Excited about what they accomplished last year both in and outside of the Canadian Premier Baseball League, the Ontario Blue Jays are looking forward to much more of the same success they’ve found, and continued improvements as they enter the fourth year of the circuit.
Though the program didn’t get to participate in the post-season at several age groups last season – because of scheduling conflicts – it did finish atop the regular-season standings at the 17U level and near the top of the leaderboard at multiple other levels. As a result, the schedule has been altered for the upcoming year to ensure all teams are eligible to participate.
“Last season was great,” OBJ president and director of player development Sean Travers said. “It was unfortunate we didn’t get to play in the CPBL playoffs, which sucks but they’ve remedied that for this year. The season was good and the competition was good. It helped us prepare to go down to the States and have a good summer.”
The biggest success stories of the season last year for the Blue Jays were two tournament wins south of the border, bringing home championship victories from Houston and Louisiana.
The 2018 Marucci World Series was everything we hoped it would be and more!
— Marucci (@MarucciSports) August 9, 2018
“It was cool because we won the Future Stars Series tournament in Houston and that kind of propelled us into the Marucci World Series, which we won and that was huge. It was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and that was the biggest part of the season – winning the Marucci World Series.”
Through the off-season so far, the OBJ organization has given its regular programming a new look and feel, through the use of an easy-access application, an additional way for players and users to track their progress and schedule through the winter months.
“The neat thing that we’ve started this off-season is we’re running everything through an app now,” Travers said. “So we are still doing everything we’ve done and we’re just kind of stepping it up with the use of an app. We’ve had a really good first phase of weight lifting and conditioning this winter, and practices have just started for the year.”
Drill 1. Gonna be a great winter pic.twitter.com/mUhssaavxf
— Sean Travers (@sixfourclub) January 11, 2019
Looking ahead to sunnier days and warmer months, the program’s president is eager for each phase of the year, and most of all to getting things going on the field.
“The season goes in stages,” Travers said. “Right now I’m looking forward to our first practices, those are huge. Then once we get that going, we look forward to getting down to Vero Beach and having spring training for a week.
“When that’s over, we come home and we get excited about the CPBL season. When that’s over, we get excited about going down and doing our summer tour. The biggest thing will obviously be our summer tour, but it’s event by event around here and it’s all exciting.”
Beyond the start of the fourth CPBL season, and several trips across the border, Travers is also anticipating several exciting summer moments for his current and former players, and can’t wait to see how they unfold.
“It’s going to be a real interesting year in the draft, and from a former-players perspective, hopefully we’ll have a couple big leaguers this season,” Travers said. “So that stuff is pretty exciting. And every year is a different group, so every year is exciting because you get to work with new kids and see what they can do.”
With opportunities to continue their baseball careers while pursuing post-secondary education, the Ontario Blue Jays have added several commitments to the fold for the upcoming season. Lukas Barry is planning on heading to St. Louis University, Kyle Lev to Siena College, Jaden Brown to the University of Kentucky, Dasan Brown to Texas A&M University, David McCabe to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and TJ Schofield-Sam to Chipola Junior College. Caden Griffin has also committed to the University of Missouri for the 2020 season.