The Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy recently announced the first 50 players selected to be part of the 2019 Tournament 12 (T12) which will take place in Rogers Centre in Toronto from September 17th to September 21st of 2019. In case you don’t know what Tournament 12 is, here is the description from the Toronto Blue Jay’s Academy website:
Tournament 12 (T12) presented by New Era is a national amateur baseball tournament held at Rogers Centre each September hosted by the Blue Jays Baseball Academy and Tournament Commissioner, Roberto Alomar. The goal of T12 is to provide a showcase opportunity for the best 150 amateur baseball players born in Canada, with college eligibility. T12 acts to centralize the best Canadian baseball players, with the intention of exposing them to as many pro and college scouts as possible. Simply put, the Blue Jays Baseball Academy’s intention is to provide a platform that both highlights and markets the high level of amateur baseball talent in this country. Since 2013, 69 former T12 players have been drafted by Major League Baseball organizations with over 300 receiving college scholarships to continue their academic and athletic careers.
From the inaugural tournament in 2013 through 2018, Tournament 12 was structured in a regional format with 8 teams as follows:
- Atlantic (Players from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island)
- British Columbia
- Futures (Bantam age (15U) players mostly from Ontario)
- Prairies (Players from Manitoba and Saskatchewan)
- Ontario 1
- Ontario 2
Although it wasn’t perfect, the old format ensured a lot of representation from the powerhouse baseball provinces like Ontario (two teams plus most of the Futures team), BC, Quebec, and Alberta, while also offering a slight over-representation for less populated provinces with less Canadian baseball spotlight like Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the four Atlantic Provinces.
That over-representation for the smaller provinces resulted in some unexpected outcomes such as:
- T12 Overall tournament wins for the underdog Atlantic team in 2013 and 2017
- A professional contract from the Blue Jays for Andrew Case of Saint John, NB after pitching a no-hitter in the 2013 tournament
- Micah McDowell of Coldbrook, NS being named Tournament MVP in 2017
Despite the tournament’s ongoing success, for 2019, T12 organizers decided to move away from the regional format and made the following announcement:
2019 will mark a new format for Tournament 12 in which tournament rosters will no longer be based on regional teams, but the best 150 players in Canada, divided appropriately among all 6 teams. This will ensure that Tournament 12 truly features the best 150 players in Canada regardless of geographic location.
While the goal of having only “the best 150 players in Canada” at the tournament is laudable, the removal of two teams and many roster spots will most likely be felt disproportionately by the smaller provinces noted above. A quick analysis of the regional spread of the first 50 picks for 2019 bears that out, especially for Atlantic Canada.
|Old Format||New Frmt.||New Frmt.||Difference||Difference|
|Atlantic (NB, NL, NS, PE)||12.50%||2||4.00%||-8.50%||-68.00%|
|British Columbia (BC)||15.00%||9||18.00%||3.00%||20.00%|
|Prairies (MB, SK)||12.50%||5||10.00%||-2.50%||-20.00%|
So what does the table above tell us exactly?
For example, in the previous regional 8-team format, 12.5% of the roster positions were filled by players from Atlantic Canada, while with the new format, only 4% of the roster spots from the initial 50 picks were filled by players from Atlantic Canada. That is a whopping 68% drop in representation by players from the Atlantic Region as a direct result of the format change.
For the former Prairies team, there is a similar sad story but to a lesser degree. With the new format, so far, there has been a 20% drop in representation by players from Manitoba and Saskatchewan as a group.
As you might expect, the percentage of representation for each region is a zero sum game, so somebody gains at the expense of the smaller provinces. In a reverse Robin Hood scenario, this new format takes from the baseball poor and gives to the baseball rich. By my estimation, so far British Columbia has seen a 20% increase in T12 roster representation, Alberta has a 18.5% increase, Quebec increased by over 14%, while Ontario added an additional 11% and currently sits at 36% of the total rosters spots at T12.
These percentages will likely shift after the final 100 roster spots are selected in late August, but it is safe to say that the player makeup of T12 will be radically different this year from what we have seen in the past. Hopefully that will achieve the outcome that the tournament organizers are hoping for.
Another interesting analysis of the initial 50 player list is to look at what teams they are playing for – I was able to pull this information for most of the players from publicly available sources. Acadamie Baseball Canada in Montreal, has the top representation of all teams, boasting all 8 of the first 50 T12 Players from Quebec on their roster based on my research. Here is a list of the top teams based on the number of players from their rosters in the T12 Top 50:
- Acadamie Baseball Canada, Montreal, QC – 8 players
- Vauxhall Academy Jets, Vauxhall, AB – 6 players
- Okotoks Dawgs Academy, Okotoks, AB – 5 players
- Fieldhouse Pirates, Burlington, ON – 3 players (tied for 4th)
- Great Lake Canadians, London, ON, – 3 players (tied for 4th)
- Langley Blaze, Langley, BC – 3 players (tied for 4th)
- Ontario Blue Jays, Mississauga, ON – 3 players (tied for 4th)
- Ontario Terriers, Mississauga, ON – 3 players (tied for 4th)
- Coquitlam Reds, Coquitlam, BC – 2 players (tied for 8th)
- Toronto Mets, Toronto, ON – 2 players (tied for 8th)
- Victoria Eagles, Victoria, BC – 2 players (tied for 8th)
Without further ado, here are the first 50 players selected to play in the 2019 Tournament 12 in September at the Roger’s Centre:
|Province||Last Name||First Name||Recent Teams|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Bucknam||Micah||Fraser Valley Cardinals|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Caskenette||Connor||Mid-Island Pirates|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Hambley||Dominic||Victoria Eagles|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Mezzomo||Giordano||Coquitlam Reds|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Millas||Theo||Langley Blaze|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Pringle||Gavin||Victoria Eagles|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Seward||Jack||Coquitlam Reds|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Siniscalchi||Loreto||Langley Blaze|
|BRITISH COLUMBIA||Thorsteinson||Justin||Langley Blaze|
|MANITOBA||Barron||David||Winnipeg South Chiefs|
|MANITOBA||Freiter||Bennett||North Winnipeg Pirates|
|NEW BRUNSWICK||Grant||Max||Vauxhall Jets, NB 17U Commodores|
|NOVA SCOTIA||Gravel||Nick||Vauxhall Jets, NS 17U Selects|
|ONTARIO||Calabrese||David||Ontario Blue Jays|
|ONTARIO||Clark||Caleb||Great Lake Canadians|
|ONTARIO||Dawe||Tanner||Great Lake Canadians|
|ONTARIO||Griffin||Caden||Ontario Blue Jays|
|ONTARIO||Hinrikus||Tyler||Great Lake Canadians|
|ONTARIO||Mercado||Nelson||Ontario Blue Jays, Brampton Royals|
|QUEBEC||Begin||Jason||Acadamie Baseball Canada|
|QUEBEC||De Granpre||Cedric||Acadamie Baseball Canada|
|QUEBEC||Dessureault||Yohan||Acadamie Baseball Canada|
|QUEBEC||Jones||Joshua||Acadamie Baseball Canada|
|QUEBEC||Lachance||Jaycob||Acadamie Baseball Canada|
|QUEBEC||Lusignan||Simon||Acadamie Baseball Canada|
|QUEBEC||Menier||Simon||Acadamie Baseball Canada|
|QUEBEC||Villalobos||Alfonso||Academie Baseball Canada|
|SASKATCHEWAN||Alexandre||Brody||Going Yard, SK 17U Selects|