By Richard Birfer
The 2017 MLB Draft is rapidly approaching and professional teams are just about ready to make their selections with an eye on the future. With mock draft boards coming together, the Collegiate Baseball Scouting Network has put together its very own list of the top-10 Canadian draft-eligible high school players for the upcoming June draft.
With baseball booming in Canada, this is only the beginning of what is a very bright future for Canadian Baseball!
On the Bubble:
Rashad Collymore (ONT), OF, Indian River State Commit
Edouard Jullien (QUE), INF, Uncommited
Wesley Moore (BC), LHP, Cal-State Northridge Commit
Top Eligible Canadians on the University Scene:
Zach Pop (ONT), RHP, University of Kentucky
Tristan Clarke (ONT), OF, University of New Orleans
Matt Lloyd (ALB), INF, Indiana University
Canadian High School Top-10:
10. Cade Smith (BC), RHP, Hawaii Commit: Atop the top-10 list is British Columbia-native and Hawaii commit Cade Smith. With a fastball that sits between 88-90mph, Smith is a strike thrower who induces a lot of swing-and-misses and can command all of his pitches. At 6’5’’, 205lbs, Smith has great size and utilizes the downhill plane very effectively. While scouts believe that there is more velocity in the tank for Cade, to this point the B.C. boy passes the eye test and should be one of the more interesting draft eligible Canadian prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft.
9. Michael Stovman (BC), RHP/1B, Indian River State Commit: A two-way player from British Columbia, Stovman is projected to stick to first base on the next level although his fastball has touched 90mph at times. The Canadian Junior National Team player’s main sell remains his bat. Stovman can generate bat speed and has great strength. At 6’3’’, 200lbs, Stovman has the tools needed to see success on the next level.
8. William Sierra (QUE), RHP, Chipola JUCO Commit: A 28th round pick of the New York Mets in the 2016 Draft, the Chipola JC commit could not agree on a deal with the MLB franchise. At 6’1’’, 170-pounds, Sierra is a lanky pitcher with a loose arm, which can touch the low 90’s. A member of the Canadian Junior National Team, Sierra will look to be a coveted arm in the middle rounds of the 2017 MLB Draft.
7. Noah Skirrow (ONT), RHP, Liberty Commit: A strong-bodied right-hander, Skirrow has an intimidation factor to him on the mound. With a fastball that touches 93mph on the gun, and good secondary stuff, Skirrow is a strike-thrower with a great pitcher’s frame. The 6’3’’, 210lbs pitcher has a 12/6 shape on his curveball, which shows some bite as well as fading action on his changeup. Skirrow will be an interesting name in the 2017 MLB Draft. He is a hard throwing righty, who can throw all three of his pitches for strikes while showing glimpses of pitchability.
6. Dondrae Bremner (ONT), SS, Cincinnati Commit: An athletic and shifty shortstop, Bremner is a teammate of another top Canadian prospect, Landon Leach, on the Toronto Mets. His glove should play on the next level. Bremner has very impressive footwork up the middle, with natural athleticism, soft hands, quick transfers and some zip on his accurate throws. At the plate, Bremner can generate bat speed, has a repeatable and quiet swing, while showing off some speed on the base path. Hitting a home run at the 2017 PBR ProCase did not hurt his draft chances either. The Cincinnati Commit will be one of the biggest Ontario names in the 2017 Draft.
5. Jason Willow (BC), SS/CF, UC Santa Barbara Commit: An athletic ball player who has shown the capability of playing all over the field, Willow will be the biggest name coming out of British Columbia in the 2017 Draft. At 6’2’’, 175lbs, Willow is a lanky athlete with raw bat speed and a short, downhill approach from the right side of the plate. His hands work very well and Willow has shown the ability to hit for average as well as power. His ability both at the plate and in the field will undoubtedly make the UC Santa Barbara commit a hot commodity come Draft day.
4. Cooper Davis, OF, Vanderbilt Commit: A speedy outfielder, Davis has the makings to be a star on the next level. The 5’10’’, 182lbs Vanderbilt commit has the perfect mix of athleticism, speed, and strength. A good frame, quick hands and plus bat speed, Davis has shown the potential of hitting balls out of the park from time to time despite more of a gap-to-gap approach. The makeup is there and Davis plays with a certain flare that allows him to stand out. In the field, Davis can cover a lot of ground in centre, but is still developing arm strength. Overall, Cooper is an explosive young prospect who has the potential to be a real player on the next level.
3. Clayton Keyes (ALB), OF, Central Arizona Commit: Drafted in the 17th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in last year’s MLB Draft, Keyes opted to return home for another year to play with the Okotoks Dawgs. The 210-plus pound outfielder has a muscular frame as well as an impressive combination of strength and athleticism. The speed and bat speed is there as well as plenty of power potential for the future. In the field, the Canadian Junior National Team shows fluid actions, some arm strength and accurate throws. As the MLB Draft nears, Keyes will be a big name out of Canadian to watch. The toolsy outfielder has the potential to really impress on the next level.
2. Adam Hall (ONT), SS, Texas A&M Commit: Hall is a player who has been on the radar of scouts for quite some time. The Texas A&M commit has also been hyped up as one of the best infield prospects to ever come out of Canada and it is very easy to see why. Hall has blistering speed (runs a 6.45s 60), is athletic, smooth on the field, and is seemingly born to hit. A quiet, line drive approach at the plate, with a pretty compact swing, he has also shown glimpses of power to come as he continues to develop. Whether playing in the CPBL with his Great Lake Canadians team, or with the Canadian Junior National Team, or even at Tournament 12, Hall has impressed at every stage and should be taken off the draft board in the earlier rounds.
1. Landon Leach (ONT), RHP, Texas Commit: A converted catcher, Leach has very quickly become Canada’s top prospect. At 6’4’’ and 220lbs, Leach has the perfect frame for a big league pitcher. He has a loose arm, an athletic and repeatable delivery, and a heater that touches 96mph. At this point, Leach is a fastball/slider pitcher, but is developing a changeup and has a good feel for the pitch. His fastball sits comfortably at 92-94mph with late life, while his slider sits 82-84mph with some late tilt and plenty of bite. One of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects, Leach will be a big name out of Canada leading into the MLB Draft.