Ontario Astros

Organizational Spotlight: The Ontario Astros Take Steps Forward in 2020

The Ontario Astros look forward to their sixth year in the league, coming off of a shortened 2020 campaign in which they played well in limited action.

For General Manager Jon Carson, the return to play, which signalled normalcy, was the ultimate highlight of the year. “It wasn’t about the scores, it was more about the ability to play the game we all love.” 

The Astros made steps forward both on and off the field, playing competitive games in the September, while improving the infrastructure in place in the organization. “We made a number of moves that will help solidify the Astros as a competitive team moving forward. We were able to use the pandemic as a reset to move us in the right direction heading into 2021” said Carson.

From a staff standpoint, the Astros have added Cam Black-Araujo as the Director of Communications, Jim Hughes as the Mental Performance Coach, Myles Swartz as Assistant GM and Pitching Instructor, and Jay Osborne as the Assistant Coach for the 18U team. While Jason Booth, Kyle McKay and Carson continue in their leadership roles.  

The Astros have also added technology that they believe will improve their organization’s ability to develop players and place college players in this unique landscape. “These products will also help in the recruiting process as we enter the uncertainty of the global pandemic and what it might do to the recruiting process,” said Carson.

One of the bigger additions for the Astros is the brand new facility, which recently opened and is nearing completion. “The new Dugout will house not only more cages and field areas – but Team O will have their own place inside the spacious 25,000 sqft that will enhance our ability to attract top rated talent. But this also sends a message that we are not going anywhere, continuing to build on the Team O legacy from years past and look to the future,” Carson said.

“The pandemic allowed us to get a head start on the recruiting process and move in a direction that fit the mold of the vision. We will be fielding two teams at the 14U age group which will continue to enhance our ability to move in the right direction at the age groups above. Through my time the last few months seeing and evaluating teams and talent, I believe that we will be very competitive in the coming season.”

One of the highlights for the Astros organization 2020 was Sam White’s performance in the CPBL All-Star Showcase. He was one of the better performers during the three-day event, and Carson had lots of positive things to say about the 2022 grad. “His love of the game runs deep and it’s evident in his ability to work with change as we have been transitioning him to move behind the plate and trying out at 3B. So I was not surprised by his performance at the CPBL All-Star weekend, he confirmed what I already knew – a great bat from the left side and ability to make in-game adjustments defensively with his versatility all over.”

From here on out, Carson says the Astros will better appreciate every moment they have on the field as a result of all the time missed in 2020. “I think moving forward we have the ability to appreciate the fact that when we get back on the field for real in 2021 – we will appreciate the small moments that baseball can bring us.”

“My hopes sitting in my first year of the GM position – is to implement the vision that Jason Booth and I have over the next 5 years which is to build on the the legacy of Team O from college placements to developing some potential draft picks down the road… preparing young baseball players to love the game but become outstanding people off the field.”