By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
Dan Mendham is almost as well-known in Western Ontario as the late John Metras, former successful University of Western Ontario Mustangs football coach.
First as a player, Mendham (London, Ont.) was with the London Majors in the Inter County League for 11 years starting in 1980 and then as a scout working for the Canadian arm of the Major League Scouting Bureau from 1999-2008 covering Southern Ontario.
Three times an all-star, Mendham coached from T-Ball to Junior before joining the Ontario Nationals as a hitting instructor four years ago. He has a long way to go to match Metras, but he has played with one generation of players and then taught that generation's children.
Now, 'Timber' Mendham manages the Nationals and included on his roster is his son C David Mendham (Dorchester, Ont.). The M and M boys appear to have the same good genes. Could the younger Mendham be even better? David was ranked the seventh-best prospect at the Perfect Game Spring Top 2017 Prospect Showcase at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
David had the third best pop time among catchers at 2.00 and his Pocket Radar Exit Speed was 90 MPH, 18th best. He ran a 7.52 (much, much faster than his father) with a 1.67 10-yard split.
The other Canuck to make the top 2017 list was INF Thomas Grilli (Mississauga, Ont.) of The Field House Pirates. He is the younger brother of INF Robert Grilli (Mississauga, Ont.) who played for the Salt Lake City Bruins and the Houston Cougars. Thomas had the fifth highest infield velocity at 85 MPH and his Pocket Radar Exit Speed was also at 90 MPH. Thomas ran a 7.21 60 with a 1.68 10-Yard split.
Two more Canucks made the 2018 list of players to watch for next June: 3B Leo Markotic (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets and 3B David McCabe (Courtice, Ont.) of Team Ontario and the Everest Academy. Markotic was ranked 18th and McCabe 20th.
Markotic had the second highest Pocket Radar Exit at 94 MPH and ran a 7.03 60-yard dash, 15th best, with a 10-yard split of 1.83. Markotic has been improving under his hitting coach Rick Johnston. McCabe was a tick behind in the Pocket Radar Exit Speed at 93 MPH. He ran a 7.46 60 and had a 1.71 10-yard split. His infield velocity was 84 MPH.
The other two Canadians on hand were both 2018s: OF Daniel Gernon (Surrey, BC) of the Cloverdale Nationals and C Martin Vincelli-Simard (Boisbriand, Que.) of Academy Baseball Canada and Chandler World.
Geron’s 60-yard dash was 6.8 seconds -- sixth best and he had a 1.63 10-yard split. His velocity was 78 MPH. Vincelli-Simard had a 7.29 60 with a 1.66 10-yard split. His pop time was a 2.03 and his velocity from behind the plate was 77 MPH.
Compiled by Perfect Game Staff
Spring Top Prospect Showcase
At Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Top C Pop Times
Name Pop Grad School Hometown
1. Ian Moller, 1.88 2021 Wahlert Dubuque, IA
3. David Mendham, 2.00 2017 London Catholic Dorchester, ON
7, Martin Vincelli-Simard, 2.03 2018 Saint-Gabriel Boisbriand, QC
Top C Velos
Name C Grad School Hometown
1. Jordan Wendel, 85 2017 Alta Senior Schaller, IA
2. David Mendham, 78 2017 London Catholic Dorchester, ON
5. Martin Vincelli-Simard, 77 2018 Saint-Gabriel Boisbriand, QC
Top 60 Yard
Name 60 Grad School Hometown
1. Gavyn Ashley, 6.65 2018 Muscatine Muscatine, IA
6. Daniel Gernon, 6.80 2018 Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary Surrey, BC
15. Leo Markotic, 7.03 2018 St Martins Mississauga, ON
Top INF Velos
Name IF Grad School Hometown
1. Kade Vander Molen, 89 2018 Pella Christian Pella, IA
5. Thomas Grilli, 85 2017 St. Michael’s College Mississauga, ON
Top 10 Yard Splits
Name 10 Grad School Hometown
1. Landon Vander Leest, 1.57 2018 Pella Pella, IA
9. Daniel Gernon, 1.63 2018 Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary Surrey, BC
Top Pocket Radar Exit Speed
Name Exit Velo Grad School Hometown
1, Izaya Ono-Fullard, 99 2017 Iowa City West North Liberty, IA
2. Daniel Gernon, 94 2018 Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary Surrey, BC
2. Leo Markotic, 94 2018 St. Martins Mississauga, ON
6. David McCabe, 93 2018 Everest Academy Courtice, ON
17. Martin Vincelli-Simard, 91 2018 Saint-Gabriel Boisbriand, QC
18. Thomas Grilli, 90 2017 St. Michael`s College Mississauga, ON
18. David Mendham, 90 2017 London Catholic Dorchester, ON
Spring Top Batting Practice Highlights
Leo Markotic (2018 3B, Mississauga, ON) The Canadian native worked to the baseball with linear lower half actions that created good shift into the baseball. Markotic stayed very balanced throughout his swing, but also flashed the ability to turn the barrel to contact and work to pull side with authority.
