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Tournaments  | Story  | 11/10/2022

Fall Regional Review: Canada & Puerto Rico

Jheremy Brown     
Photo: Makaio Cisneros (Perfect Game)
Canada

Stefan Di Corrado (2024, Mississauga, Ontario) looked good with stick this morning for the Rawlings National Scout Team. Playing in his first ever Perfect Game event, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder shows the type of skill set for a young player that should have college scouts following him closely from here on out. He looks like a corner guy defensively, moving well laterally with good glove action and solid arm strength. His left-handed stick should be his carrying tool as he has the classic, smooth swing with natural lift and nice whip in the hands at impact. Di Corrado is lean yet and has broad shoulders that will allow him to add physicality for years to come. His bat stays on plane for a long time, but he doesn’t let the bat head drag. This uncommitted prospect is going to be in demand soon.
-2022 WWBA World Championships
 

Makaio Cisneros (2024, Whitby, Ontario) was dominant in the start for the Canadian Premier team against a very talented Cincinnati Reds Scout Team offense. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound right-hander tossed three innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out six. He looked under control and commanded the baseball to both sides with three pitches. The fastball got up to 88 mph with even more coming as he continues to add strength onto an uber-projectable frame. The changeup had tons of arm-side fade and a tight breaking ball was landed on the glove side corner consistently. He went to the breaking ball in later counts off the plate and got whiffs for strikeouts, as well. The arm action is long and loose with advanced command of the baseball. Cisneros can really pitch and should be a name that jumps on the radar very soon.
-2022 WWBA World Championships

Keaton Cottam (2023, Burlington, Ontario) is an uncommitted backstop playing with the Canadian Premier club this week, and he continues to impress with his defensive tools behind the plate while also having consistently competitive at-bats at the plate. He’s a long, lean catcher with good room to fill on his frame, and he shows the necessary movement ability behind the plate to project as a high-level defender at the collegiate level, to go along with good twitch out of his crouch, a quick release and a solid throwing arm. He’s capable of popping consistently in the 2-flat range right now. Offensively, Cottam had a huge RBI single to tie this game at 1 in the late innings, and he’s done a good job of owning the strike zone this week, seeing lots of pitches per at-bat and understanding his swing zones well. The body projects to add serious strength and there will be some power to the profile eventually as a result, and a catcher who can defend like he can shouldn’t be uncommitted as a senior.
-2022 WWBA World Championships



Another uncommitted Canadian Premier player who has continued to impress me across multiple looks in the last several months is Jack Pineau (2023, Thunder Bay, Ontario). Pineau is an established strike-thrower, pounding the zone at or near a 70% clip every time I’ve seen him, usually touching 90-91 early on before settling into the 86-89 mph range with the fastball. He’s slender at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, with good room to fill on the frame, and he does a good job of repeating a mostly compact delivery on the mound. His go-to secondary is the changeup, thrown with conviction and the ability to throw it for strikes as well as down out of the zone for chase, doing a good job of working the fastball to one side of the plate and following it up with a changeup to the opposite edge. His strike-throwing ability and mastery of at least one secondary, along with quality fastball velocity, gives him the chance to be an immediate contributor on the mound at the college level, and the projection on his frame makes his upside quality as well.
-2022 WWBA World Championships

Uncommitted RHP Jacob Wallace (2024, Pincourt, Quebec) jumped on the scene in relief today for the Brewers Langley Blaze and turned heads immediately. With a large frame and mature muscularity, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound arm gives you the feeling that he is just beginning to realize what his arm can produce in raw stuff. He uses a very high leg lift and an aggressive upward angle with his glove side to get to release point. This helps him create fairly easy arm speed as he showed a fastball in the 86-89 range with good tilt. He also mixed in a quality curveball with depth and two-plane break in the mid-70s range. He showed tremendous durability, going the distance on 87 pitches with 62% of those being in the strike zone. Wallace is uncommitted and his final line was 6 innings, scattering 6 hits, surrendering 1 earned run, 3 walks and punched out 6 batters in total.
-2022 WWBA World Championships

