PG college wrap: Handley, Lumley, Thibideau, Kirwer, Scheftz

OF Toby Handley (Whitby, Ont.) of the Stony Brook Seawolves is the top rated Canadian in the America East Conference. The Ontario Terriers grad is ranked No. 7 on Perfect Game's top 15 list. 

OF Toby Handley (Whitby, Ont.) of the Stony Brook Seawolves is the top rated Canadian in the America East Conference. The Ontario Terriers grad is ranked No. 7 on Perfect Game's top 15 list. 

By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network

They are the west like Langley and from Nanaimo BC and as far east as Dartmouth, N.S.

Canucks played a prominent role on the preview pages of Perfect Game Scouting USA.

All in all there were 29 players mentioned 42 times. Let’s see there were 

_ Nine players mentioned on the conference’s top prospects list: OF Toby Handley (Whitby, Ont.) of the Stony Brook Seawolves, INF Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) of the Canisius Griffins; OF Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) Niagara Purple Eagles; OF Chris Thibideau (Dartmouth, N.S.)  North Florida Ospreys, RHP Jordan Scheftz (Irvine, Calif.), born in North York, Ont. and with the Central Florida Knights and RHP Zach Pop (Brampton, Ont.) Kentucky Wildcats for this June; RHP Jackson Wark (St. Albert, Alta.) Saint Louis Billikens and RHP Michael Brettell (Fonthill, Ont.) Central Michigan Chippewas for 2018 and CF Jake Wilson (New Lowell, Ont.) Bowling Green Falcons. 

_ Four occupied spots on the rosters of the top 25 ranked teams: SS Brad Antchak (Langley, BC) of the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns, RHP Mathieu Deneault-Gauthier (Candiac, Que.) North Carolina Wolfpack, RHP Josh Burgmann (Nanaimo, BC) Washington Huskies and INF Louis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) Arizona Wildcats.   

_ One pre-conference award for CF Jake Wilson (New Lowell, Ont.) of the Bowling Green Falcons. 

_ Three players earned all-conference pre-season honors: OF Chris Thibideau (Dartmouth, N.S.)  North Florida Ospreys, INF Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) of the Canisius Griffins and RHP C.J. Lewington (Calgary Alta.) of the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions.

RHP Jordan Scheftz had an impressive summer with the Hearldssburg Pruce Packers in summer ball and is now with the Central Florida Knights

RHP Jordan Scheftz had an impressive summer with the Hearldssburg Pruce Packers in summer ball and is now with the Central Florida Knights

_ Another 25 were mentioned in the conference round ups: RHP Jordan Scheftz (Irvine, Calif.), who was born in North York, Ont. and now pitches for the Central Florida Knights, OF Toby Handley (Whitby, Ont.) Stony Brook Seawolves, RHP Jackson Wark (St. Albert, Alta.) Saint Louis Billikens, RHP T.J. Baker (Acton, Ont.) St. Bonaventure Bonnies, RHP RJ Freure (Burlington, Ont.) Pittsburgh Panthers, OF Chris Thibideau (Dartmouth, N.S.) North Florida Ospreys, LHP Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, Man.) Stetson Hatters, INF Royce Ando (Mississauga, Ont.) Michigan State Spartans, 3B Raphael Gladu (Trois-Rivieres Que.) Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, INF Jared Young (Prince George, BC) Old Dominion Monarchs, LHP Steven Dressler (Burlington, Ont.) Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, CF Jake Wilson (New Lowell, Ont.) Bowling Green Falcons, Josh Shepley (Windsor, Ont.), J.P. Stevenson (Hunter River, PEI), 3B Liam Wilson (Ayr, Ont.) and Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) all of the Canisius Griffins; Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) Niagara Purple Eagles; RHP Michael Brettell (Fonthill, Ont.) Central Michigan Chippewas, OF Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.) New Orleans Privateers, 3B Dawson Yates (Kelowna, BC) Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders, RHP Zach Pop (Brampton, Ont.) Kentucky Wildcats, INF Bryce Dimitroff (Burlington, Ont.) Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans, OF Phillip Berthiaume (Quebec City, Que.) Texas-Arlington Mavericks, RHP C.J. Lewington (Calgary Alta.) University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions and INF Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, BC) Seattle Redhawks. 


