By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
So, did your summer go OK?
That is the question as all the college kids returns to class.
If your name was OF Tristan Pompey, RHP Mathieu Gauthier or OF Max Wood it went well as you spent the summer opening people’s eyes.
Pompey (Milton, Ont.) who is entering his junior year for the Kentucky Wildcats, summered on Cape Cod with the Wareham Gateman.
And in the eyes of Baseball America he was rated the sixth best prospect in the league considered the home of the best collegians. Playing for the Wareham Gatemen he hit .230 in 23 games with two doubles, a triple, two homers and 15 RBIs. He was 5-for-7 stealing bases.
Pompey’s Cape season began three weeks late because Kentucky made it to the super regional before losing to Louisville Cardinals and then competed in the home run derby at the College World Series in Omaha.
RHP Logan Gilbert of Apopka, Fla. who pitched for the Stetson Hatters is ranked No. 1. Listed No. 9 is C Shea Langleliers of Kelller, Tex. drafted in the 34th round in 2016 by the Blue Jays. Pompey was drafted before out of high school in 2015 when the Minnesota Twins selected him in the 31st round.
Perfect Game Scouting Service had Pompey ranked 10th of its top 60 prospects on the Cape.
That’s rare air.
Meanwhile, scouts from 21 teams watch Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) go through his paces on scout day, Day II, of Tournament 12. Naylor is ranked No. 15 on Perfect Game’s top 500 high schoolers heading into next June’s draft.
“Yes, we could have two Canadians in the first round next year,” said one veteran evaluator. “But this is window dressing ... what happens next spring will decide matters.”
At Kentucky, last spring Pompey batted .361 with 18 doubles, 10 homers and 45 RBIs in 66 games. He was 7-for-11 stealing bases and had an OPS of 1.005. Those numbers earned him third team All-American honours.
What Baseball America has to say: 6. Tristan Pompey, of, Wareham, Kentucky (Jr.)
Pompey, the younger brother of Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey, was a third-team All-American this spring at Kentucky, establishing himself as a player to watch in the 2018 draft class. He did not match his statistical success on the Cape but did stand out as one of the toolsiest players in the league.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Pompey is bigger than his older brother and hits for more power. The switch-hitter produces pop from both sides of the plate but has more as a right-handed batter. He has a patient approach at the plate, which also comes with some swing and miss. Pompey played right field for Wareham, as he has done at Kentucky. He is a solid defender and a plus runner who could move to center field in the future.
What Perfect Game has to say: 10th
The younger brother of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey, Tristan took the collegiate route out of high school though his talents were already known on the national level. After a freshman season in which he hit .233 in 150 at-bats, Pompey exploded as a sophomore, which helped vault the highly athletic, switch-hitter to the top of boards in regards to outfielders available in the 2018 draft. After all, he hit .361-10-45 with 18 doubles as a sophomore for a strong Kentucky squad and brings with him an overall tool package most teams would love to have. As one would expect there’s more present comfort and strength from the left side (most reps come against righthanded pitchers) and he generates notable bat speed with a fluid path, leveraging the ball to all fields. Throughout the spring Pompey walked 46 times and struck out 56 times, something that will be watched this spring after his 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 87 at-bats this summer with the Gateman. He’s full of quick-twitch muscle, and at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds there’s still plenty of room for physical growth, leaving the imagination open to what the finished product could be.
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RHP Gauthier (Candiac, Que.) headed into his second year with the North Carolina State University Wolfpack was with the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game League in New York State where he went 4-2 with a 3.58 ERA. He walked 14 and struck out 40 in 32 2/3 innings.
That earned him a sixth place ranking on Baseball America’s top 10 list, while Perfect Game had him ranked in the No. 8 spot on the top 20 prospects.
At NC State he was 1-1 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 games. He walked five and fanned 18 in 18 1/3 innings.
What Baseball America said: 6. Mathieu Gauthier, RHP, Amsterdam (So., North Carolina State)
On the smaller side, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Gauthier has plenty of room to grow as he heads into his second season with the Wolfpack. He hit 92-94 mph this summer and started to develop an effective slider come season’s end. He struck out 27 and walked 13 in 32.2 innings. His best outing was his first start against Mohawk Valley, when he struck out five and allowed only one hit over five innings of work. Gauthier is one of the more projectable pitchers in the league and will likely see a boost in his fastball velocity as he adds pounds to his slim frame. With a slider in the works, Gauthier could earn more innings at N.C. State this spring (he pitched just 18 1/3 innings as a freshman).
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Wood played for the Staunton Braves, a summer collegiate team in the Valley Baseball League. He was ranked seventh by Perfect Game.
Wood finished the season hitting .390 over 31 regular season games. He swatted five home runs and drove in 21. In two playoff games he hit .375. He was named Signs USA Player of the Week for the end of June and was named to the Valley Baseball League All-League first team.
He now returns to Central Florida for his senior season.