Turner Spoljaric, a right-hander for the Toronto Mets and one of the best pitchers in the province, finished the 2020 season strong and enters the new year with high expectations for himself come spring.
Spoljaric’s CPBL season concluded at the All-Star Showcase in September, in what was an impressive showing from the right-hander.
Spoljaric threw on the first day of the event, going three innings out of the pen. He was in full control, only allowing one hit and striking out a pair.
“I pitched well at the showcase, I attacked hitters and was aggressive. I showed my pitchability, as well my ability to read hitters. I was a little inconsistent commanding my breaking ball but overall I showcased well,” said Spoljaric.
Spoljaric has added a couple of ticks on his fastball from last fall, first topping out at 90 earlier in the summer and touching 91 at the All-Star Showcase. Spoljaric attributed the velocity climb to a quality mechanical set. “I feel like I was mechanically sound with smooth, quick, whip action and hitting 91 was a byproduct of that,” he said.
Soon after the event, he left for Jupiter to participate in the World Wood Bat Association World Championship as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team. Another memorable experience for Spoljaric, “Playing for the Blue Jays in the WWBA was a tremendous experience. I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to test myself against some of the best talent in North America, to see where I stack up,” he said.
— CPBL (@CPBLeague) September 25, 2020
“It meant a lot to me to be a part of the Blue Jays team, an organization that has meaningful ties to my family. We also had an amazing coaching staff with a solid group of teammates and we got along great. Overall the whole trip was a ton of fun, something I’ll never forget.”
The young right-hander’s father is former Blue Jays left-hander Paul Spoljaric, the meaningful connection he’s alluding to. The elder Spoljaric is also a coach with his team, the Mets, and has been a significant influence in his baseball career.
“The person who has made the biggest impact in my baseball career would undoubtedly be my dad. He has taught me everything I know about the game, and I’m fortunate enough to have the insight & guidance of other former big leaguers as well. I love to pick their brains and learn their philosophies about the game. I’m very grateful to have grown up around the diamond with my dad still playing competitively in my younger years. I was able to gain first-hand exposure that most kids don’t get the chance to have, something I’m truly thankful for,” said Spoljaric.
A member of Team Ontario in the Canada Cup last summer and a two-time attendee of Tournament 12 at the Rogers Centre, Spoljaric looks to achieve a few more goals in the upcoming year. “My goals for myself would be to be committed by the end of the year, make the Canadian Junior National Team, work on a slider and be drafted in the 21′ draft,” he said.
“My hopes and expectations for next season would be to command 3+ pitches in any count and be sitting in the low 90’s.”
Spoljaric had a strong conclusion to his junior year, and looks to take another leap forward in 2021.