Top Ontario High School Prospects Entering the 2017 Baseball Season
By Richard Birfer
The summer is very quickly approaching, which means Triple-A baseball will soon be upon us.
This will be yet another summer in which Canada will get to showcase some of its best talent as the sport is quickly developing in the country. Headlined by Andrew Yerzy and Cal Quantrill, 25-Canadians were drafted in the 2016 MLB Draft. As the new season approaches, the excitement grows over the continued development and success of Baseball in Canada.
The 2017 class will be headlined by the hard-throwing Toronto Mets pitcher Landon Leach and Adam Hall, a Great Lakes Canadians shortstop and a Texas A&M commit who has loads of untapped potential.
Previewing the upcoming summer in Ontario, check out some other top names that coaches, scouts, and general baseball fans should keep an eye on this season!
Tyler Black, SS, Class of 2018: A 6’0’’, very athletically built shortstop with great speed (sub 6.90s 60-yard time), and natural instincts with some room for further physical development. Tyler has a very smooth and repeatable swing, able to generate good bat speed with a smooth follow-through. There are a lot of moving parts to his swing, but he still has great barrel awareness. Loose arm at short, with a clean transfer and good carry on his throws. Very quick on his feet, has some flash in his on-field game. Black is one of the top 2018 shortstop prospects in all of Canada and will be an interesting follow this summer.
Zach Banks, RHP, Class of 2017: A 6’1’’, 185lbs pitcher with an athletic body and a projectable frame, Banks has a very fluid and smooth swing, loads on back foot and can generate quick and powerful bat speed. Zach makes great contact in batting practice, drives bat through hitting zone. Outside of a few timing issues which force his swing to get loopy, a very mechanically sound swing and a very interesting hitter with some pop in his bat. On the mound, Banks is a hard-thrower, topping out at 88mph in the offseason. Banks throws from a H¾ slot and has good arm-side run on his fastball with late movement and some late break on his curveball. His curveball shows an 11/5 shape. Not afraid to go at hitters, throws for strikes, and capable of making hitters feel uncomfortable at the plate. Quiet, but has a great make-up, great confidence, and incredible work ethic. Will be one of the more interesting pitchers to watch this summer as he continues to improve and develop.