Coast II Coast - The Shortstops of Canada


George Halim
Assistant Director of Scouting - Canada

 

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Coast II Coast - The Shortstops of Canada

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Below we highlight some of the best shortstops Canada has to offer in 2021. A country known for big time bats and a resurgence in arms, the shortstops are starting to make a bit of a comeback across the board. Most of these guys play shortstop full time, while a few of them also spend time on other parts of the infield.

ELIJHA HAMMILLSS / 2B / HOLY TRINITY , ON / 2021

What we can expect in 2021: There hasn’t really been a time where Hammill didn’t hit, and we can expect more of that in his Draft year this summer. Hammill sits at 5-foot-11, 200-pounds, and went into the Winter with a good showing in Jupiter. Across the board, his tools are fairly loud, but his best in-game tools are his bat and his speed. Hammill hits, and runs the bases extremely well, and he plays with a high degree of aggressiveness. On the Team Canada trip just prior to the COVID shutdown, he showed off a short, compact swing with jump and some barrel feel when he roped a 1st-inning single to centre against the Toronto Blue Jays (among other ABs). Defensively he makes his plays, and while it can be rigid at times, he’s also made his fair share of defensive gems. 


GRIFFIN PALFREYSS / RHP / N/A, BC / 2021

What we can expect in 2021: We haven’t seen a lot of baseball in BC in terms of teams playing against each other. In spite of that, Palfrey emerged as the best shortstop in the 2021 BC class. At 6-foot, 185-pounds, Palfrey can hit. A physical bat from the right side, he shows balance, and bat speed. Defensively his feet can get quicker and he has enough arm to work really anywhere in the infield and we expect him to have a shot to stick up the middle.

 


EMILIEN PITRESS / NORTHERN PRE-UNIVERSITY, ON / 2021

What we can expect in 2021: There aren’t many infielders in the country that can pick it and navigate the dirt like Emilien Pitre, which is what makes him a potential Draft candidate. The Kentucky commit and former Team Canada shortstop has gotten bigger over the Winter, sitting at 5-foot-11, 180-pounds while maintaining athleticism. A 6.60 runner with arm strength, good footwork and hands, Pitre shouldn’t have a problem staying on the left side. Offensively he was more of a slap hitter last summer, who grinded out long at-bats and found ways to get on base. If he can couple that approach with added muscle, the bat has a chance to be an average tool that could play in-game with some sneaky juice. 


PIERCE RADKESS / RHP / LANGLEY SECONDARY, BC / 2022

What we can expect in 2021: One of the sleepers on the West Coast has been Pierce Radke. At 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, Radke shows a lot of signs of a good hitter. He’s wiry but we can see the strength and muscle starting to come, has barrel feel and hits to all fields. He’s not overly twitchy right now, and we’ll see how the arm projects from shortstop, but he’s got a lot of time to develop and with reps he could have a shot to stick on the left side. 

 


NATHANIEL OCHOASS / 3B / NOTRE DAME CATHOLIC, ON / 2022

What we can expect in 2021: Standing at 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, Ochoa has the tools to stay on the left side of the infield, but his size looks to play more at third base. The Purdue commit does have the arm to stick, and while the footwork suggests he might end up at the corner, he still has two summers of high school ball before he goes to college to iron it out. Offensively he’s shown he’s got pop to all fields. There was a lot of swing and miss in his game in 2020, but considering he’s gotten taller in each of the past three seasons, Ochoa also made good adjustments at the plate on his Team Canada trip last Spring. If he hits and plays some defense this summer, he could make some noise. 

 


MYLES NAYLORSS / OF / ST. JOAN OF ARC, ON / 2023

What to expect in 2021: Already committed to Texas Tech, Naylor stands at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, he hits from both sides of the plate, and there’s a lot to like in him. The body is broad, but he shows some feel around the dirt. Defensively the hands are good, and the arm can play. His foot speed was the only thing in question last summer, but as he matures it likely won’t be much of an issue. At the dish he shown that he can hit good pitching in-game, and he fits in with older D1 commits elsewhere on the diamond. He has some pull side pop from both sides, so it'll be fun watching Ontario’s No. 1 prospect in the 2023 class this summer.

 


LUIS PIMENTEL GUERREROSS / OF / CORPUS CHRISTI , ON / 2022

What we can expect in 2021: Pimentel-Guerrero is one of the more intriguing players in terms of game performance. A natural switch-hitter, he spent a lot of time playing the outfield, but committed to Xavier as a shortstop. At 5-9, 180-pounds, Pimentel has shown that he hits in game. Defensively the hands work but he has lacked in reps and innings over the last 16 months compared to some of the others on this list. He should see reps at both SS and 2B this year and can see him being an offensive 2B at the next level. 

 


JACK LINESSS / FOOTHILLS COMPOSITE, AB / 2024

What to expect in 2021: We know it may seem odd to have a 2024 on this list, but Jack Lines is worth paying attention to. At 5-foot-10, 150-pounds, Lines has a lot of time to grow before he heads to Knoxville. A super twitchy player, he shows athleticism in the infield, the arm has some life to it and his feet never stop moving. At the plate he’s still young and weak, but there’s good balance from the left side and some good barrel feel. He’ll be challenged this summer playing 18U, but it’ll be interesting to see how he develops over the next few years. 


MASON DOBIESS / 2B / GEORGIAN BAY COMMUNITY, ON / 2021

What can we expect in 2021: Dobie’s Team Canada trip was bothered a bit by a recovering ankle injury, but he’s still one of the premier shortstops in the country. At 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, he’s got a good sense of slowing down the game at shortstop, the hands are clean and the arm works fine. Offensively he showed spurts of juice, but overall he’s got an easy left-handed swing with the ability to string together good at-bats. It’s simple, he finishes high, and showed at the Future Games and T12 that he can handle some velocity as well. 

 


BRANDO LEROUXSS / 2B / ST AUGUSTINE, ON / 2021

What we can expect in 2021: If we’re talking consistency of performance over the last two years, you could argue Brando Leroux is near the top of that list. At 5-foot-6, 156-pounds, Leroux doesn’t have the tools that jump at you, but he’s committed to Chipola for a reason. Leroux proved on his Team Canada trip that he could play against pros, ending the trip as the top hitter while also playing good defense. When he came home, he kept on hitting in a COVID-shortened season. 

 

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