Elliott: Private workouts for Leach, Hall, Keyes, Willow, Davis
By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
Most of the names have been organized on the boards inside the respective war rooms of the 30 war rooms.
The high school seasons are long since wrapped up south of the border and only 16 college teams remain alive, eight of which will advance to the College World Series in Omaha.
There is very little anyone can do to impress evaluators or change anyone’s name before the three-day draft begins Monday night ... unless that is of course you have been invited to a private work out.
You know the way C Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.) impressed at Chase Field in Phoenix for Arizona Diamondbacks scouts, or how 1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) impressed at Marlins Park in 2015, ditto for INF Kyle Orr (Victoria, BC) who shone at a Dodger Stadium in 2006 and C Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) in 2002 in Cinergy Field.
And a few Canadians expected to go in the first five rounds have received invites ...
RHP Landon Leach (Pickering, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets will throw Saturday before Houston Astros scouts and brain trust -- 12 in all -- at Minute Maid Park in Houston. He was filmed for technical analysis.
Los Angeles Angels Midwest area scout Drew Dominguez was in on the weekend along with New York Mets scout Claude Pelletier (Ste-Lezare, Que.) to see Leach face the Toronto Mets 17U at Dan Lang Field in Scarborough. Leach was clocked at 90-94 MPHs and threw some excellent sliders in his four hitless innings. He allowed one run on two walks and six strikeouts.
Leach, expected to go Day 1 of the draft, was not the only one making the rounds, that we are aware of so far ...
INF Adam Hall (London, Ont.) of the Great Lakes Canadians, worked out for the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium and as well for San Diego Padres scouts among others.
OF Clayton Keyes (Okotoks, Alta.) attended a private work out for the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on Monday. Then, Keyes of the Okotoks Dawgs was off to Arlington, Tex. to strut his stuff for the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.
INF Jason Willow (Victoria, BC) of the Victoria Mariners was also at Safeco Field in Seattle. Invited to attend a Milwaukee Brewers workout Willow had to decline because he is co-valedictorian of his graduating class at Lambrick Park Secondary School.
OF Cooper Davis (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays was also at Safeco to perform for the Seattle Mariners on Monday and then headed south to work out Wednesday at PetCo Park in San Diego for Padre scouts.
INF Trei Cruz (Houston) the Toronto-born son of former Blue Jays OF Jose Cruz, Jr. will also attend the Astros work out.
The Toronto Blue Jays and the Diamondbacks, the latter which dominated selecting Canadians last year (C Andrew Yerzy, from the Toronto Mets in the second round; RHP Curtis Taylor of Port Coquitlam, BC, UBC, fourth; RHP Jake Polancic, Langley, BC, Langley Blaze, 11th and C Luke Van Rycheghem Kent Bridge, Ont. Ontario Blue Jays, 23rd, did not have private workouts.
And once the workouts end the negotiating continues.
We want $600,000.
“Well, good luck at school son.”
We want $500,000 another will say.
“Hmmm. Let me call the office.”
Whatever happens there are zero bad choices. It’s not like Let’s Make a Deal where Door No. 1 was a trip to Bermuda, Door No. 2 was a week-long cruise to Alaska and Door No. 3 was a ride around the studio lot on a burro.
Leach has committed to the Texas Longhorns, Hall can attend the Texas A&M Aggies if he wishes, Keyes has a scholarship to Central Arizona, Willow has UC Santa Barbara, the speedy Davis has Vanderbilt and finally Cruz can go to Rice University as his father did.