OTTAWA-Baseball Canada announced today the names of 24 players who will participate in the Junior National Team’s World Junior Qualification Camp in Boca Raton and Miami, Florida November 9-16.
At the conclusion of the camp, the team will reduce the roster to 20 players before travelling to Cartagena, Colombia for the COPABE Americas World Junior Qualification tournament November 17-27. In Colombia, Canada will be joined by fourteen other nations, including baseball powers USA, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Mexico, that will be vying for one of four berths in the 2012 World Junior Baseball Championship in Seoul, South Korea.
“This camp will allow the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate players before making final roster decisions.” said Junior National Team Head Coach, Greg Hamilton. “The qualification tournament in Colombia is an important event for our program and we want to be as prepared as possible.”
The camp roster features five players who were drafted and signed by Major League clubs earlier this year. Leading the way is RHP Tom Robson who the Blue Jays took in the 4th round, making him the highest Canadian taken in the 2011 draft. Joining Robson as a member of the Blue Jays is SS Justin Atkinson while 3B Dustin Houle (Brewers), C Justin Marra (Cubs) and RHP Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Phillies) have all signed professional contracts with their respective clubs.
Two players, OF Brett Siddall (Windsor, ON) and RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, ON), have been added to the roster and will be making their JNT debuts in Florida.
While in Florida, the JNT will face two-time Class 4A Florida High School State Champions and Baseball America’s #1 ranked High School program, Archbishop McCarthy before taking on NCAA Division 1 schools Florida International University and perennial powerhouse, the University of Miami. The Juniors will conclude the camp with two exhibition games against the US Junior National Team.
“The competition we will face in Florida will be a stern test for our players which should serve us well prior to the qualifier in Colombia,” added Hamilton.