Prep Baseball Report

PBR Ontario's Top Stories For The Year 2016: Big Time Commits

By Chris Kemlo and PBR Staff
PBR Ontario Director of Scouting

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PBR Ontario's Top Stories For The Year 2016: Big Time Commits

Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Santa Clara, Purdue, Liberty, Austin Peay, and University of Texas. What do they all have in common? Each of these schools has at least one player committed from Ontario in either the 2017 or 2018 graduation classes.

This past year, we saw more and more big time schools recruiting north of the border and locking down some of Ontario’s top prospects in the 2017 and 2018 classes. Not to say this is the first time an ACC, SEC, or Big 12 schools have recruited in Ontario before, but I feel more and more schools are starting to take notice of the talent this province has.

In the past we have had players Like Cal Quantrill (Stanford) Ryan Kellogg (Arizona State) Josh Naylor (Texas Tech) and Demi Orimoloye (Oregon) from Ontario land big time scholarships to powerhouse programs, but this year it seems that multiple schools from big time Division 1 conferences are taking notice and acting on getting their guys committed.

Cooper DavisThe two early commits in the 17’ class both come from the SEC with Adam Hall committing with Texas A&M Aggies while outfielder Cooper Davis signed his NLI with the Vanderbilt Commodores. Not only did these two talented prospects meet expectations on the field, they also took care of business in the classroom as well. The Aggies were not done in Ontario as top ranked player in the 18’ class and national prospect Noah Naylor has committed to the Aggies as well. The tradition and success of A&M moving players on to professional baseball, as well being a competitive World Series contender year in and year out obviously played a big part in Naylor’s decision as he was heavily recruited by some of the top powerhouses in D1 all across the country.

Landon LeachOn the mound, the top two prospects in 17’ class are off to the Big 12 and the Big South Conferences respectively with Landon Leach off to Texas to be a longhorn at the powerhouse and national world series contender year in and year out while Noah Skirrow is set to be off to Liberty university in Virginia where the Flames have put up over 30 plus wins for 10 years straight and multiple years of 40 plus wins. To stay with the arms, the top left-hander in the 17’ class Harley Gollert will be off to Austin Peay of the Ohio Valley conference while 2018 right-hander Ben Abram stays with Leach and the Big 12 conference as the 6-foot-7 strike thrower has committed to Oklahoma university to become a Sooner.

The only other 2018 to commit as of now is outfielder and Ontario Future Games member Matt Jenkins as he committed to Santa Clara University in California, which is a member of the West Coast Conference. With a strong crop of 2018 prospects in the province, we envision that the commitments will start to jump off the board as 2017 gets going.

Dondrae BremnerOther players who inked letters of intents to top D1 programs are:

  • Dondrae Bremner - Cincinnati Bearcats  in the American Athletic Conference (AAC)
  • Owen Jansen - Purdue Boilermakers off the Big Ten conference (Big 10)
  • Jack Anderson - Hofstra Pride of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)
  • Andrew Leggo - Arkansas State of the Sun Belt Conference

To see full list of early D1 signing period commitments click HERE

Also what we have come to see is that a lot more players have seemed to take the junior college route from Ontario as well. This can pay off for a lot of players as we just saw recently that former 2015 prospect Jake Sims just inked a letter intent to play for Alabama next fall after completing his time at Roane State CC. The Terriers left-handed power hitting catcher was a talented high schooler who needed to refine a few things defensively, along with getting as many at-bats as he could early on in his collegiate career. The two-year JUCO route has seemed to pay off as he will be attending Alabama in the fall of 2017.

So as 2016 comes to a close, it’s safe to say that the talent and exposure is starting to spread to a national level. When multiple players are headed to the SEC, when powerhouses like Vanderbilt, Texas, schools in the AAc and Big 10 start to sure up their recruiting classes with players from Ontario, it is a good telling sign that we are ready as a province to make that next step and be known not just in the northeast, but on a national stage.

To see the full list of 2017 commits, please click HERE.