers; Adam Arnold (London, Ont.) and Kory Lafreniere (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) Blue Jays, plus Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) Baseball Canada.

 INF-RHP LaRon Smith (Okotoks, Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs ... Photo: Amanda Fewer.

INF-RHP LaRon Smith (Okotoks, Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs ... Photo: Amanda Fewer.

Okotoks Alta.
(Duvernay Field House)

Top velocities
2018 INF-RHP LaRon Smith (Okotoks, Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs 92 

2018 RHP Bryce Libke (Saskatoon, Sask.) Okotoks Dawgs 88 

2019 RHP Brendan Logan (Oyen, Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs 88

2018 LHP Noah Geekie (Strathclair, Man.) Okotoks Dawgs 87 

2019 LHP Jackson Fraser (Regina, Sask.) Okotoks Dawgs

 

2018 RHP Ryan Olcholway (Saskatoon, Sask.) Okotoks Dawgs 87 

2018 RHP Graham Brunner (Sherwood Park Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs 87

2019 RHP Jordan Lussier (Winnipeg, Man.) 86 

2020 LHP Matt Wilkinson (Delta, BC) 86 

2020 INF Dryden Howse (Calgary, Alta.) 84 

 

2020 Blake Davidson (Okotoks, Alta.) 84 

 C Gavin Logan (Oyen, Alta.) of the Okotoks Dawgs.

C Gavin Logan (Oyen, Alta.) of the Okotoks Dawgs.

Top performers

2018 C Gavin Logan (Oyen, Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs

2019 RHP Jackson Fraser (Lumsdenn, Sask.) 

2019 RHP Branden Woods (Red Deer Alta.)

2020 OF Alejandro Cazorla (White Rock, BC) 

Scouts: Murray Zuk (Souris, Man.) Padres; Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC) Twins; Marty Lehn (White Rock, BC) Brewers; Les McTavish (Lethbridge, Alta.) Mariners; Jamie Bodaly (Langley, BC) Reds; Dale Tileman (Taber, Alta.) Tigers; Adam Arnold (London, Ont.) and Kory Lafreniere (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) Blue Jays, plus Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) Baseball Canada.

 

 Former Langley Blaze RHP Kyle Stubbins (Surrey, BC) transferred from the UBC Thunderbirds to the Douglas College Royals.

Former Langley Blaze RHP Kyle Stubbins (Surrey, BC) transferred from the UBC Thunderbirds to the Douglas College Royals.

North Vancouver
(At Inside Performance)

2018 RHP Kyle Stubbins (Surrey, BC) Douglas College 92-93

2018 RHP Tate Dearing (White Rock, BC) Langley Blaze 91-92

2018 RHP David Rhodes (White Rock, BC) Langley Blaze/Seattle Select 88-90

2019 RHP-C Kayden Beauregard (Abbootsford, BC) Abbotsford Cardinals 88-90

2019 RHP Jacob Davies (Cloverdale, BC) Cloverdale Nationals 89

 

2019 RHP Theo Milas (Burnaby, BC) Langley Blaze 87-89

2018 RHP Brett Jackson (Abbootsford, BC) Abbotsford Cardinals 88

2019 RHP Eli Saul (Vancouver, BC) UBC Jr. Thunder 88

2019 RHP Ryan Scott (Fredericton, NB) Langley Blaze 87-88 (up seven miles from the fall)

2018 RHP Declan Dutton (Vancouver, BC) North Shore Twins 86-88

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RHP Parker Wakelyn (Abbotsford, BC), who is eligible for the 2019 draft and pitches for the Abbottsford Cardinal,s has his fastball clocked at 85-86 MPH.

2019 RHP Parker Wakelyn (Abbotsford, BC) Abbottsford Cardinals 85-86

2018 RHP Travis McDougall (Abbotsford, BC) Abbotsford Cardinals 84-86

2020 RHP Jack Seward (Port Moody, BC) Coquitlam Reds 84-86

2019 RHP Madjik Mackenzie (Coquitlam, BC) Coquitlam Reds 84-85 

2020 RHP Vic Domingo (Vancouver, BC) UBC Jr. Thunder 84-85

 

2020 RHP Gavin Pringle (Duncan, BC ) Mid Island Pirates 84-85

2019 LHP Jake Richmond-Benner (Gibsons, BC) North Shore Twins 81-82

 OF-INF Daniel Martin (Langley, BC) Langley Blaze

OF-INF Daniel Martin (Langley, BC) Langley Blaze

Top Hitters

2018 OF-INF Daniel Martin (Langley, BC) Langley Blaze

2018 INF Josh Marcheese (Burnaby, BC), Langley Blaze

2018 INF Dylan Ohlsen (Abbotsford, BC) Abbotsford Cardinals 

2019 C Brandon Nicoll (Langley, BC), Langley Blaze

2019 C Connor Dykstra (Chilliwack, BC) Langley Blaze

 

2018 OF Daniel Gernon (Surrey, BC) Cloverdale Nationals

Scouts: Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC) Twins; Doug Mathieson (Aldergrove, BC) Arizona Diamondbacks; Jamie Bodaly (Langley, BC) Reds; Conor Glassey, Cleveland Indians, Dave Dangler, Detroit Tigers: Adam Arnold (London, Ont.) and Kory Lafreniere (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) Blue Jays, plus Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) Baseball Canada.