With almost three weeks in the books of the third Canadian Premier Baseball League season, the circuit is thriving.
Though the spring weather in southwestern Ontario can be unpredictable, the season has survived several early rainouts and has allowed everyone significant time on the field so far. With a balanced schedule and teams across the board, only one squad remains undefeated as we head into the final weekend of May, with the Toronto Mets 16U Orange team leading their division with a perfect win percentage and six victories.
At the 18U level, the Great Lake Canadians are atop the leaderboard, with the Toronto Mets and Fieldhouse Pirates not far behind. Ontario Blue Jays hitters Jake Ervin, Ethan Hammond and Noah Naylor are among the 18U average leaders, along with Ontario Nationals Alex Liem, Mitchell McKay and Simon Grinberg. Among the ERA leaders at the 18U level are Great Lake Canadians hurlers Brett Corbeth, Mike MacDougall and Ethan Seaver, and Nationals pitchers Nick LoStracco and Jaden Gruszka.
— Great Lake Canadians (@GLCanadians) May 17, 2018
In the league’s 17U division – added to the fold this season – Great Lake also owns the top spot in the standings, with both Ontario Blue Jays squads – Steed and Travers – not far behind. Four 17U players have sent the ball out of the park this season, with OBJ hitters Arthur Kowara, Josh Golden and Blake Buckle, and GLC slugger Jackson Wahl leading the fold with one home run apiece. OBJ hurler Lukas Barry leads all 17U pitchers with an 0.47 ERA and 22 strikeouts so far this year.
GAMEDAY: Tonight the @OntarioBlueJays 17U Steed team is back in action and will take on @OntarioBlueJays 17U Travers, 7:30 PM first pitch at Ajax Sportsplex #6 @CPBLeague #OBJbasballbedlamstyle pic.twitter.com/3Ww5T7iEmn
— Mike Steed (@SteedBaseball) May 17, 2018
The 16U leaderboard is led by the undefeated Toronto Mets Orange squad, with the Canadians and Blue Jays right on their tail. Mets slugger Cole Iantomasi leads all hitters across the entire circuit with a .737 average, and Great Lake right-hander Zach Jackson maintains his 0.00 ERA through the 11 innings he’s had on the mound.
— Team Ontario Astros (@TeamONAstros) May 16, 2018
At the 15U level, the GLC Red squad leads the division, with Great Lake’s Black team and the OBJ squad not far behind. The Blue Jays sit on top of the leaderboard at the youngest level of the circuit with Great Lake’s 14U Red team and the Ontario Astros right in the mix behind them.
The CPBL also saw 11 players selected to the Canadian Junior National Team for its current trip to the Dominican Republic, where Noah Naylor, Eric Cerantola, Denzel Clarke, Griffin Hassall, Blake Buckle, Keegan Pulford-Thorpe, TJ Schofield-Sam, Owen Diodati, Dasan Brown, Jaden Brown and Daniel Carinci are matching up against Dominican Summer League prospects.
— CPBL (@CPBLeague) May 16, 2018
With less than two weeks to go until Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft begins, several CPBL players have also been surrounded by some draft buzz of late. Among Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects – in the latest rankings – are OBJ catcher and infielder Noah Naylor, GLC right-hander Eric Cerantola, and Mets outfielder Denzel Clarke. They are joined by three players at the collegiate level who have graduated from CPBL programs, with Kentucky outfielder Tristan Pompey an alum of the Mets, former OBJ hurler RJ Freure, currently at Pittsburgh, and Central Michigan’s Michael Brettell, a graduate of the GLC program.