From Sept. 20-24, 2013, the Toronto Blue Jays will host a 12-team tournament at Rogers Centre that will feature the top college eligible players from Canada. There is no age restriction to play, but the players must be eligible to play in college.
“The creation of Tournament 12 is a first for amateur baseball in Canada," Blue Jays seior vice president of business operations Stephen Brooks said in a release. "It is an opportunity to showcase the elite baseball talent that exists in our country. If, through this tournament, we help provide the opportunity for Canada’s best to further their education through baseball or pursue their professional aspirations, then the efforts of all involved have been well worth it.”
Each team will be made up of 22 players and four coaches with rosters being selected by the Blue Jays scouting department. The teams will represent the Canadian provinces with three from Ontario, two each from British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, one from the maritime provinces and one combining Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The 12th team will be a scout team with players from all provinces.
Canada typically has a couple travel teams that make it to showcases throughout the summer and fall, but scouts mostly keep their eye on the Canadian Junior National team. This should give professional organizations and colleges not only an extra look at the top players, but a chance to see players that might normally fly under the radar.
This year's High School Top 100 list stands out for a few reasons . . .
While the top of this year's draft doesn't compare to the premium talent available from the high school ranks in 2012, there is some interesting depth and it's clear that the strength's of his year's high school class are two positions teams can seemingly never get enough of: catchers and lefthanded pitchers.
The Top 100 list features nine true catchers, two players who may remain behind the plate, but probably fit better at first base in Zack Collins from American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla., and Corey Simpson from Sweeny (Texas) High and two players in California—Dom Nunez from Elk Grove High in Sacramento and Chris Rivera from El Dorado High in Placentia, Calif., who have intrigued scouts in brief looks behind the plate. [...] Continue Reading »
All nine free agents who received qualifying offers that would yield compensation for their former clubs rejected those deals by today’s 5 p.m. ET deadline. In order to receive compensation, teams had to tender the player a one-year contract equivalent to the average of the top 125 major league salaries ($13.3 million this year) by 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 2.
For Red Sox DH David Ortiz, the decision to decline the offer was a formality, because he signed a two-year, $26 million contract on Monday. If the other eight players change addresses, their new club will lose its first-round pick (unless it falls among the top 10 choices, in which case it gives up a second-rounder) and their old team will get a choice at the end of the first round.
Those compensation choices will come in reverse order of the 2012 major league standings. The Yankees have three compensation free agents, which means they could have a record four first-round selections if they all leave New York. If the Yankees have multiple comp picks, they would come in succession.
The eight potential compensation free agents, listed in the order in which their former clubs’ draft picks would fall at the end of the first round:
Cardinals: Kyle Lohse, rhp
Rays: B.J. Upton, of
Rangers: Josh Hamilton, of
Braves: Michael Bourn, of
Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda, rhp; Rafael Soriano, rhp; Nick Swisher, of
Nationals: Adam LaRoche, 1b
COMPTON, Calif.—El Camino JC, the site of the MLB Urban Youth Academy, played host to the 2012 Jesse Flores Memorial All-Star Game on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Southern California. In what has become an annual event, the game is presented by the Professional Baseball Scouts of Southern California (PBSSC) and is designed to honor the late Jesse Flores as well as showcase the top high school amateur talent in Southern California. Flores, the first Mexican national to play in the major leagues, had a long, successful scouting career with the Twins, signing more than 70 major leaguers, including Bert Blyleven, Rick Dempsey, and Craig Nettles
The day kicked off in typical showcase format with batting practice and infield/outfield in the morning culminating in an afternoon 11-inning offensive affair with the North edging out the South 7-6. Overall, the position players outperformed the pitchers from a prospect standpoint, as the event was lacking the elite arms that SoCal typically produces.
The most impressive of the position players was Lakewood (Calif.) High shortstop J.P. Crawford. The 6-foot-2 180-pound Southern California commit is a four-year starter for the same powerhouse program that produced top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and Phillies 2012 supplemental first-rounder Shane Watson. Offensively, the lefthanded-hitting Crawford utilizes an open stance with his hands held high that bears a striking resemblance to that of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, a distant cousin of J.P. Although he does not possess the present strength that Carl does, J.P. has strong barrel awareness and the ability to lace line drives to the gaps. He shows good weight transfer and potential for more pop but must continue to keep his lower half in sync.
With the glove, Crawford is a premium quick-twitch athlete who projects to play the position long term. While he is not a burner, Crawford is a plus runner with enough range and the fluid actions to handle the position. He did a good job of coming through the ball and getting his feet in position to allow his soft hands and plus arm to work seamlessly.
Scouts are plenty familiar with Crawford, a showcase veteran. But on Sunday, he flashed a tool scouts have long been looking for: power.
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