Top Prospects
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) 
Top 10
2017

1. Gavin Wallace, rhp, Fairfield
7. Jake Lumley, ss, Canisius
10. Tanner Kirwer, if/of, Niagara 

American East
Top 15 Prospects

1. Ben Bengtson, ss, Hartford
7. Toby Handley, of, Stony Brook 

Atlantic Sun
Top 10

1. Michael Gigliotti, of, Lipscomb
9. Chris Thibideau, of, North Florida 

American Athletic
Top 20

1. Seth Romero, lhp, Houston
13. Jordan Scheftz, rhp, UCF

SEC
Top 30 Prospects
2017

1. Kyle Wright, rhp, Vanderbilt
17. Zachary Pop, rhp, Kentucky

RHP Jackson Wark (St. Albert, Alta.) Saint Louis Billikens ...

RHP Jackson Wark (St. Albert, Alta.) Saint Louis Billikens ...

Atlantic 10
2018
Top Five

1. Reiss Knehr, rhp, Fordham
5. Jackson Wark, rhp, Saint Louis

Mid-America
2018
Top 10

1. Michael Brettell, rhp, Central Michigan 

MAC
2019
Top Five

1. Zack Kohn, rhp, Central Michigan
2. Jake Wilson, cf, Bowling Green

Perfect Game Top 25
1. TCU 49-18 3 College World Series

13. Louisiana-Lafayette 43-21 22 Lafayette Regional
The Rajin’ Cajuns have SS Brad Antchak (Langley, BC) who played for coach Gerry White with the North Delta Blue Jays and then transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Golden Norse playing for coach Roger Ward. He hit .246 with eight doubles, a homer and 12 RBIs in 45 games going 5-for-5 stealing with a .679 OPS.

14. NC State 38-22 24 Raleigh Regional
The Wolfpack has freshman RHP Mathieu Deneault-Gauthier (Candiac, Que.) after he pitched for the Ducs de Longueuil in the LBJÉQ and the Canadian Junior National Team.

RHP Josh Burgmann (Nanaimo, BC)

RHP Josh Burgmann (Nanaimo, BC)

18. Washington 33-23 NR Nashville Regional
The Huskies have RHP Josh Burgmann (Nanaimo, BC), who pitched for the Vauxhall Academy Jets and the Canadian Junior National Team. Burgmann was drafted in the 30th round last summer by the St. Louis Cardinals and is a freshman.
                         
25. Arizona 49-24 2 CWS Runner-up
The Wildcats have INF Louis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) who spent his first two years at Cochise College before transferring. Boyd hit .240 with 12 doubles and 23 RBIs in 65 games while going 11-for-14 stealing bases and finishing with a .684 OPS.


MAC
Freshman of the Year:
Jake Wilson, of, Bowling Green

Pre-season All-Conference Team
Atlantic Sun
Pos. Name Class School Stats/Notes

OF Chris Thibideau Sr. North Florida .344-8-32; run producer, all fields, 12 SB, .561 SLG

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) 
Pos. Name Class School Stats/Notes

MIF Jake Lumley Sr. Canisius .339-3-35; high average, senior leader w/speed

SWAC
Pos. Name Class School Stats/Notes

SP C.J. Lewington Sr. Ark. Pine Bluff 3.73, 60.1 IP, 44:19; pitchability, potential is there


American Athletic
UCF:
The Knights offense this year will have a familiar look to it as eight of the team’s 10 leading hitters return. Slinging righthander Jordan Scheftz will take on the closer’s role after posting a 3.48 ERA with low-90s heat at Saddleback College last year.

