By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
Five Canucks were at the annual Area Code Games at Blair Field in Long Beach earlier this month.
No one made the top 10 Rawlings prospects in attendances, accrediting to Baseball America. However, the draft goes 40 rounds and there were 535 scouts on hand during the event as the top 220 high school players from North America from the class of 2018, 2019 and 2020 formed eight regional teams in a five-day showcase.
On hand were Noah “Bo” Naylor (Missississauga, Ont.), David Rhodes (Langley, BC), Tate Dearing (White Rock, BC), Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) and Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.).
Naylor, who plays for the Ontario Blue Jays, had two singles off high-80s fastballs for the Yankees in a 4-1 win against the White Sox.
The Royals pitching was interesting, according to Prep Baseball Report, starting with RHP Rhodes of the Seattle Select/Pacific Northwest Regional. He pitched at 88-89, touching 90, while showing very good feel for his secondary stuff, including a breaking ball with depth at 76-77. His changeup was 79-82. Rhodes allowed a hit and a walk in two innings while striking out two as the Royals battled the Reds to a 1-1 tie.
RHP Dearing, of the White Rock Tritons, pitched two scoreless innings for the Royals, striking out one, in an 8-3 loss to the Athletics.
The Area Codes is where the likes of Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.), Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC), Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont,) and Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) made their marks and all went in the first round 11 months later.
Heading into the 2018 draft Naylor is pegged as a top high schooler, according to Perfect Game Scouting Service. He is ranked the 15th high schooler in North America as of June 29. Rhodes is No. 302.
Clarke of the Toronto Mets and Palmegiani of the Vauxhall Academy Jets are with the Yankees playing for coaches (who double as scouts) Ray Fagnant (Boston Red Sox), Dennis Sheehan (Arizona Diamondbacks), Tim Alexander (Tampa Bay Rays), Mike Serbalik (Diamondbacks), Jim Bretz (San Diego Padres), Ron Vaughn (Oakland Athletics), John Wilson (Minnesota Twins) and Takeshi Sakurayama )Texas Rangers).