Canadian Premier got their first-ever Jupiter win on Friday morning, taking down 5-Star Performance 2023 National by a score of 9-2. Matthew Donnison (2023, Niagara Falls, Ontario) got the start and threw well, punching 3 in 3 frames while leaving the game with the lead. Donnison is a solidly-built right-hander who is committed to Illinois State, and he ran his fastball up to 90 mph in this outing, sitting just below that and showing his usual good feel for moving the heater around the zone. He threw nearly 70% strikes in this one, continuing to flash a bat-missing slider in the low-80’s with good bite and late tilt, and he turns over a changeup too with late dive. It’s a 3-pitch mix with strikes and a durable, innings-eater type of frame, lining up to be a long-term weekend starting rotation member at the college level.
-2022 WWBA World Championships

Brayden Ricketts (2024, Brampton, Ontario) has consistently impressed me over the course of a few viewings in the last couple months, and he does damage from the left side of the plate in the middle of the Canadian Premier order. A physical lefty, Ricketts is a catcher by trade but also looks good defensively at first base, giving him at least that much positional versatility. The big tool here is the bat, though, to be sure. Ricketts has above-average bat speed from the left side with an understanding of leverage and a clean path, getting the barrel out front on time with the ability to do real damage. He’s hit some balls very hard this week, including a bomb of a double in Friday’s game. For schools looking for left-handed power bats in the ’24 class, Ricketts is worth a look.
-2022 WWBA World Championships
 

Matt Brown (2024, Carlisle, Ontario) got a three inning relief stint for Canadian Premier, and while he allowed some runs, the upside here is vast and he showed good stuff. He’s very long and lean at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, with a whippy fast arm and tons of room to fill on his frame remaining. The fastball worked up to 92 and sat in the 88-91 mph range with heavy sink to the arm side, a pitch that should blow up a fair number of bats as he continues to refine the command to the edges, and he paired with it a good slider with late bite that plays well off of that sinker. A classic sinker/slider projection arm, Brown has good present stuff with tons of upside thanks to the projection and the way it all works. He’s uncommitted, but shouldn’t be for long.
-2022 WWBA World Championships

Keegan O'Hearn (2023, Oshawa, Ontario) has swung the bat well so far this week across a few games already, and the big, physical lefthanded hitter can do damage with the best of them. He’s 6-foot-5, 210 pounds with lots of strength present as well as a good understanding of leverage, really getting the barrel out front and making contact off of a firm front side, driving a double deep into the pull gap in this game. A corner outfielder who moves well for his size, O’Hearn has an above-average arm from right field and should be an asset there, and he also moonlights on the mound where he can reach the low-90s from the left side.
-2022 WWBA World Championships

Wesley Johnston (2024, Toronto, Ontario) entered the game in relief after his team just added an insurance run to go up 3-1 headed into the bottom of the fourth inning. Wesley pounded the strike zone at a clip of 76% with his fastball sitting 86 mph while topping 88 mph. As an uncommitted student/athlete from the Great White North, Johnston is sure to land an opportunity to continue his development and shine with the right program. He has a solid build and still has room for added experience and skill sharpening. That is scary to think as he showcased his talents on Day 1 of the WWBA World Championship with a four-inning relief stint, yielding 3 hits, a walk and striking out 3.
-2022 WWBA World Championships
 

Guillaume Bussiére (2024, Beloeil, Quebec) had himself a solid 3-for-3 day, including a loud double to the pull-side gap for one of the loudest barrels of the day. The uncommitted 2024 is a solid bat with some easy jump off the barrel. Real strength to the pull side from a physical build. Stays short from a pretty in-sync stroke from top to bottom, fires on all cylinders. Generates good strength out front and works the barrel with good lift. Defensively, Bussiére was nimble on his feet handling second base and showed promising arm strength to potentially stick on the dirt. The physicality and strength offensively was a real standout, another uncommitted name to have on the radar.
-WWBA Underclass World Championship
 

