Best of the West: Day 2/3 Quick Hits II
May 5, 2023
The Best of the West tournament in Kamloops saw tons of action over the past two days with 15 more games ahead of the quarter and semi-finals on Saturday. Our staff got a look at over 100 players these past several days with some of the top teams and players in BC and Alberta, along with intriguing talent from Ontario on both the Ontario Blue Jays and the PBR Canada Selects.
We had several high-profile arms take the mound, as well as some of the better positional players in the country taking the field. While there was plenty of Division I commitments and high-quality junior commits in attendance, there was a plethora of impressive uncommitted prospects who have put themselves in good positions to trend towards finding a home beyond high school.
Below, we take a look at eight more standouts from Day Two and Day Three of the tournament.
BEST OF THE WEST: DAY 2/3 QUICK HITS II
Reid Clague LHP / 1B / Lambrick Park Secondary, BC / 2024
Clague was an intriguing arm on the PBR Canada Selects that showed well in both of his relief appearances over the past two days. Projection on the mound from the left-side at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds, Clague gets downhill and lives at the bottom of the zone with his 84-86 mph FB with an over the top arm action with ability to spin the CB with downward action. There looks to be plenty more in the tank from Clague as he continues to get stronger. Good looking West Coast arm to keep tabs on.
Tate Martin SS / RHP / Vancouver College, BC / 2024
Rankings StateRank: 8 / POS: 2
In a game with several high-profile arms on the mound, ‘24 RHP/INF Tate Martin (uncommitted) may have shown the best stuff. 6-foot-1, 180-pound right-hander with clean delivery and arm action. Worked off the fastball and consistently got ahead with it, sitting 86-89mph and getting plenty of swings and misses. There’s feel for the breaking ball with vertical action at 72-74mph and he’s comfortable with the pitch, although he didn’t need it much as he was beating hitters with the fastball. Highly intriguing uncommitted 2024 arm on the West Coast who can also provide value on the offensive side.
Cameron Macleod C / 1B / Argyle, BC / 2023
2023 C Cam MacLeod (Cloud County CC) was one of must-watch catchers here this weekend and didn’t disappoint, showing what he’s capable of on both sides of the ball. 5-foot-11, 180-pounds and it’s quiet behind the dish with good blocking skills and movements side-to-side. Has the ability to catch high-velocity and stuff with no issues. The North Shore product is aggressive in the box along with plate discipline and continuously put the ball in play, picking up multiple extra-base hits on Day Two of the tournament. Has shown well at the dish over the past few months and looks confident in the box no matter who’s on the mound. Overall game has really trended upwards over the past year.
Jorge Valdes OF / Bishop Reding, ON / 2024
Valdes continues his hot start to the 2023 campaign at the Best of the West. One of the toughest outs in the country, Valdes takes mature at-bats, fouling off difficult pitches and with good discipline. Collected multiple hits over the past 2 games for OBJ, including a bases clearing double against the Langley Blaze. Premier defender in the OF, Valdes also tracked down multiple deep fly-balls in the gaps and over his head. The West Virginia commit is one of the top outfielders in the country and continues to show why.
Myles Naylor 3B / St. Joan of Arc, ON / 2023
Once again, Naylor has been the main attraction at the dish in Kamloops, Naylor broke out in a big way against the Langley Blaze making loud contact collecting two hits, including a rifled ground ball past the second basemen that made it to the wall in RCF. He didn’t get cheated at the plate, taking some violent hacks on pitches he just missed, as well. Naylor was the biggest draft eligible name at the Best of the West and he has performed well so far.
Nick Frers RHP / SS / Argyle secondary, BC / 2023
Rankings StateRank: 8 / POS: 1
2023 RHP Nick Frers (Virginia Commonwealth) put together a good start against a good Vauxhall lineup and ran into some trouble his second time through the order but did a good job at times working out of jams. 6-foot-2, 185-pounds and moves well on the mound with some athleticism in there. It’s a two-pitch mix right now with the fastball/curveball and had both pitches working on Thursday. The fastball sat 87-89 T90 while the breaking ball was 76-78mph and he had the ability to land it for strikes or pound it into the dirt for swings/misses. It may not have been the best looking box score but it was some of the better stuff we’ve seen from Frers and did his part in giving North Shore a chance to knock off Vauxhall.
Owen Slater RHP / Brooklin, ON / 2024
Rankings StateRank: 7 / POS: 4
We got a look at Slater’s off-season gains last month at OBJ Scout Day and it carried over into game action here in Kamloops. Continues to trend upwards and oozes projectability at 6-foot-3, 165-pounds, Slater dominated out of the pen for OBJ with 7 K’s over 4 innings allowing no hits. The FB sat 88-90 T91 with ASR that got in-zone swing and miss while locating the SL down in the zone at 78-81 with good sweeping action and a CH with heavy fade. The Missouri State commit is one of the best arms in the country with more to come.
Ryan Stalony OF / OF / Loyola Catholic School, ON / 2025
Stalony has consistently been one of the better hitters in the OBJ organization and the bat continues to impress. Physical 6-foot, 186-pounds, there’s power potential from the right-side with tons of bat speed and raw juice. He collected multiple XBH’s to his pull-side, while playing solid defense in the outfield. The former Future Gamer overall stock continues to rise as the 2023 season gets underway.
|2023 Future Games Trials - North Vancouver||BC||06/02||Parkgate Park (North Vancouver)|
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|2023 New England Academic Games (Invite Only)||BC||06/28||Yale|
|PBR Junior Future Games||NATIONAL||07/25||LakePoint|
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