Elliott: Pros pick the best amateurs at T12

 Ontario Blue Jays C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) did not see a lot of strikes to hit during Tournament 12 but still earned high marks as the best in the building from the Blue Jays alumni on hand. Photos: Tyker King.

Ontario Blue Jays C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) did not see a lot of strikes to hit during Tournament 12 but still earned high marks as the best in the building from the Blue Jays alumni on hand. Photos: Tyker King.

By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network

The eight teams each had a one hour workout on Scout Day.

A total of 19 games were played, including round robin play, the semi-finals and final.

Atlantic Maroon has claimed its second title in the fifth annual Tournament 12 at the Rogers Centre.

We know that, but who was the most impressive of the 160 players on display?

That was the question we asked the pros about the teenagers and who they enjoyed watching since Thursday.

 Jesse Barfield annd Lloyd Moseby share a memory in the 1B dugout.

Jesse Barfield annd Lloyd Moseby share a memory in the 1B dugout.

Like every other year we asked the commissioner Robbie Alomar, his Hall of Fame father Sandy Alomar, as well as Blue Jays alumni George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Tanyon Sturtze, Duane Ward, Duane Ward, Jesse Barfield, Mario Diaz and T.J. Burton of the Blue Jays Acadeny.

Some passed on answering, not wishing to leave anyone off the list and offend some one, others gave alphabetical lists and some gave the usual top 10.

Bell was the most unique as a Blue Jay and he has not changed. One year Bell said “absolutely no,” another year he gave a top 10 list and this year ... he provided a top 26. Thanks George.


Duane Ward, who picked up the win the night Joe Carter homered in 1993, has two World Series rings:

1. C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Black. “He’s the most polished hitter here and he has a future at two positions.”

2. RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont., Great Lake Canadians) Ontario Black. “He has the most upside of any pitcher here.”

 Ontario Terriers RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) of Ontario Green hit 89 MPH in his start.

Ontario Terriers RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) of Ontario Green hit 89 MPH in his start.

3. RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont., Ontario Terriers) Ontario Green. “He had a long season. He is polished. He needs to improve on his off speed.”

4. LHP-1B Justin Thorsteinson (Richmond, BC, Langley Blaze) Futures Navy. “He’s 15. He’s FIFTEEN! He pitched well in his start before he had to leave with a cramp. He has so much upside. He has an idea on how to pitch.”

5. OF Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC, Vauxhall Academy) BC Orange. “I like his size (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) for me hitter wise. He has a good arm too.”

6. LHP Graham Brunner (Sherwood Park, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red. “He had no-hit stuff for four innings. He’s not overpowering but he’s not afraid to throw strikes.” 

 Saskatoon Cubs' RHP-INF Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.)of Prairies Purple.

Saskatoon Cubs' RHP-INF Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.)of Prairies Purple.

7. RHP-INF Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask., Team Saskatchewan/Saskatoon Cubs) Prairies Purple. “He needs to work on his off-speed. I like his velocity and I like his mechanics.”

8. RHP Ryan Capuano (Scarborough, Ont. Toronto Mets) Ontario Black. “I liked him .... he used all his pitches.”

9. C Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, Ont. Canisius Jr. Griffs/Great Lake Canadians) Futures Navy. “He has good size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds). He’s not going to be the fastest, but he will hit.”

10. RHP-INF Theo Milas (Burnaby, BC, Langley Blaze) Futures Navy. “He was fearless and threw all of his pitches for strikes.”

10A. OF-INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red. “He can swing it. I really like him.”


Lloyd Moseby, former Jays No. 1 pick, who played centre field for Toronto for 10 years:

 Ontario Blue Jays OF Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.) Ontario Green.

Ontario Blue Jays OF Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.) Ontario Green.

OF Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont., Ontario Blure Jays) Ontario Green. “The first day he was missing with his swings, we spoke to him about a few things and by the end he was not missing as often.”

SS Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Futures Navy. “Now he is a shortstop. He has what it takes to get to the next level.”

C-1B Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Green. “I like him -- not because he was the only guy to hit a home run, but because of his ceiling.”

INF Noah Case (Etobicoke, Ont., Etobicoke Rangers) Futures Navy. “I first saw this kid and he has one of the greatest sets of hands -- this is going to happen.”

OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont., Toronto Mets) Ontario Black. “He’s just not swinging it well right now, but I like his tools.” 

1B Ryan Magdic (Beamsville, Ont. Ontario Royals) Ontario Black. “You feel almost like you can throw a ball at him from anywhere and he’ll hit it.”

