2016 Canadian draft list
Letters of Intent
Updated Dec. 4, 2014
By Bob Elliott
When the snow begins to drift and baseball moves indoors in Canada it’s similar to end of the two-year-old throoughbred racing season.
That’s roughly about the same time when TheRacing Journal issues a winter book favourtie for the next year’s Kentucky Derby,
Diamonds are shut down in nine provinces, maybe 10, although the Langley Blaze may be working out Boxing Day at McLeod Athletic Park on Boxing Day as they did a couple of other years.
So, who is the winter book fave heading into the indoors months?
OF Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, Ont.) of the Ottawa-Nepean Canadians or OF-1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays?
Or should that question have been phrased Naylor or Orimoloye?
It is going to be a horse race.
We can just hear Des Smith, legendary Rideau-Carleton Raceway screaming into the mike high top the grandstand as he peered into his binoculars:
“AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME!”
Some years the honor as top Canadian selected is a boat race between a speed boat and a tug boat with players going wire to wire from the year before their draft year to draft day:
_ LHP Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC) of the Whalley Chiefs top in 2002 was on top spot and stayed there going fourth over-all in North America going to the Baltimore Orioles.
_ INF Kyle Orr(Victoria, BC) of the Victoria Mariners was on top in 2006, selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
_ RHP Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) of the Academie Baseball Canada went in the first round to the Seattle Mariners in 2007.
_ C-3B Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) of the Langley Blaze was the top tog in 2008 going to the Milwaukee Brewers.
_ RHP Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) of Langley was first in 2011 going fourth to the Toronto Blue Jays.
_ LHP Rob Zastryzny (Edmonton, Alta.) of the University of Missouri went in the second round to the Chicago Cubs in 2013.
_ And OF Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays went in the second round to the Mariners.
And then there was years when players battled down the stretch like
_ 3B Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) of Team Ontario who went in the first round surpassing RHP Michael Reiss (Thornhill, Ont.) of Team Ontario who went to the Milwaukee Brewers and RHP Stephen Reiss (Thornhill, Ont.) Team Ontario to the Minnesota Twins.
_ RHP Brooks McNiven (Vernon, BC) of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds went to the San Francisco Giants four picks ahead of 3B Jamie Romak London, Ont.) of London Badgers, who went to the Atlanta Braves in 2003.
_ C Chris Robinson (Dorchester, Ont.) of the University of Illinois and the London Badgers went to the Detroit Tigers passing 1B Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, Ont.) of Team Ontario as he went to the Cleveland Indians in 2005.
_ LHP James Paxton (Ladner, BC) University of Kentucky went from fourth in the late fall to a first rounder by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009.
_ RHP Jameson Taillon (The Woodlands, Tx.) came out of the wood work late to be the second over-all pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010.
_ And 3B Eric Wood (Pickering, Ont.) of Blinn College and the Ontario Blue Jays was top man going to the Pirates in 2012.
Now what about 2015?
Well, checking the other lists on Orimoloye of the Ottawa-Nepean Canadians and the Canadian Junior National Team, who has signed a Letter of Intent to Oregon … ranks
_ 11th on Baseball America’s latest top 100 HS list.
_ 16th on Perfect Game Scouting Service’s top 500 HSers list
_ 33rd on MLB Pipleine top 50 combined list.
_ 37th on PG’s top 250 combined list of high schoolers and college players.
_ 38th on BA’s top 50 combined list .
And Naylor, of the Ontario Blue Jays and the Canadian JNT, who has committed to Texas Tech … ranks
_ 31st on PG top 500 HS list.
_ 52nd on BA top 100 HS list.
_ 68th on PG’s top 250 combined list.
The other top Canucks …
LHP Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, Ont.) of the Arizona State and the Ontario Prospects, who one scouting director predicted this weekend “is not Jeff Francis, but is first-round material.”
_ 47th on PG’s Allan Simpson’s top 200 combined list of HSers and collegians.
_ 65th on PG’s college list.
_ 73rd on PG’s top 200 prospects in Cape Cod.
_ 129th on PG’s top 250 combined list.
RHP Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) of the Calgary PBF Redbirds, who has committed to Cal Berkeley.
_ 152nd of PG’s top 250 combined list.
_ 139th on PG top 500 HS list (up from 380th)
C-RHP Darren Shred (Bramptonm Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays and the Canada JNT.
_ 154th on PG top 500 HS list.
We’re sticking with Naylor in our No. 1 and 1A rankings with six plus months remaining to the 2015 draft. We’ve asked six different people since this story appeared …
Three picked Naylor as the top Canuck for next June.
Three picked Orimoloye.