By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
In an effort to effectively source out Canada’s next wave of up and coming talent, the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy, with assistance from Toronto Blue Jays Canadian scouts, will host a series of Tournament 12 tryout camps across the country this summer.
With stops in Richmond BC, Okotoks AB, Brandon MB, Regina SK, Toronto and Montreal, these camps will provide amateur players between the age of 14-19 with a unique opportunity to be seen by both Academy representatives and members of the Toronto Blue Jays Scouting Department.
During the event, position players will be graded on their overall speed, arm strength, defensive abilities and hitting skill sets while pitchers will be evaluated by taking part in monitored bullpen sessions throughout the four-hour camp.
Athletes under the age of 14 are also encouraged to take part in the tryouts as being seen by some of the countries top evaluators can only enhance their prospects of being considered for future tournaments and other Baseball Academy scouting events.
Although attendance is not mandatory for selection to the up coming tournament, it is suggested as these try out camps serve as the best possible way of ensuring that event organizers can get eyes on some of the players they may have missed at other showcases nation wide.
Entering its fifth year, T12 has served as a launching pad for a number of Canadian-born standouts including future big league draft picks such as Gareth Morgan, Andrew Case and Josh Naylor, Mississauga’s slugging first baseman who became the highest canuck position player ever drafted by a Major League club when he was selected 12th overall by the Miami Marlins in 2015.
Also drafted following an impressive tournament showing in 2015 was William Sierra, a 17-year-old right-hander out of Montreal, QC who became a pick of the defending National League Champion New York Mets organization last June.
“When I started talking to the Mets about the draft, they said they knew me from Tournament 12.” explained Sierra ahead of his second appearance at Rogers Centre last September. “They contacted me and said they saw me in Toronto, how they followed me for the whole year.”
Hosted by tournament namesake, commissioner and Cooperstown inductee Roberto Alomar, the four-day showcase provides eligible athletes with an introduction to a variety of different MLB teams and college programs while playing under the lights in Toronto.
For participants, that face-to-face introduction only helps to further solidify their stock ahead of the draft. This, along with the opportunity to work under former professionals while being scouted in a Major League environment makes T12 an invaluable component to their overall positioning in the months leading up to the June selection period.
But before they can impress next September, those athletes must first have to be selected by the tournament’s brass.
Beginning with a three-day series at Rogers Centre this May, the tryout circuit will begin in Toronto and draw to a close in Montreal on July 31st.
9:00 AM on Wednesday, May 17th – Rogers Centre (Toronto, ON)
2:00 PM on Wednesday, May 17th – Rogers Centre (Toronto, ON)
9:00 AM on Thursday, May 18th – Rogers Centre (Toronto, ON)
2:00 PM on Thursday, May 18th – Rogers Centre (Toronto, ON)
9:00 AM on Friday, May 19th – Rogers Centre (Toronto, ON)
2:00 PM on Friday, May 19th – Rogers Centre (Toronto, ON)
12:00 PM on Monday, July 10th – Seaman Stadium (Okotoks, AB)
1:00 PM on Friday, July 14th – Latrace Field (Richmond, BC)
1:00 PM on Tuesday, July 18th – Andrews Field (Brandon, MB)
1:00 PM on Thursday, July 20th – Optimist Park (Regina, SK)
1:00 PM on Monday, July 31st – Gary carter Field (Montreal, QC)
More information on the upcoming tryouts, costs, registration links and other details pertaining to this year’s Tournament can be found via bluejays.com/baseballacademy.
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