RHP Adam Parker (Scarborough, Ont. Toronto Mets) Ontario Green. “He has great velocity. He’d give up a hit and it was like ‘oh OK I gave up a hit’ no big deal. He’d get back on the rubber and throw a strike.”

SS Tristan Peters (Winkler, Man. Okotoks Dawgs) Prairies Purple. “I like his bat speed, he is a guy to keep an eye on in the future.”

INF Tyrell Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont, Ontario Blue Jays) Futures Navy. “He’s bananas.”

RHP-INF Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask., Team Saskatchewan/Saskatoon Cubs) Prairies Purple. “He has that attitude ‘so what I made an out?’ Next time up he hits a line drive. What he pitches too? Well, whatever they say he is, he’s better than that.” 

Seven-time Gold Glove winner Devon White, who has three World Series rings, two with the Blue Jays.
 
1. C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Black. “I like him a lot but he didn’t get much of a chance ... he didn’t see many strikes.”

 Ontario Blue Jays C-3B Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont.) of Ontario Green.

Ontario Blue Jays C-3B Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont.) of Ontario Green.

2. C-1B Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Green. “If he stays behind the plate.”

Others
OF-INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red.

 Ontario Blue Jays 4B Tyrell Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont.) of Future Navy.

Ontario Blue Jays 4B Tyrell Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont.) of Future Navy.

INF Tyrell Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont, Ontario Blue Jays) Futures Navy.

OF Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC, Vauxhall Academy) BC Orange.

3B David McCabe (Courtice, Ont., Team Ontario) Ontario Green.

INF LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta. Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red. 

 Former Blue Jays MVP George Bell imparts his wisdom.

Former Blue Jays MVP George Bell imparts his wisdom.


George Bell, winner of the 1987 MVP award:

BC Orange
RHP Madjik Mackenzie (Vancouver, BC, Coquitlam Reds)

RHP Declan Dutton (Vancouver, BC, North Shore Twins. 

RHP Jayden Knight (Langley, BC, Langley Blaze)

Alberta Red
RHP-INF Cooper Jones (Ponoka, Alta. Vauxhall Academy).

INF LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs). 

C Ayden Makarus (Ardrie, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs).

OF-INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs). 

INF Ty Penner (Lethbridge, Alta., Vauxhall Academy)

Prairies Purple
RHP-INF Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask., Team Saskatchewan/Saskatoon Cubs).

Ontario Green
RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont., Ontario Terriers)

INF Adam Tulloch (Collingwood, Ont., Orioles Scout Team)

C-1B Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays)

INF-RHP Dylan Whittaker (Oakville, Ont., Ontario Terriers).

Ontario Black
RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont., Great Lake Canadians)

OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont., Toronto Mets) 

RHP Griffin Hassell (Newmarket, Ont., Great Lake Canadians),

C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays).

Quebec Bleu
INF Xavier Leduc (Ste-Julie, Que,, Academy Baseball Canada).

INF William Perris (Terboonne, Que. Team Elite.)

3B Alfonso Villalobos (Kirkland, Que., Academy Baseball Canada) 

 ABC's 2B Antony Gilbert (Quebec City, Que.) of Quebec Blue.

ABC's 2B Antony Gilbert (Quebec City, Que.) of Quebec Blue.

2B Antony Gilbert (Quebec City, Que., Academy Baseball Canada)  

 Okotoks Dawgs'SS Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS)

Okotoks Dawgs'SS Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS)

Atlantic Maroon
SS Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS, Okotoks Dawgs)

Futures Navy
RHP Steven Kinal (Terra Cotta, Ont., Ontario Blue Blue).

LHP-1B Justin Thorsteinson (Richmond, BC, Langley Blaze).

RHP-INF Theo Milas (Burnaby, BC, Langley Blaze)


Tanyon Sturtze, who pitched 12 years in the majors, including one year with the Blue Jays. 
 
1. C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Black. “He’s the best of everyone and has the biggest upside.”

 Great Lake Canadians' RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) of Ontario Black

Great Lake Canadians' RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) of Ontario Black

2. RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont., Great Lake Canadians) Ontario Black. “He was 90-91 MPH already.”

3. RHP-INF Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask., Team Saskatchewan/Saskatoon Cubs) Prairies Purple. “I love his size and polish.”

4. 1B Ryan Magdic (Beamsville, Ont. Ontario Royals) Ontario Black. “A big first baseman (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) and he will only get stronger.”

