Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Top draft-eligible talent from across Canada will see action in the Tournament 12, hosted by the Toronto Blue Jays and the Blue Jays Baseball Academy.
The competitive four-day tournament will give the players a chance to display their skills for many scouts and college recruiters.
On Wednesday, the Academy — along with the tournament’s commissioner, Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar — announced the first 80 players selected for the upcoming event, taking place at Rogers Centre from Sept. 16-20.
“Tournament 12 provides a great opportunity for Canadian baseball players to showcase their skills and abilities on a Major League field,” Alomar said. “I am very proud of how successful the tournament was in its inaugural year, and am really looking forward to seeing the next wave of Canadian baseball talent as this showcase grows.”
Canada’s 2015 Draft class is highlighted by slugger Josh Naylor and outfielder Demi Orimoloye, with right-handers Mike Soroka and Matt Ianni not far behind. Joining them will be the rest of the country’s finest high schoolers for a unique evaluating opportunity.
“The 2015 class is solid …” one National League evaluator said. “The two guys I’m most excited about are Naylor and Orimoloye; both could go in the first five rounds. The pitching talent for 2015 is strong …
“Overall, the tournament is a great thing. It offers scouts an opportunity to see many players one last time before the offseason on a big stage. The majority of scouts have all seen these kids play before, but it helps us see the kids in high-pressure games, and players can really raise their Draft stock going into the offseason,” he added.
The nation’s next pool of talent will hope for success similar to what the tournament has already produced, even before taking into account the upcoming Draft and college commitments that are still rolling in.
One success story from the first event is Andrew Case. The right-hander signed a Minor League free-agent contract with the Blue Jays just four days after his Maritimes team became the first Tournament 12 champions.
In his two appearances over the four days of games, Case threw nine innings, including a seven-inning no-hitter, and struck out 19 batters.
After being signed by Toronto’s Canadian scout Jamie Lehman out of the tournament, Case reported to the instructional league in the Dominican, and he has been dominating at extended spring camp. Through 30 innings in Dunedin, Fla., the hurler has allowed just five runs on nine hits, giving out only one free pass and striking out 22.
The event will host a total of 160 players, with seven additional roster spots for each of the eight teams named on Aug. 15 and the final rosters being declared on Aug. 29. Alongside tournament commissioner Alomar, guests of the showcase will include Sandy Alomar Sr. and Blue Jays alumni Paul Quantrill, Duane Ward, Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield.