They Play Baseball in Canada, Too

Tournaments : : Story
Jim Ecker        
Published: Friday, July 24, 2009

JOPLIN, Mo. -- Canada is not known for high-level youth baseball, but Team Ontario has done its share the last 10 years to change that perception.
 
The program, which began in 1998, had 44 players on college baseball rosters in the United States this past season, according to a team spokesman. A total of 47 Team Ontario graduates have been drafted by major league teams during the past 11 years, and 15 grads are currently playing in the minor leagues. Chris LeRoux, a Team Ontario guy and a 6-foot-6 pitcher, plays for the Florida Marlins, although he's currently on the 15-day disabled list with a sore shoulder.
 
"We're proud of our program," said Tom Colangelo, the head coach of the Team Ontario team that is playing in the Premier Baseball Junior Championship here this week.
 
Team Ontario is fielding an 18U and 16U team this year. And as you might expect, the clubs are spending a lot of time in the U.S. this summer, travelling from tournament to tournament, seeking top-level competition. They don't get many home games.
 
"We always have to travel," said Colangelo. "They won't come up. We've tried."
 
Colangelo's team will have visited Oklahoma, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Delaware, Connecticut and possibly Florida before the summer is done. That's a lot of travel, mostly by air. "We do a ton," he said.
 
Colangelo said they'll play approximately 80 games during the year, all in an effort to improve and give players a chance to play college ball in the U.S. or get drafted. Compared to the competition they see on a regular basis in the States, he said Team Ontario is a "middle of the road" team in terms of performance.
 
Colangelo said a summer travel team is vital for the Canadiens, because high school baseball in Canada is played at a fairly low level. In fact, he called it "bad."
 
"It's sort of like playing high school hockey in Oklahoma," he said.
 
Colangelo said there are no other programs in Canada that can match Team Ontario's level of success in developing players. No other program in Canada, he said, can match their record of producing draft picks and players for U.S. colleges.
 
"We were the original," he said.
 
Team Ontario began the Premier Baseball tournament with three straight losses, including a tough 6-5 setback to the Kansas City Sluggers, but was hopeful of bouncing back as the tournament continued through this weekend.
Recent Related Articles
Desert dandies: 14u's move in
2020 RHP Mitchel Schooler threw a 3-inning no-hitter to lead Peoria-based Phenom AZ 14u to a 15-0 victory as play got underwa... READ 
WBA 2018 vows to 'compete'
Warriors Baseball Academy 2018 (Glendale, AZ) is back at the 16u PG WWBA West Memorial Day Classic to defend its 2015 title, ... READ 
Carter sets tone for Doubleday
The Doubleday Dodgers 18u squad has big expectations for the summer, starting with the 2016 18u WWBA Memorial Day at LakePoin... READ 
Most Viewed Related Articles
PG HS Showdown: Day 1 Recap
Will Ethridge enjoyed a dominant performance on the mound for the defending PG High School Showdown Champion Parkview High Sc... READ 
Sparkman on top at Showdown
Unranked Sparkman HS (Ala.) beat three top-20 foes in succession and took home the championship Saturday at the Perfect Game ... READ 
PG HS Showdown: Day 2 Recap
Chavez Young has been very impressive over the first two days of the Academies portion of the PG High School Showdown as we p... READ 
 

About Perfect Game :: Contact us :: Site Map
Copyright 1994-2016 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.