(Photo: Eddie Michels)
OTTAWA- Baseball Canada announced today the names of 31 players invited to the Junior National Team’s Extended Spring Training camp in Lake Buena Vista, Florida at ESPN Wide World of Sports from April 15-23.
The team will play an eight-game exhibition schedule against extended spring training clubs from the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. On April 20th, the team will travel to Dunedin to take-on the Toronto Blue Jays extended spring club at the Bobby Mattick Complex.
Manager Greg Hamilton leads the coaching staff that will see coaches Hyung Cho and Mike Johnson return to the fold, while former National Team player Adam Stern and former Junior National Team coach Mike Lumley will attend as guest coaches. Also joining the staff as guest coaches are two individuals very familiar to Canadian baseball fans in former American League MVP Justin Morneau and 2015 Pan Am Games hero Pete Orr.
For Morneau, a member of the Junior National Team in 1999, the year that the program first began playing against pros in Orlando, the camp will provide a trip down memory lane.
“It will be special returning to where it all started when I was 17 before I began my professional career.” he said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity of working with some of Canada’s top high school baseball players.”
Morneau, who is currently a free agent after playing with the Colorado Rockies in 2015, is rehabbing after undergoing elbow surgery in December.
“We’re very fortunate to have the alumni support of people that truly care about the Junior National Team program and Canadian baseball in general,” said Greg Hamilton. “Having two coaches in camp with the baseball experience of Justin and Pete will be a benefit to the entire program both on and off the baseball field.”
Extended Spring Training Roster Highlights:
-Seven players named to the roster (Josh Burgmann, Cooper Davis, Mathieu Deneault-Gauthier, Isaac Deveaux, Adam Hall, Luke Van Rycheghem and Andrew Yerzy) are holdovers from the team that represented Canada at the 2015 WBSC U18 Baseball World Cup in Osaka, Japan last September.
-3B/OF Robbie Holmes (New Sarepta, AB) was named to the roster, but is unable to attend as he is participating in the Western Hockey League playoffs with the Regina Pats.
-C Victory Cerny (Winnipeg, MB) will be participating with the Junior National Team program for the first time. All other players named to the roster participated in the Spring Training Camp last month in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Extended Spring Training Camp is the second of four camps scheduled for the Junior National Team program this season. In May, the team will participate in the annual Dominican Summer League camp, and in July, the team will travel to Havana, Cuba for a series of games against the Cuban U-18 National Team.