Keyes, Valero, Cerny, Messer, Nicholson impress in Alberta

OF Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) of the Okotoks Dawgs is expected to be the top player from Alberta selected come June. 

OF Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) of the Okotoks Dawgs is expected to be the top player from Alberta selected come June. 

By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network

As he did a year ago, OF Clayton Keyes impressed.

Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) of the Okotoks Dawgs was the most attractive players on display as the pro scouts visited Alberta.

Seven evaluators stopped by the Duvernay Fieldhouse in Okotoks on a pro showcase day. Keyes, who plays for coach Allen Cox, was eligible for the draft a year ago and was selected by Toronto Blue Jays scout Jamie Lehman (Brampton, Ont.) in the 17th round. 

However, Keyes chose not to go to school at University of Washington or Central Arizona College. He had signed a Letter of Intent to each place. He was so young he chose to stick with the Canadian Junior National Team and remain in high school. He has committed to Central Arizona for next September -- after the World Junior championships in Thunder Bay.  

The next best prospect at Okotoks was INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.).

The same day the scouts visited Vauxhall Academy Jets to see those who play for coach Les McTavish who also wears another hat as a Seattle Mariners scout.

The best at Vauxhall were C Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, Man.) and LHP Garrett Nicholson (Sydney Mines, NS) of Vauxhall, along with RHP Chris Messer (Calgary, Alta.) of the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs. 
 
Messer was clocked at 90-92 MPH and showed a really quick arm. Nicholson had his fastball clocked at 85-87 MPH and threw “loose and easy.”

On hand: There were six scouts from five teams at the events. The Toronto Blue Jays had two scouts on hand in head Canadian scout Jamie Lehman and Don Cowan. Murray Zuk from the San Diego Padres, Walt Burrows of the Minnesota Twins, Les McTavish of the Seattle Mariners plus Todd Hubka from the Prairie Baseball Academy.

Okotoks Academy
Top-ranked prospects for this year’s draft ... three months away

OF Clayton Keyes, Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
1B Soren Graversen, Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
LHP Will Undershute, Okotoks, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs

RHP Ethan Francis, Misouche, PEI, Okotoks Dawgs
 

SS LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) of the Oktoks Dawgss.

SS LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) of the Oktoks Dawgss.

Top ranked prospects for 2018 ... 15 months away   
SS LaRon Smith, Spruce Grove, Alta., Oktoks Dawgs
LHP Graham Brunner, Spruce Grove, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
RHP Brendan Logan, Oyen, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
RHP Tyler McWillie, Watrous, Sask., Okotoks Dawgs 

INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs

INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) Okotoks Dawgs

The best for 2019 ... 27 months away
INF Cesar Valero, Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
C Ayden Makarus, Aidrie, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs

LHP Garrett Nicholson (Sydney Mines, NS) of the Vauxhall Jets.

LHP Garrett Nicholson (Sydney Mines, NS) of the Vauxhall Jets.

Vauxhall Academy
Top-ranked prospects for this year’s draft ... three months away

LHP Garrett Nicholson, Sydney Mines, NS, Vauxhall Academy
C Victor Cerny, Winnipeg, Man., Vauxhall Academy  
RHP Chris Messer, Calgary, Alta. Prairie Baseball Academy  
LHP Wesley Moore, Surrey, BC, Vauxhall Academy 84-86
C Brett Mercier, Lutes Mountain, NB, Vauxhall Academy   
RHP Ben Erwin, Spruce Grove, Alta., Vauxhall Academy 85-86

3B Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) Vauxhall

3B Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) Vauxhall

Top ranked prospects for 2018 ... 15 months away  
3B Damiano Palmegiani, Surrey, BC, Vauxhall Academy
INF Liam Vulcano, Surrey, BC Vauxhall Academy
LHP Jaden Griffen, Lower Sackville, NS, Vauxhall Academy 86-86
SS Owen Harms, Winnipeg, Man., Vauxhall Academy
RHP Garrick Hawkins, Biggar, Sask., Vauxhall Academy 84-86

The best for 2019 ... 27 months away
INF Dayton Peters, Abbotsford, BC, Vauxhall Academy
LHP Adam Macko, Stony Plain, Alta., Vauxhall Academy 83-85

RHP Chris Messer (Calgary, Alta.)  Prairie Baseball Academy  

RHP Chris Messer (Calgary, Alta.)  Prairie Baseball Academy  

And the combined, over-all list of talent on display in Alberta ...
OF Clayton Keyes, Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
INF Cesar Valero, Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
C Victor Cerny, Winnipeg, Man., Vauxhall Academy  
RHP Chris Messer, Calgary, Alta. Prairie Baseball Academy  
LHP Garrett Nicholson, Sydney Mines, NS, Vauxhall Academy

INF Dayton Peters, Abbotsford, BC, Vauxhall Academy
LHP Jaden Griffen, Lower Sackville, NS, Vauxhall Academy 86-86
RHP Chris Messer, Calgary, Alta. Prairie Baseball Academy  
LHP Graham Brunner, Spruce Grove, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs
C Brett Mercier, Lutes Mountain, NB, Vauxhall Academy   
INF Liam Vulcano, Surrey, BC, Vauxhall Academy
C Ayden Makarus, Aidrie, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs