Tag: tournament

CPBL well represented at the sixth-annual Tournament 12

Following a successful finish to the third Canadian Premier Baseball League season, many of the circuit’s players will continue to represent on the highest stage right at home, with 39 players and four coaches representing the loop at the sixth-annual Tournament 12. 

Heading to the prestigious Toronto Blue Jays-hosted event for his third time, Ontario Blue Jays shortstop Jaden Brown couldn’t be more excited for what his final appearance at the tournament may bring, and hopes to share what he learned from his previous experiences with those who may be less familiar. 

“I was really nervous the first time I came to T12,” the 16-year-old said. “I just didn’t want to mess up…But at the end of the day, it’s not really about that. It’s more about your attitude and how you show yourself on the field. Scouts realize you’re young and you’ll grow into it. 

“So if I could give advice to players coming in for the first time, it would be to not try too hard. Last year was easier because I was already there and I already knew how it would go, so I just went out and did my thing. And it’s still exciting for this year because this is going to be my last year and I just want to have fun with it.” 

Owen Diodati, a catcher in the Great Lake Canadians organization, is also heading into his third appearance at Tournament 12, and is grateful for everything he’s learned along the way, also looking forward to another chance to play at Rogers Centre. 

“In my first year of T12, it was the first time I really had a chance to play against good competition, and I was playing against the best kids in Canada, so in a way it was a wakeup call for me too,” Diodati said. “Obviously I struggled a little bit at the time, and it was tough the first year, but it gave me an idea of what it takes to be a good player and play at the highest level…

“This year is different because I know what to expect. The first year was kind of a whirlwind, playing at Rogers Centre and going through it all. Last year, I settled in and started to compete, and this year obviously I want to go in and dominate if I can do so.”

Beginning on September 13, Tournament 12 will take over Rogers Centre and play host to 160 of the country’s best up-and-coming college-eligible players. Among the 54 Ontario players selected to the Black, Navy and Green rosters, 39 hail from CPBL programs – representing the Fieldhouse Pirates, Great Lake Canadians, Ontario Blue Jays, Toronto Mets and Tri-City Giants organizations – in addition to four of the league’s coaches. 

The Futures Navy squad features eight CPBL players including Turner Spoljaric, Mitchell Bratt, Calvin Ziegler, Caden Shapiro, Owen Caissie, Riley Silva, Josh Niles and Cole Iantomasi. Navy also houses one CPBL coach in Brock Kjeldgaard. 

The Ontario Green roster has the highest number of players from the league with 18, including Brandon Deans, Lukas Barry, Nick Fraser, Matt Nolin, Zach Cameron, Graham MacNeil, Caleb Clark, Kieran Gagnon, Joel McKnight, Noel McGarry Doyle, Zach Gardiner, Blake Buckle, Ryan Farther, Noah Hull, TJ Schofield-Sam, Tye Imeson, Bryce Arnold and Drew Howard. Green is also home to CPBL coaches Adam Stern and Chris Robinson. 

Ontario Black is home to 13 CPBL players, with Caden Griffin, Keegan Pulford-Thorpe, Carter Seabrooke, Matt Duffy, Dasan Brown, Eric Martin, Diodati, Ryan Leitch, Brown, David McCabe, Biran Zapp, Tyler Hinrikus and Kenny Diclemente. The Black team is also host to CPBL coach Mike Steed. 

CPBL prospect showcase headlines opening weekend tournament

The second season of the Canadian Premier Baseball League is upon us, and the Fieldhouse Pirates, Great Lake Canadians, Ontario Blue Jays, Ontario Nationals, Team Ontario and Toronto Mets are set to start in a big way with the circuit-opening showcase and tournament in Dorchester and St. Marys over the first weekend of May.

Beginning on Thursday, May 4 at the Field of Dreams, 28 of the programs’ top draft prospects – selected in conjunction with a number of area and national scouts – will run the 60-yard dash, throw from their respective catching, infield, and outfield positions, and then take batting practice before the first of three games on the opening day of the event.

“The tournament adds a ton of value,” one American League scout said. “In a typical year, it can be tough to see Canadian players leading up to the draft, especially outside of the junior team facing professionals. But this is the best players in Ontario against the best players. It’s a unique perspective that Canadians didn’t have in the past and we’re lucky to have now.”

Coming off of their second trip of the spring with the Canadian Junior National Team, CPBL position players Dondrae Bremner, Cooper Davis, Adam Hall, Lucas Parente, and 2018-eligible hitters Denzel Clarke and Noah Naylor will headline the morning showcase.

