Letters of Intent
By Andres Torres
Matteo Vincelli believes that Tournament 12 is a move in the right direction for Canadian baseball.
Vincelli, who pitched for Team B.C. in last week’s T12 event, was thrilled to be considered as among the country’s elite ballplayers and compete at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
“The field is looking beautiful,” said the 17-year-old Vincelli. “We need to take tournaments like this more seriously because it’s like a showcase, there are scouts everywhere in the stands, and it’s a good opportunity for Canadian players to get noticed and to show what they’ve got.”
Currently playing for the North Shore Twins, Vincelli came through the ranks of Hasting Little League and impressed coaches and scouts alike with his strong arm and potent bat.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound B.C. native recognizes that baseball takes a backseat in Canada when it comes to sports, behind more popular games like hockey and basketball, but he admits events like Tournament 12 are the right moves Canadian baseball should be making to improve the talent and development of young players.
“Baseball is not a huge sport in Canada, but having tournaments like this brings all the best players together, it gives players a very good opportunity to get noticed, it’s good for the country” Vincelli said. “I wish we had a baseball team in B.C., but for exposure it’s all the same throughout Canada — if you’re good you get noticed, and if you’re good you come to tournaments like this. It’s good, it works out for everyone.”
Although the pitcher is at a very young age in his baseball career, he is already at the stage where he analyzes his playing style and tactics and knows exactly where his strong and weak points are.
“I am a small guy, so for idols I look up to Marcus Stroman, the pitcher for the Blue Jays,” said Vincelli. “He’s a small guy, throws hard and uses his mind to feed batters. I like to be a power pitcher, attack the batter, throw a lot of fastballs, throw strikes and try to get batters out.”
Standing out from the crowd will be a main priority for the young player in this tournament.
“There is a lot of competition, there’s a lot of good players in this event right now,” said Vincelli. “I really want to test myself in this tournament, show well, see how hard I can throw, throw strikes, and maybe have an opportunity to play on the junior national team, that’s my goal.”