Will Hynes (2026, Mississagua, Ontario) is one of the more famous young Canadian names that has performed on the circuit and it was no surprise that he looked good in his start in the night slot. He’s really athletic on the mound and the arm works with so much ease to his release, pitching in the mid-80s and peaking at 88 a couple times. He gets excellent running life with higher spin on the fastball and he’s able to really tunnel the breaking ball into the mid-70s off of it. He checks a lot of boxes in terms of what projects easily and the feel to pitch paired with arm speed, athleticism and overall stuff makes him a higher-end uncommitted international follow.
-WWBA Freshman World Championship

Sean Duncan (2026, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) got the ball for Brewers Langley Blaze and propelled them to a shutout win. The southpaw struck out seven in three innings with no hits and one walk allowed in his first-ever Perfect Game event. Duncan used a stretch only delivery that was as smooth and fluid as they come. Hitters struggled to make contact with his fastball that topped out at 84 mph due to his loose and easy arm action. He seldom used his secondary weapons, but both the changeup and breaking ball shape and movement were quality. The Canada native is young for his grade, having just turned 14, and is a slender 155 pounds. There is tremendous upside in this uncommitted prospect and his prep career is off to a fast start.
-WWBA Freshman World Championship

Puerto Rico

John Lopez (2023, Salinas, P.R.) tallied himself a 3-for-3 day on the afternoon, collecting two singles and a double during his three at-bats. The Bethune-Cookman commit isn’t the biggest prospect at a listed 5-foot-8, 165-pounds but there’s clear feel for the barrel with a strong hit tool presence. The double was a one-hop to the wall on the pull side as he lofted out in front to create good leverage. Add in a couple line drives and it’s a solid day at the office for Lopez who has a precocious feel for the barrel with obvious athleticism to boot.
-2022 WWBA World Championships
 

The International Baseball Academy Scout Team ran out a couple of intriguing uncommitted arms in Yanzel Correa (2023, Caguas, P.R.) and John Asencio (2023, Fajardo, P.R.). Correa was on the mound in the starting role and the 6-foot-4, 210-pound RHP catches your eye immediately with his projectable frame and easy operation. He uses a very methodical rhythm and simple load over the rubber as he works into a medium inline arm path. His fastball sat 84-89 and played best when up in the zone with its riding action, and he tunneled his mid-70s curveball well. There is no violence to his delivery which leads you to believe there is an easy velocity jump right around the corner. He only went 2 innings today and did have a bit of an elevated pitch count as he struck out 2 on the day.
-2022 WWBA World Championships
 

Asencio followed him up in relief and showed the knack for missing barrels as he fanned 6 batters in 4 innings, but he did surrender 3 free passes. He gathers tall over the rubber and hides the ball well as he uses a deep arm path to develop the life on his pitches. His fastball that reached 86 mph showed consistent arm-side boring action that had RHHs swing over the top of most of his outing. He used that plane on his fastball to set up a nice slider that sat in the 74-78 range with tight spin and abrupt break late in the zone. He only surrendered 1 run in his outing and gave his club a chance to get back in the game at the end. Asencio has the feel and swagger of a quality back end of the bullpen arm and should garner some interest for the next level soon.
-2022 WWBA World Championships

Angel Cruz (2024, Canovanas, P.R.) picked up the win for Team Elite PR pitching 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball while striking out 9 along the way. Cruz displayed a consistent three-pitch mix of FB/SL/CB, varying speeds on the entire arsenal. Fastball worked 82-86 mph and got tons of swings-and-misses up in the zone. Slider had decent bite late and showed to be a solid out pitch for him as the curveball tends to back up and spin at times.
-WWBA Underclass World Championship

Alian Martinez 2027, Guayanabo, P.R.) came out of the ‘pen for his FTB Phillies 2026 squad in an exciting playoff tilt with 15 East Coast Ghost Scout and delivered for his squad with three-and-two thirds scoreless. The athletic right-hander ran his fastball up to 85 mph and worked steadily in the low-80s throughout his extended outing, showing plenty of arm speed and easy arm-side life to the fastball. His slider was the difference maker, as he was able to land it for tons of strikes and showed good feel with the ability to manipulate the shape to it when ahead in the count. He completed his mix with a legitimate knuckleball that showed good tumble and disrupted the timing of hitters. The relative ease of operation and loose arm stroke are good indicators of more velocity coming soon and Martinez will be an interesting follow to monitor over the next few seasons, as he continues to fill out physically.
-WWBA Freshman World Championship