Also selected to the morning event to kick off the tournament are 2017 draft-eligible players Rashad Collymore, Brett Corbeth, Jameson Hart, Tyrell Hebert, Owen Jansen, David Mendham, Noah Myers, Jacob Newton, Bryce O’Farrell, Mitch Osborne, Parker Walker and Malik Williams. They will be joined by 2018-eligible players Tyler Black, Blake Buckle, Daniel Carinci, Kurt Dawkins, Leo Markotic, David McCabe, Justin Raspontie, Aidan Safar, and Mackenzie Strong, and 2019 Zach Cameron.

The first game is set to get underway Thursday at one o’clock, featuring the league’s reigning champion Ontario Blue Jays against the Great Lake Canadians, with righties Nathan Holmes and Jonathan Burkhart squaring off. The following game between the OBJ and Toronto Mets will see Junior National Team southpaw Harley Gollert match up against Hayden Malenfant. The final contest of the first day of the four-day tournament will see Team Canada hurler Landon Leach and the Mets take on Noah Skirrow and the Canadians.

“It is with great anticipation that I look forward to the inaugural CPBL showcase to be held in Dorchester on May 4th,” said Jay Lapp, the Canadian scouting supervisor for the Milwaukee Brewers. “The organizers of this event have assembled the top area prospects for the upcoming 2017 [MLB] draft. The showcase will give professional scouts the opportunity to evaluate all the top players over a four-day period in a highly-competitive environment.

“This event is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all those involved. In a short time, the CPBL has developed an outstanding program, providing countless young players an opportunity to pursue their dream of a career in professional baseball.”

All 17U and 18U squads in the CPBL will play four games throughout the course of the weekend event, splitting time between the Field of Dreams in Dorchester and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys.

CPBL set to open with prospect showcase and tournament

The countdown to the second Canadian Premier Baseball League season is on.

Multiple CPBL teams have already taken to the field in Florida for spring training, and a number of Ontario representatives are gearing up to head to St. Petersburg and then Orlando with the Canadian Junior National Team, and it won’t be long before the six teams at the top tier of the circuit – the Toronto Mets, Great Lake Canadians, Ontario Blue Jays, Team Ontario, Ontario Nationals and Fieldhouse Pirates – take to the diamond in Dorchester for the CPBL’s opening series, a tournament-style showcase for 18U and 17U  players over the first weekend of May.

Before the games begin for the weekend on Thursday, May 4, the event will kick off with a small prospect showcase that morning, with participating players will be selected by a number of Canadian scouts, and attending by invitation only.

Three 18U games will then kick off the tournament, with the Great Lake Canadians and reigning-champion Ontario Blue Jays squaring off in the afternoon. The defending champs will then take on the Toronto Mets, followed by a matchup between the Mets and Canadians on Thursday evening. Friday will see four games, with Saturday hosting a slate of six games, and Sunday featuring nonstop action with seven contests.

All games on Thursday and Friday will take place at the Field of Dreams in Dorchester, with the diamonds at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys being used as a secondary field on Saturday and Sunday. Matchups are set and are available for viewing, with home teams still yet to be determined and not accurately portrayed in the online schedule.

The contests will run ahead of schedule if at all possible, with infield taken by teams if time permits, and there will be no extra innings played in tournament play. The contests will count toward the league standings.

Tournament 12 kicks off with strong CPBL presence

Tournament 12 got underway at Rogers Centre on Thursday, and the Canadian Premier Baseball League is incredibly well-represented at the fourth-annual Toronto Blue Jays-hosted event, with 52 players and four coaches from around the circuit participating at the tournament.

In its fourth year, the showcase has brought together more than 160 of Canada’s top draft and college-eligible players from across the country, with almost a third of them coming from CPBL programs including the Great Lake Canadians, Ontario Blue Jays, Ontario Nationals and Toronto Mets.

“It’s a great sign to what our league has accomplished in such a short time,” said Kyle Fillier, 16U field manager for the Toronto Mets program. “We are confident that we have the best players, coaches, and teams in the province. This is a testament to the league, and we will continue to showcase the best players to the most scouts and colleges.”

The showcase began Thursday with a combine day for upwards of 60 professional scouts and college coaches at the big-league stadium. Players from each of the eight teams participating took turns running, throwing, and getting in some batting practice before games are set to begin on Friday morning, with the first players from Ontario seeing the field in the afternoon.