American East
Stony Brook:
It’s always a good feeling to know when you hand the ball off to your ace on Friday nights that you have a legitimate chance to win, regardless of the opponent, and that’s exactly what coach Matt Senk has in sophomore righthander Bret Clarke. In addition nearly the entire starting lineup returns starting with leadoff hitting senior Toby Handley who has a smooth righthanded swing and speed on the bases that has produced 12 stolen bases each of the last three years.

Atlantic 10
Saint Louis:
As is usually the case, Head Coach Darin Hendrickson welcomes back an experienced and talented lineup as the staff has done a nice job of not only recruiting but also developing talent whether it’s from the high school or junior college ranks. The talent on the mound continues through the weekend rotation as big 6-foot-7 sophomore righthander Jackson Wark enjoyed a breakout fall as he worked 89-91 mph with an advanced slider and could develop into a nice pick come June. 

St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies appear to be in good shape as the 2017 season is set to begin with returning talent to both sides of the ball that could very well allow them to make noise in the A-10 this spring. The coaching staff can go a few different ways to round out the rotation though they do return to key bullpen arms in T.J. Baker and Nate Grant, both of whom made 23 appearances last spring and helped keep the staff ERA to a highly impressive 2.79.

R.J. Freure (Burlington, Ont.) Pitt Panthers

R.J. Freure (Burlington, Ont.) Pitt Panthers

Atlantic Coast
Pittsburgh:
The overall structure of this Joe Jordano-coached Panthers team figures to be different from 2016 as several pieces have moved on, including four of the top five producers on offense and their top arm in righthander T.J. Zeuch. The freshman class is one that will provide depth in year one as righthander Dan Hammer and R.J. Freure have both been clocked in the low-90s, 

Atlantic Sun
North Florida:
And it’s going to be an experienced, veteran lineup as all of the projected position players are either juniors or seniors, a group that will be led by senior center fielder Chris Thibideau. Coming off a 2016 season in which he hit .344-8-32, Thibideau’s production will be welcomed back to the middle of the order as he’s proven he can hit for both average and power while bringing a speed component both on the bases (12 steals) and tracking balls out in center.  

Stetson: There will be a new look to the Hatters this spring, not only because their ace and four of their top five bats from a season ago have departed, but for the first time in 37 years coach Pete Dunn won’t be at the helm. Administration tabbed Maine’s Steve Trimper as the next head coach of Stetson. Lefthander Ben Onyshko rounds out the weekend staff after splitting 2016 between the starting rotation and bullpen successfully.

Big Ten
Michigan State:
Somewhat similar to their in-state rivals, Michigan State started out 2016 extremely hot but ended up coming just short in both the conference season and the conference tourney. The battle to watch here is at shortstop, where the coaches are hoping one of Royce Ando or Kory Young will step up and grab the job as his own. 

Conference USA:
Louisiana Tech:
In terms of returning talent not many teams in the conference can match what Louisiana Tech welcomes back as their top seven hitters by average, all everyday regulars from the 2016 season, return to the lineup. Leadoff hitter and senior left fielder Raphael Gladu returns with the top average from 2016 with a .339 mark, one of four returners with an average over the .300 mark.

Jared Young (Prince George, BC) of Old Dominion 

Jared Young (Prince George, BC) of Old Dominion 

Old Dominion: The Monarchs return one of the more experienced lineups in the conference and with the type of talent they return to both sides of the ball Old Dominion should be able to build upon their 34-20 mark from 2016. Jared Young, the team’s starting second baseman, appears to be an impact transfer from Connors State.

Texas-San Antonio: The UTSA offense receives a shot in the arm this spring as experienced bats Jesse Baker and Kevin Markham both return after missing the entirety of the 2016 season. JUCO transfers Zach Murphy, Steven Dressler, Chris Muller and Tyler Giovanoni all come in after having nice seasons a year ago and should compete for starting roles while simultaneously bolstering the staff.

MAC
Bowling Green:
Bowling Green looks to take a step forward in 2017 after a rough season last year, but the roster looks to have developed well and they’ll get impactful performances from those developments this season. True freshman center fielder Jake Wilson was drafted out of high school last year by the Red Sox and it was absolutely huge for Bowling Green to get him to campus. He’s a toolsy, athletic and physical center fielder who projects well in every facet and should make an immediate impact for the Falcons in his first season.