Left-hander Gerant Vega (2025, Barceloneta, PR) delivered one of the more dominant outings we saw throughout bracket play and he did it on the strength of his overall pitchability and feel rather than pure velocity. Listed at 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, Vera fell one out shy of twirling a complete game shutout gem (due to pitch count) but was nonetheless stellar from his first pitch to his last. Up to 80 mph with his heater while averaging 76 mph throughout his 6 2/3 innings, Vera was nearly perfect as he allowed just 1 hit while scattering 4 walks but also punched out 10 and showed comfort in landing any of his three pitches around the zone, hitting his spot more often than not. Having the feel to change speeds at this level while replicating your operation is a huge advantage just as we saw with the young southpaw from Puerto Rico as he turned over his changeup with real conviction, generating late fading life while the hitter was caught reading fastball out of the hand, only to recognize the offering too little too late. 
-WWBA Freshman World Championship

Repping the Region

Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Scout Team ended the event 1-2 in pool play before securing a second win in their consolation game on the final day, and though they didn’t get the ultimate result they wanted, the club boasted a roster full of talent and got several of their uncommitted players big time exposure. Right-hander Jarrette Bonet got the start on the bump game one and continued to do what he’s done all summer as he struck out 4 over 3 innings of hitless, scoreless baseball while running his fastball up to 92 mph while Yahil Melendez, Bryan Gonzalez and Alejandro Vera Díaz all connected for two-base hits with Jeremy Martinez driving in a pair of runs. Melendez, a Rice commit, ended the event with a pair of doubles and a home run. 

Team Elite PR brought a host of arms with them who ran their fastballs into the mid-80s, though none delivered more than Angel Cruz as the athletically built right-hander led the club to their lone victory in pool play. Over the course of his 5 1/3 innings on the bump Cruz scattered 6 hits but also struck out 9, walking only one while running his fastball up to 86 mph with more to come as he fills out his lean 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame. The club ran into the eventual pool winner in their final game, but tied an always tough Ostingers program in the opener before taking home a victory in game two thanks to Cruz and a pair of doubles from Mario Tristani and Jerethzael Pica who hit back-to-back in the order and each picked up an RBI.

Canada

Through the new relationship with the Canadian Premier Baseball League, we’ve been able to see many of these players leading up to Jupiter and they all continued to impress with their play down south. After losing their opening pool play game they bounced back with a win and tie before picking up another win and tie combo in consolation games, but all the while getting their guys exposure to collegiate programs, resulting in a few commitments like Matt Brown to Oklahoma State and Makaio Cisneros to UCF as well as their battery mate Keaton Cottam who was sharp on both sides of the ball before committing to Austin Peay post-event. Prospects like Keegan O’Hearn, Tate Carey and Noah Konings all showed well for themselves throughout the event and will undoubtedly have coaches calling in an attempt to secure their commitment given their performances at the WWBA World Championships.

The Langley Blaze ran into a tough GBSA opponent in pool play and that game proved to be their lone blemish on the weekend as they won their 4 other games in the event, posting 2 shutouts while allowing just 4 runs in that span. Left-hander Sean Duncan set the tone for the pitching staff in game one, his first ever PG event, as the southpaw ran his fastball up to 84 mph and struck out 7 in his 3 innings of work while showing a feel for his off speed, putting his name on the map nationally. Matthew Chater, Linden Happell and Luke Laird each earned All-Tournament honors for what they did offensively as they slashed some truly eye opening numbers. Joining Duncan and Chater with pitching All-Tournament honors were Andrew Thalleen, Ian Vandepol and Kian Eliades who all averaged better than a strikeout-per-inning while stifling the opponent’s bats.