Prep Baseball Report

Canada Draft Preview

Nathan Rode and Chris Kemlo

The 2018 MLB Draft will take place June 4-6. To get you ready, Prep Baseball Report is releasing state previews with notes on high school draft prospects in its comprehensive coverage area. For more information on the prospects included in the High School Draft 100, click on the links to the players’ profiles to view comments, news and videos.

Noah Naylor, C, St. Joan of Arc HS, ON (Texas A&M)

OTHERS TO WATCH: RHP Eric Cerantola (St. Trinite HS, ON) is the top high school pitcher in the country and is currently committed to Mississippi State. Standing at 6-foot-5, Cerantola has a projectable frame and clean mechanics. His fastball has been up to 93 mph with some natural movement and he has displayed feel for both a curveball and a slider. The slider (77-78) has hard, downward finish and is a swing-and-miss pitch, while the curveball (74-75) continues to develop and has projectable downward action. Another impressive Canadian player this spring has been OF Denzel Clarke (Everest Academy, ON), who has been strong each time he has taken the field. The toolsy outfielder is a plus runner with effortless strides and plays a strong center field with a projectable arm. His swing has really developed over the last year with more balance and a consistent load resulting in more barreled contact. The Cal State Northridge recruit has the projectable, athletic tool set that excites many evaluators. Like his Junior National Team teammates, RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown District HS, ON) has been on the national scene for a few years and has redefined himself into a pitcher rather than a thrower. The 6-foot-8 Oklahoma recruit, shows command of four pitches and the ability to use them in any count. The fastball has been up to 90 with projectable command. Both the slider and curveball have swing-and-miss potential and have the desired spin and break.  The highest ranked Canadian from outside of Ontario is RHP David Rhodes (Langley Fine Arts HS, BC), hailing from British Columbia. The Washington recruit has a live arm and has touched 92 with his fastball, sitting between 88-90. The curveball at 79-82 mph has projectable downward spin and the ability to get swings and misses. He has developed a better feel on the mound this spring and has been more consistent. RHP Tate Dearing (Earl Marriott HS, BC) is one of the most athletic pitchers in the county with a fastball that has topped out at 92. His loose mechanics and athleticism should lead to more velocity down the line, which combined with a projectable curveball presents a nice mix for the Polk State JC recruit. 3B/OF Damiano Palmegiani (Vauxhall Academy, AB) has a very quick bat with some power potential. The ball flies off his barrel because of quick hands and good angle. He has the athleticism and instincts to handle both third base and the outfield and continues to make strides defensively. RHP Jacob Kush (Guelph Collegiate Vocational HS, ON) has been very strong this season, displaying a very quick arm and sitting 90-92, touching 93, with his fastball. The Northwest Florida JS recruit is able to generate good whip from a smaller frame and a has projectable, tight breaking ball. IF Laron Smith (Okotoks Dawgs, AB) has very quick hands at the plate and real power potential. The ball jumps off his bat when the swing is short and compact. The Indian Hills JC recruit has shown a slightly above average arm from the infield with carry and zip. IF Daniel Carinci (Pickering HS, ON) has been one of the more consistent members of the Canadian Junior National Team, both offensively and defensively. The quick-twitch middle infielder has a quick bat and the ability to play up the middle. He recently hit .324 on a trip to the Dominican Republic playing against professional teams academies, and has always been a sparkplug on both sides of the ball. LHP Jaden Griffin (Vauxhall Academy, AB) is a crafty lefty with a fastball that sits in the 84-86 range with command. His curveball has bigger break and can get swings and misses from both sides. He is committed to Virginia Commonwealth and continues to develop a solid feel on the mound.

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