Thomas Grilli (2017 SS, Mississauga, ON) The 2017 Canadian Shortstop produced very good bat whip through the zone that generated explosive contact between each of the outfield gaps.
David Mendham (2017 C, Dorchester, ON) The 6-foot-2, 195-pound catcher produced good linear lower half shift into contact. Showed the balance to work to all fields, but also flashed the ability to aggressively turn the barrel to contact and work to pull side with authority.
David McCabe (2018 3B, Courtice, ON) The 6-foot-4, 215-pound switch hitter showed the rare combination of bat speed and raw power from each side of the plate. McCabe consistently produced explosive contact to the pull side gap from the right and left side.
Navy vs Cardinal Game Highlights
David Mendham (2017 C, Dorchester, ON) showed a balanced stance at the plate and good bat speed at the plate.
Orange vs Purple Game Highlights
Leo Markotic (2018 3B, Mississauga, ON) had good at bats all game long and barreled the ball up consistently. He hit a hard single up the middle and a hard double to the right field gap.
Martin Vincelli-Simard (2018 C, Boisbriand, QC) received the ball well behind the plate and took some good swings at the plate.
Navy vs Green Game Highlights
David Mendham (2017 C, Dorchester, ON) showed a balanced swing at the plate and made loud contact at the plate.
2017 Spring Top Rawlings Prospect
1. John Swanda - RHP - 2017 - Des Moines, IA - USA
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Nebraska commit was very impressive on the mound posting a showcase high, 93 mile per hour fastball. Swanda generated very good running action that proved to be overwhelming for hitters. The right handed pitcher relied primarily on his fastball, but flashed a very tight 10/4 curveball with late, sharp bite.
7. David Mendham - C - 2017 - Dorchester, ON - CAN
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound catcher from Canada flashed a very repeatable, consistent swing plane that generated hard contact to all fields during batting practice. Mendham also showed the present bat speed and strength to turn the barrel and work to pull side with authority.
8. Thomas Grilli - SS - 2017 - Mississauga, ON - CAN
The Canadian shortstop generated aggressive lower half shift into contact that created very loud, hard contact that exploded off the barrel in batting practice. When on time, Grilli flashed serious raw power that projects consistent home run potential.
2018 Top Prospects
1. Clayton Nettleton - RHP - 2018 - Davenport, IA - USA
The University of Iowa commit repeated a long, fluid arm action that produced good downhill plane through the zone with a fastball that topped at 90 miles per hour. Nettleton’s curveball had very tight rotation with late depth that created consistent swings and misses.
18. Leo Markotic - 3B - 2018 - Mississauga, ON - CAN
The 5-foot-11 shortstop of Canada showed clean, polished actions throughout defensive workouts with the ability to throw from multiple arm slots with accuracy. Markotic’s most impressive tool was his hitting ability and continuously punished the baseball with very good bat speed. The 2018 grad showed an aggressive mentality at the plate and swung with intent to drive the ball through the gaps.
20. David McCabe - 3B - 2018 - Courtice, ON - CAN
The 6-foot-4 switch hitting third baseman flashed very good bat speed and strength with serious home run potential from both side of the plate. Consistently barreled up the baseball creating very loud contact to both gaps.