J.P. Stevenson (Hunter River, PEI) of the Griffs

J.P. Stevenson (Hunter River, PEI) of the Griffs

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) 
Canisius:
Head Coach Mike McRae is starting his 13th season at the helm and he has a lot of returning talent to go along with two big losses. The pitching staff is coming off a season that saw the Golden Griffins lead the conference in ERA, however they will lose starting pitcher Josh Shepley to Tommy John surgery and 2016 MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year Iannick Remillard to graduation. The pitching rotation will be re-joined by junior J.P. Stevenson, who missed time in 2016 with a rotator cuff injury. The lineup will be anchored by senior leader, and new shortstop, Jake Lumley. The rest of the lineup will include third baseman Liam Wilson.

Niagara: After finishing seventh in the conference a year ago, the Purple Eagles look to improve and it all starts with junior outfielder Tanner Kirwer, who was an All-MAAC Second Team selection in 2016 and he had the stats to warrant the selection. He hit .327 with two home runs and a team-leading 19 stolen bases after an excellent freshman campaign in 2015. 

Mid-America
Central Michigan:
Decimated by injuries a year ago, the Chippewas of Central Michigan sputtered out to a tough start before ultimately posting a .500 conference record and showing well in the MAC tournament in Avon before bowing out. The rotation looks to be set with Michael Brettell (3-1, 4.50) on Saturday. Brettell had been into the mid-90s at times and are on steep upward developmental trajectories.

Southland
New Orleans:
Don’t sleep on the Privateers this year, especially with the upswing coach Blake Dean has the team on going from 14 wins in 2015 to 31 wins in his first year at the helm, finishing the season with a winning percentage north of .500 for the first time since 2008. Another new face to watch is 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior college transfer Tristan Clarke of Eastern Oklahoma State as he turned down a 30th round selection in last June’s draft and is poised to make his presence felt this year with a powerful righthanded stroke. 

Texas A&M Corpus Christi: Lefthanded hitting senior Dawson Yates looks to continue to swing the bat with strength as his three home runs are tops among returners, as is his .298 batting average.

SEC
Kentucky:
The Wildcats welcome in a new coaching staff to 2017 led by Head Coach Nick Mingione and a pair of assistant coaches in Roland Fanning and Jim Belanger who have the program headed in a positive direction very quickly. Another potential impact arm for the Wildcats will be righthander Zach Pop who possesses an electric fastball that will touch the upper-90s. He is expected to be the mid-week starter and projects very well moving forward.

Sun Belt
Arkansas-Little Rock:
The Trojans finished third in the conference last year after collecting 17 wins there a year ago, despite finishing under .500 on the season. Heading to Little Rock via Conners State is projected starting second basemen Bryce Dimitroff who has shown some of the most advanced bat-to-ball skills on the team.

Phillip Berthiaume (Quebec City, Que.) Texas-Arlington Mavericks

Phillip Berthiaume (Quebec City, Que.) Texas-Arlington Mavericks

Texas-Arlington: Junior outfielder and leadoff man Phillip Berthiaume makes his way to campus via Seminole State and will be penciled in right away at the top of the order with an all-fields approach.

SWAC
Arkansas-Pine Bluff:
The defending champions of the SWAC West Division will enter the 2017 season with a lot of holes to fill, particularly in the pitching staff. Coach Carlos James is in his seventh season with the Golden Lions and will be looking for his fourth consecutive SWAC West Division title. The aforementioned pitching staff lost three of the four leaders in games started and innings pitched and the only remaining starter from a year ago is C.J. Lewington.

WAC
Seattle:
The Redhawks won the WAC regular season crown in 2016, going 21-6 in league play and winning 37 games overall. Shortstop Griffin Andreychuk should be Seattle’s offensive catalyst and the senior from Canada brings 147 career starts to the table.