by Adam Morissette
February 19, 2014, OTTAWA (ISN) – Baseball Canada announced today 32 players that will take part in the Junior National Team’s Alumni Week/Spring Training camp that will take place in St. Petersburg, Florida from March 6th-17th.
The team will play a nine-game exhibition schedule against spring training clubs from the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Games are also scheduled against St. Petersburg Junior College and Faith Baptist High School.
All games and practices will take place at historic Al Lang Stadium, a venue that will be celebrating its 100thyear of operation on March 9th when the juniors take on the Phillies at 2:05pm EST.
The highlight of the week will come on March 11th when the Toronto Blue Jays travel to St. Petersburg from their spring home in Dunedin for an all-Canadian match-up beginning at 1:05pm EST.
The Blue Jays and the Junior National Team previously met at Al Lang Stadium in 2011 and 2012 with the likes of Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind taking part.
“The relationship with the Toronto Blue Jays is tremendously important to Baseball Canada,” said Junior National Team Head Coach and Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton. “The Blue Jays have been great supporters of our National Teams program for a long time, so the chance for both organizations to play this game is truly something special.”
The Junior National Team won’t have to look far for advice when taking on the Blue Jays as two-time World Series champion and Baseball Hall of Famer, Roberto Alomar, will be attending Alumni Week as a Guest Coach on the JNT staff.
“I am looking forward to working with some of Canada’s top 18 and under players next month in St. Petersburg,” said Alomar. “Through events like the Honda Super Camps and Tournament 12 I have been able to see the great talent that exists in Canada today which is exciting for the future of baseball in this country.”
In addition to Alomar and Hamilton, the coaching staff features former big-leaguers Chris Reitsma (Pitching Coach) and Adam Stern (Guest Coach) along with former National Team players Shawn Bowman (Coach) and TJ Burton (Guest Coach).
-The roster features 5 players (Mitchell Bigras, Gareth Morgan, Josh Naylor, Demi Orimoloye and JP Stevenson) that took part in the 2013 IBAF 18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan where Canada finished in seventh place.
-29 of the 32 players named to the roster participated in the Fall Instructional League Camp held last October in Orlando.
-Three players named to the roster will be participating with the Junior National Team program for the first time – INF/OF Michael Moffatt (Burlington, ON), LHP Kyle Ross (Maple Ridge, BC) and RHP Kristjan Storrie (Langley, BC).