Like Father, Like Son For Princeton Commit Shapiro


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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Like Father, Like Son For Princeton Commit Shapiro

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Caden Shapiro

Class of 2021 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: LHP
  • High School: Upper Canada College
    State: ON
  • Summer Team: Toronto Mets
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L

Statistics

Pitching
84
Max FB
(04/07/19)
82 - 84
FB
(04/07/19)
67 - 71
CB
(04/07/19)
74 - 75
CH
(04/07/19)
Pitching
Max FB
84
FB
82 - 84
CB
67 - 71
CH
74 - 75
Position
7.29
60-yard
(07/31/19)
88
OF Velo
(04/07/19)
80
Exit Velo
(04/07/19)
Position
60-yard
7.29
OF Velo
88
Exit Velo
76

Like Father, Like Son For Princeton Commit Shapiro

TORONTO - Inspiration from family has Caden Shapiro on the path to a bright future.

The son of Mark Shapiro, president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, is following in his father’s college footsteps at Princeton. The Upper Canada College High School senior committed to the Ivy League school last month.

“Princeton came in around a year ago,” the fourth-rated 2021 outfielder in Canada related. “But things materialize with academic schools so late. They’ve got to see consistency on test scores and things like that. It’s kind of a waiting process with how the transcript and grades pull out.”

The cancellation of SATs due to COVID-19 sped up the process, however, resulting in an offer.

“All the pieces were there,” Shapiro said. “I called coach (Scott) Bradley and I had a cool moment with my dad after that. A few days later I committed.”

Making it official with his father’s alma mater was very special.

“It’s pretty surreal,” admitted Shapiro, a 1989 Princeton graduate who played football during his college days. “My dad took me to the campus a few years back when I wasn’t a recruit. Since I stepped foot on the campus I’ve had a connection. But I wanted to make my own path and always wondered, is that going to conflict with who I want to be? After consideration, I think I can accomplish what I want.”

There were other schools in the picture, most notably Dartmouth which offered Shapiro after the Future Games in 2019, and Georgetown, after being seen playing in U.S. tournaments.

“There definitely was exposure the last two summers,” noted Shaprio, who also had a visit to Hanover and was considering Miami, two schools in Ohio where Shapiro was born and raised prior to coming to Canada in 2015 when his father changed jobs from president of the Cleveland Indians to the Blue Jays. “In the end the best combination of academics and baseball was Princeton. My goal was to use baseball to get into a great academic school.”

Mission accomplished at Princeton, which has won more Ivy League baseball championships than any school in history, the last coming in 2016.

“Part of it was the coaching staff and part of it was the camps,” Shapiro said of what helped in the final decision. “But a big part was the team culture there when I interacted with the team.”

There was also a matter of having a chance to be a two-way player.

“I talked to some bigger D-I schools as one-way, but I love being on the baseball field and competing,” Shapiro explained. “To have an opportunity to do both at Princeton is awesome. I love the game so much, I had to take that opportunity.”

The ability of the 6-0 175-pounder to play more than one position was a plus in the eyes of Princeton.

“Versatility is big at those types of schools,” Shapiro said in reference to high-academic universities. “If guys can do multiple things they’re all in on that. I can play outfield and get reps at first base.”

There is more that Princeton liked in the southpaw who hits from the left side at the dish.

“They like my plate discipline,” Shapiro said.

That is an area of the game the 28th-ranked senior in Canada has made strides.

“The biggest thing for me has been performing in the U.S. and developing more plate discipline,” Shapiro said of his improvements to get where he is in the game today. “I felt more comfortable in a two-strike approach before but now the mentality has switched and I’m going to attack. I saw the results by doing that and I’ve started driving the ball. Before it was let’s get walks and singles, but now there’s more power. There’s been a lot of time in the weight room.”

Getting better on the mound is an area of focus now.

“Last summer I was up to 87 off the bump but was inconsistent around the zone,” noted Shapiro, who hasn’t thrown in the past year. “I think  I can tap into another gear now. I’d love to show up at Princeton throwing hard. The schedule they play, with major D-I schools, I’d like to show I can deal with a plus-legit breaking ball.”

Being a good teammate is just part of what Shapiro believes he can provide the program at Princeton, which is an eight-hour drive from his home in Toronto..

“I think I’ll be vocal and be the best teammate I can be picking guys up,” Shapiro said. “My baseball IQ is pretty high, too. I’ve been around elite players and some of the best coaches there are and I’ve picked their brains.”

But it is his father who has been the biggest influence on Shapiro.

“He could have pushed me, but letting me pick and choose and work toward baseball my own way let me grow a lot,” Shapiro explained. “Without a doubt my dad has been the number one influence in my life.”

Investigative journalism and Russian history are potential majors for Shapiro, who carries a plus-4.0 GPA as high school winds down for the 18-year-old.

“I’ve been blessed growing up on fields since I can remember, hearing words in the clubhouse I probably shouldn’t have heard,” Shapiro said. “Being in that atmosphere has been so incredible. I’m living out my dream in that atmosphere. And now to have this in my journey … it feels so awesome.”