May 16, 2014, OTTAWA (ISN) – Baseball Canada announced today the names of 26 players that will head to the Dominican Republic May 21-30 for the Junior National Team’s annual Dominican Summer League Camp.
The juniors will play 11 games against teams in the Dominican Summer League. The schedule will see the JNT take-on Dominican prospects from the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and Colorado Rockies.
The highlight of the trip will come on May 29th at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo when the juniors will play some of the Dominican Republic’s top prospects that are eligible to sign with Major League Baseball clubs on or after July 2nd. The Dominican team will be selected by MLB as they showcase some of the top unsigned talent the country has to offer ahead of the July 2nd signing day.
-Twenty-four players named to the roster have participated in previous camps with the Junior National Team program
-Two players (Peter Hutzal and Alexis Lavergne) named to the roster will be participating with the Junior National Team program for the first time.
-Five players (Mitchell Bigras, Gareth Morgan, Josh Naylor, Demi Orimoloye and JP Stevenson) took part in the 2013 IBAF 18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan where Canada finished in seventh place.
The coaching is staff is led by Head Coach and Baseball Canada’s Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, ON), while Pitching Coach Chris Reitsma (Calgary, AB) along with coaches Shawn Bowman (Port Moody, BC) and Mike Johnson (Sherwood Park, AB) return to the staff.
The Dominican Summer League Camp is an important step in the process as the JNT prepares for the COPABE 18U World Cup Qualifier September 5th – 14th in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico. The top four teams in Mexico will qualify for the 2015 IBAF 18U World Cup in Japan.
“This camp will allow our coaching staff the opportunity to evaluate all players in a highly competitive environment,” said Hamilton “The strides taken at this camp will better prepare our team for success going forward and leading to the World Cup Qualifier in September.”
With MLB’s First Year Player Draft scheduled for June 5th – 7th, the trip to Dominican will provide draft-eligible Canadian players an opportunity to perform in front of MLB scouts and personnel.
You can stay up-to-date on the Junior National Teams progress in the Dominican by following @Team_C_Updates on Twitter.