 Okotoks Dawgs' LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) of Alberta Red.

Okotoks Dawgs' LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) of Alberta Red.

5. INF LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta. Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red.  “I love the way he swings it. He’s come a long way.”

6. C-1B Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Green. “Great discipline behind the plate.”

7. SS Dryden Howse (Calgary, Alta. Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red. “He’s a gamer, I like his attitude.”
  
8. RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont., Ontario Terriers) Ontario Green. “Has improved since a year ago. The velocity will improve.”

9. INF Tyrell Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont, Ontario Blue Jays) Futures Navy. “He probably had the best defensive camp of anyone.””

10. OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont., Toronto Mets) Ontario Black. “He has size and speed ... and he has to learn a little about how to play the game.”
 

Mario Diaz, who played nine years in the majors and went to Dunedin with the Jays in 1997 his final spring.

1. C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Black. “He has all the ability in the world behind the plate ... and he can play third base.”

 Okotoks Dawgs' OF-INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) Alberta Red.

Okotoks Dawgs' OF-INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) Alberta Red.

2. OF-INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red.  “I like him more as a third baseman. I think he’ll grow into the power.”

3. RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont., Ontario Terriers) Ontario Green. “He velocity is good and he will improve.”

4, SS Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Futures Navy. “He can be a super star.”

5. OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont., Toronto Mets) Ontario Black. “One of the most improved players from last year’s event.”

 Toronto Mets' SS Daniel Carinci (Ajax,, Ont.) of Ontario Black.

Toronto Mets' SS Daniel Carinci (Ajax,, Ont.) of Ontario Black.

6. SS Daniel Carinci (Ajax,, Ont., Toronto Mets) Ontario Black. “He threw the ball real well.” 

7. RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont., Great Lake Canadians) Ontario Black. “He threw the ball real well, he was impressive.”

8. INF LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta. Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red. “Great hands and hit the ball well.”

9. OF Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC, Vauxhall Academy) BC Orange. “I like him as a third baseman, an outfielder and a first baseman.”

 Okanagan Athletics' RHP Carter Morris (Vernon, BC) Futures Navy.

Okanagan Athletics' RHP Carter Morris (Vernon, BC) Futures Navy.

10. RHP Carter Morris (Vernon, BC, Okanagan Athletics) Futures Navy. “His sinker was 84 MPH and he showed a great slider.”

 

T.J. Burton, coordinator of amateur baseball, who pitched nine seasons in the minors:

1. C-3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Ontario Black. “Best player in the tournament.”

2. RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont., Great Lake Canadians) Ontario Black. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic. He has the best fastball here.”

3.  RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont., Ontario Terriers) Ontario Green. “A big bodied guy, he throws a lot of strikes and can command his fastball.”

 Toronto Mets OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) ofOntario Black

Toronto Mets OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) ofOntario Black

4. OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont., Toronto Mets) Ontario Black. “He is an athlete of freakish nature.”

5. LHP-1B Justin Thorsteinson (Richmond, BC, Langley Blaze) Futures Navy. “I like him more on the mound, he’ll throw in the low 90s some day.”

6. RHP-INF Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask., Team Saskatchewan/Saskatoon Cubs) Prairies Purple. “He’s a big-boned kid who profiles well on the mound.”

 Ontario Blue Jays' Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont Futures Navy.

Ontario Blue Jays' Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont Futures Navy.

7. SS Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont., Ontario Blue Jays) Futures Navy. “He’s an athlete first and he shows good bat speed and power.” 

8. RHP Carter Morris (Vernon, BC, Okanagan Athletics) Futures Navy. “He was up to 87 MPH and he’s 14. He has a plus change.”

9. RHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, Ont., Toronto Mets) Futures Navy. “He has a good future, good velocity.”

10. OF-INF Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red. “I really like him. He showed a lot of power on Scout Day hitting five out. And moving from shortstop to centre field will increase interest from teams.”

Others
1B Ryan Magdic (Beamsville, Ont., Ontario Royals) Ontario Black.

INF LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs) Alberta Red. 

RHP Tate Dearing (Surrey, BC, White Rock Tritons) BC Orange. 

 Great Lake Canadians' RHP Griffin Hassell (Newmarket, Ont.) of Ontario Black.

Great Lake Canadians' RHP Griffin Hassell (Newmarket, Ont.) of Ontario Black.

RHP Griffin Hassell (Newmarket, Ont., Great Lake Canadians) Ontario Black.