Canadian Baseball in 2020 – Cancellations and Restarts

img_0067With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on almost everything in our everyday lives in 2020, sports came to a grinding halt in North America in early to mid-March. Baseball was particularly hard hit as the season was just getting ready to ramp up for many leagues and US College baseball had just gotten underway.

In this article we will have a look at what the impacts of COVID-19 have been on baseball in Canada with regard to cancellations and delays as well as what the restart plans look like for each Province.

Provincial Baseball Restart Plans

Since we have had more than our fair share of bad news this year overall, I thought I would actually begin this article with the restart plans by Province. I am also including information on Provincial championships where available.

ProvinceTraining
Restart
Play RestartProvincial
Championships?
Alberta15-JUN-2001-JUL-20??
British Columbia08-JUN-2028-AUG-20Cancelled
Manitoba08-JUN-2001-JUL-20Cancelled
New Brunswick08-JUN-2001-JUL-20??
Newfoundland
and Labrador
08-JUN-2026-JUN-20??
Nova Scotia15-JUN-2031-JUL-20Cancelled
Ontario16-JUN-20
(Staged by region)
17-JUL-20
(Staged by region)
??
Prince Edward Island01-JUN-2026-JUN-20Confirmed
Quebec08-JUN-20????
Saskatchewan22-JUN-2029-JUN-20Cancelled
Last Update: July 18, 2020

Canadian Baseball Cancellations Due to COVID-19

Although there is some good news in the section above, there has been plenty of bad news due to COVID-19. Below is a list of confirmed cancellations so far.

DateOrganizationCancellation
03-JUL-20Baseball Nova Scotia2020 Bluenose League and BNS Provincials Cancelled Due to NS Government Inaction
09-JUN-20Baseball Saskatchewan2020 Saskatchewan Provincial Championships Cancelled
08-JUN-20Canada West2020-21 First Term Team Competitions Cancelled
08-JUN-20Ontario University AthleticsSport Programming Cancelled Until 2021
08-JUN-20Atlantic University SportCompetition Suspended Until 2021
08-JUN-20U Sports2020 Fall Championships Cancelled
07-JUN-20Baseball Atlantic2020 Baseball Atlantic Championships Cancelled
04-JUN-20Toronto Blue Jays2020 Tournament 12 Cancelled
01-JUN-20Baseball Manitoba2020 Manitoba Provincial Championships Cancelled
23-APR-20Baseball Canada2020 National Championships Cancelled
16-MAR-20Baseball OntarioSuspension of all In-person baseball activities
13-MAR-20All Provincial governing
bodies except Baseball Ontario
Suspension of all In-person baseball activities
Last Update: July 18, 2020

I have tried to make these lists as complete an accurate as possible but if I have made any mistakes or missed anything please let me know by leaving a comment.

I will make periodic updates to both tables as more information becomes available. Hopefully we can start to hear more about restarts than cancellations going forward.

Blue Jays Academy Announces Initial 50 T12 Players for 2019 Using New Format

Tournament 12 LogoThe 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:

  • Alberta
  • 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
  • Quebec

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
Estimated Top 50 Format  Percentage  Percent
Percentage Spots Percentage Points Change
Alberta (AB) 13.50% 8 16.00% 2.50% 18.52%
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%
Ontario (ON) 32.50% 18 36.00% 3.50% 10.77%
Prairies (MB, SK) 12.50% 5 10.00% -2.50% -20.00%
Quebec (QC) 14.00% 8 16.00% 2.00% 14.29%
TOTALS 100.00% 50 100.00%

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:

  1. Acadamie Baseball Canada, Montreal, QC – 8 players
  2. Vauxhall Academy Jets, Vauxhall, AB – 6 players
  3. Okotoks Dawgs Academy, Okotoks, AB – 5 players
  4. Fieldhouse Pirates, Burlington, ON – 3 players (tied for 4th)
  5. Great Lake Canadians, London, ON, – 3 players (tied for 4th)
  6. Langley Blaze, Langley, BC – 3 players (tied for 4th)
  7. Ontario Blue Jays, Mississauga, ON – 3 players (tied for 4th)
  8. Ontario Terriers, Mississauga, ON – 3 players (tied for 4th)
  9. Coquitlam Reds, Coquitlam, BC – 2 players (tied for 8th)
  10. Toronto Mets, Toronto, ON – 2 players (tied for 8th)
  11. 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
ALBERTA Abbott Levi Vauxhall Jets
ALBERTA Cazorla Alejandro Okotoks Dawgs
ALBERTA Clemett Jackson Vauxhall Jets
ALBERTA Howse Dryden Okotoks Dawgs
ALBERTA Johnson Tyrese Okotoks Dawgs
ALBERTA Pote Conor Okotoks Dawgs
ALBERTA Sanchez Ricardo Okotoks Dawgs
ALBERTA Yusypchuk Andrew Prospects Academy
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
MANITOBA Mateychuk Maddux Vauxhall Jets
NEW BRUNSWICK Grant Max Vauxhall Jets, NB 17U Commodores
NOVA SCOTIA Gravel Nick Vauxhall Jets, NS 17U Selects
ONTARIO Adams Ben Vauxhall Jets
ONTARIO Arnold Bryce Fieldhouse Pirates
ONTARIO Bratt Mitch Toronto Mets
ONTARIO Caissie Owen Fieldhouse Pirates
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 Hammill Elijha Ontario Terriers
ONTARIO Hinrikus Tyler Great Lake Canadians
ONTARIO Iantomasi Cole Toronto Mets
ONTARIO Laurie Zachary Stouffville Yankees
ONTARIO Mercado Nelson Ontario Blue Jays, Brampton Royals
ONTARIO O’Halloran Connor Ontario Terriers
ONTARIO Thibodeau Nicholas Ontario Royals
ONTARIO Watson William Fieldhouse Pirates
ONTARIO Wright Dante Ontario Terriers
ONTARIO Ziegler Calvin Tri-City Giants
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
SASKATCHEWAN Hindmarsh Carter ??