“We’ve gotten a lot better over the four years,” said Jamie Lehman, the Blue Jays area scout for Canada and New York. “That relates to player selection, and our footprint across the country, we’re seeing who we need to see now, and that’s led to a higher calibre of player in the tournament. Then at the same time, that’s been reflected in the colleges and pro teams that have come.

“Our tournament’s the best it’s been this year. The [T12] alumni and what they’re doing in professional baseball and college baseball are helping us prove that worth, and it’s only getting better.”

Named for and commissioned by Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar, the event is something that he is extremely proud to be a part of, and he believes the results have and will continue to speak for themselves.

“T12 is an opportunity for the young guys here in Canada to be seen by the scouts, from college and professional baseball, and hopefully we can make their dreams come true,” Alomar said. “This is our fourth year doing Tournament 12 and over 50 guys have been signed, going to play professionally and going to college, and I’m so glad that we have touched on this great opportunity.”

Alongside the 12-time All-Star are several other former major league players, who work as alumni coaches at the event. Returning to the showcase this year are Alomar’s father Sandy, former big-league infielder Mario Diaz, and fellow former Blue Jays George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Duane Ward, Tanyon Sturtze and Devon White. Carlos Delgado joined the staff for the first time on Thursday, and was impressed by what the tournament provides.

“This is a great opportunity,” Delgado said. “Sometimes kids don’t get the exposure they need, and bringing them to Toronto and having all the scouts in the stands, it’s great. And the competition itself, playing against the best amateur players in the country, it would be a great experience. It’s a nice treat for the kids to come out and play here at Rogers Centre, and with some of the alumni. Robbie’s done a fantastic job to give these kids an opportunity.”

Only two players have participated in each of the four years of the event, GLC middle infielder Adam Hall and OBJ outfielder Cooper Davis. Back for their final turn at the tournament, Alomar is excited to see what they can bring to the showcase this year, and they’re just happy to return once again to Canada’s only major league field.

“This is their year,” Alomar said. “Now it’s time for them to show their skills. I know Cooper really well, and I like Cooper and Adam a lot. I’ve worked with them with the [Canadian Junior National] Team, so I know what they can bring to the table. It’s up to them now to showcase their skills here, in front of the scouts…they’re getting better, they’re getting stronger, they’re getting smarter.”

Said Hall: “It’s like graduating Tournament 12 now. The actual tournament itself hasn’t changed too much but my mindset on it has changed. Obviously the first year I was kind of just going there and not really knowing what to expect, not really knowing what exactly Canadian baseball was. But now, having the experiences that I’ve had there, I understand and I get what it’s going to be.”

Among the tournament’s coaching staffs are CPBL coaches Adam Stern and Chris Robinson, from the GLC program, John Marriotti of the Mets, and OBJ coach Mike Steed.

CPBL playoff tournament moved to end of July

Five weeks into the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier Baseball League, the new circuit has already seen its share of weather-related issues and scheduling changes, and with that will move the playoff tournaments at both the 16U and 18U levels from the end of June to the end of July.

Post-season play will now take place beginning on Thursday, July 28 and see its completion on Sunday, July 31, previously on the schedule for June 24 to 26. The weekend in June will still host playoffs at each of the remaining age groups, and will also be used to make up any previously cancelled games for teams at the two older levels.

The new playoff schedule will allow for the format to be changed from double elimination to round-robin play, which will give each squad the opportunity for more games and time on the field.

At the 18U level, post-season play will be hosted by the Great Lake Canadians and Ontario Nationals, in Dorchester and St. Marys. For the 16U division, playoffs will be hosted by the Toronto Mets in Scarborough.

Teams from the Ontario Blue Jays program currently lead both age groups, with the 18U squad coached by Mike Steed sweeping its most recent weekend series against Team Ontario to bring them to 16 wins on the year, and the 16U team coached by Sean Travers suffering just its first loss of the season on the weekend, at the hands of the Great Lake Canadians 16U squad.

Standings remain tight at both age groups with plenty of games left to play, including the league’s Mid-Summer Classic, set to take place in just over two weeks.

In the coming days, coaches from around the league will vote on the group of players who will represent their respective teams in the first CPBL All-Star Game, powered by Rawlings. The game will take place on Wednesday, June 15 at Arnold Anderson Stadium in Brantford. The event will begin at six o’clock with a home run derby showcasing the best power in the loop, and will be followed by the game starting at eight that night.