2016 Canadian draft list
Letters of Intent
Where are they now: 2012 Junior National Team – Part II
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA – Last week we provided an update on some members of the 2012 Junior National Team who went on to play college baseball.
Nearly three years ago, the 2012 JNT went on an unprecedented run at the IBAF 18U World Cup in Seoul, South Korea coming up just short in their quest for a world championship after a 6-2 loss to the United States in the gold medal game. Still, the silver medal won at the event will be remembered as one of the finest performances in the history of the Junior National Team program.
Fifteen out of the 20 players on that roster graduated to either professional ball or started their college careers, while the remaining players continued on with the program. In fact, one player, Josh Naylor, who was 15 back in 2012, will be wrapping up a four-year stint with the Junior National Team program in 2015.
After profiling the players that moved on to college ball, here’s a look four players who moved on to pro ball.
RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) – Houston Astros
The tall right-hander attended West Virginia University in 2013 but transferred to Central Arizona College after the season. He established himself as a legitimate draft prospect with the Vaqueros going 9-4 with a 2.77 ERA over 14 starts. The Houston Astros took notice and used their sixth round selection in the ’14 MLB Draft to nab Dykxhoorn. The 20 year-old signed immediately with the Astros after the draft and got his feet wet in professional baseball with Greenville in the Appalachian League. Dykxhoorn will begin his first full season in professional baseball with the Astros’ single-A affiliate, the Quad Cities River Bandits.
3B Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) – Chicago Cubs
One of the top performers at the World Cup in 2012, Hodges impressed more than just the teams he was playing against in South Korea as the Chicago Cubs signed the third baseman at the tournament. His game tying home run against Japan that propelled Canada to a tournament opening win over the international powerhouse set the tone for his tournament as his strong play earned him a spot on the All-Star team and he was later named Junior National Team MVP at the Baseball Canada National Teams banquet. Hodges spent the 2013 season in the Arizona Rookie League before playing at short season Boise in 2014. This season, Hodges will be challenged with his first full season assignment as he’s on the roster of the South Bend Cubs, single-A club.
OF Gareth Morgan (Toronto, Ont.) – Seattle Mariners
Just 16 years-old back in 2012, Morgan went on to play two more seasons with the Junior National Team before the Seattle Mariners took him with the 74th overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft. Morgan signed with the club shortly thereafter spending last summer with the Mariners rookie level Peoria affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. His season did not end there however, as the four-year member of the Junior National Team took care of some unfinished business with the program in helping Canada win a bronze medal at the 18U Pan American Championship in La Paz, Mex. Morgan ended his career with the JNT in style as he homered in the bronze medal contest against host Mexico leading Canada to a 9-7 win. Morgan was recognized for his play in Mexico as he was given the Junior National Team MVP Award last January at the National Teams Banquet in Toronto.
LHPTravis Seabrooke (Peterborough, Ont.) – Baltimore Orioles
Seabrooke returned to the Junior National Team program in 2013, and pitched in his second straight 18U IBAF World Cup in Taiwan. Prior to that, the tall left-hander became the highest Canadian high school pitcher taken in the 2013 MLB Draft when the Baltimore Orioles used their 5th round selection on him. Seabrooke began his professional career in the Gulf Coast League in 2013 and was dominant working eight innings where he allowed only one earned run. Seabrooke’s 2014 season was wiped after he underwent knee surgery so he will likely begin 2015 in extended spring training before being assigned to one of Baltimore’s minor league affiliates.
Note: OF Nathan DeSouza (Milton, Ont.), RHP Dayton Dawe (London, Ont.) and RHP Logan Seifrit (Spruce Grove, Alta.) moved on to pro ball following the 18U IBAF World Cup in 2012 with the Blue Jays, Yankees and Mariners, respectively but have since been released by their clubs.