Prep Baseball Report

PBR Ontario's Top Stories For The Year 2016: Breakout Performers from 2018/2019 Class

By Chris Kemlo and PBR Staff
PBR Ontario Director of Scouting

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PBR Ontario's Top Stories For The Year 2016: Breakout Performers from 2018/2019 Class

In 2016, we at PBR Ontario were able to see hundreds of ball players in this province from MLB draft picks, to college and university commits, to young up and coming prospects looking to make a name for themselves moving forward.

In this article, I’ll highlight some young players who made us take notice at some point this summer or fall. Whether it was the way a player showed off his speed running hard down the line, snapping off a curveball that made everyone in the park buckle, or that one swing where it makes you wonder if this is a 16 year old kid or a college junior player in the Big 10 Conference.

As tough as it can be when evaluating players who are yet to reach their physical peaks or just beginning their process in the development phases of the game, these players below look to be on the right path, and have risen onto the scene in the province of Ontario.

Breakout Performers

Eric CerantolaEric Cerantola, RHP, 2018
Breakdown: Cerantola is a long, 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-hander who took the proper steps in his development to jump onto the scene this year as one of the top arms not only in the province, but in the country.

We first saw Cerantola dominate on the mound in June, 2015 when PBR scout Chase Hadden watched Cerantola turn in a masterful performance, twirling a complete game win while giving up one run on two hits with 11 strikeouts. This year, Cerantola made his 2016 debut for club team Great Lake Canadians, while also appearing in Indianapolis with the PBR Ontario Futures Team, a Tournament 12 selection, and to finish things off was selected to wear the Canadian jersey across his chest with the junior national team in October for their fall camp in Florida. The big right-hander works in the mid to upper 80’s with his fastball, creating good downhill angle with his height and leverage. Shows advanced feel with his curveball, proper rotation with downward action and 12/6 shape, real potential to be above average pitch.

Cerantola has officially had his coming out party, grabbing the attention of pro scouts and college evaluators. He is also been a top notch hockey player for some time now, and because of his commitment to hockey in the past, he may not have the same number of reps and innings of other kids his age. To see where Cerantola is at from a skill set, and the low mileage on his arm, Cerantola looks to continue to make noise in not just the province, but on a national scene over the next two years.

Video of Cerantola:


Denzel ClarkeDenzel Clarke, OF, 2018
Breakdown: Clarke has caught the attention of many coaches, evaluators, and opposition this year with his athleticism and defensive prowess in center-field. He has made strides in his game, adding strength to his 6-foot-3 frame, becoming more consistent with his swing, and continuing to show signs as a lockdown defender in centre. Clarke posted his quickest 60 time this fall to with a 6.68 on the Rogers Centre turf in September. He showed enough over the summer and fall to earn him an invitation with the Canadian Junior National Team on their final trip to Florida in October.

The athlete in Clarke is what excites most people, as he was very raw to the game leading into the fall last year. His actions and movements, along with the frame was something to dream on with a young Clarke, and he looks to be bringing everything to fruition. That said, he still needs the at-bats and to fine tune his swing, while continue to improve arm strength from the outfield. With the work ethic that Clarke possesses, matched with his physical and athletic traits, he looks to be a very exciting player to watch over the two years.

Video of Clarke:


Dasan BrownDasan Brown, OF, 2019
Breakdown: The outfielder made his debut with a last minute appearance at the PBR Ontario Underclass Games this summer, and Brown did not disappoint. The 5-foot-9, 150-pound outfielder is an exciting young talent with speed, quick twitch actions at the plate, and a strong defensive game with arm strength and accuracy.

Playing for the Hamilton Cardinals in the bantam loop this past summer, Brown was one of many quality players for the Cardinals, and was used in a variety of roles in the outfield and in the order. Brown was a member of the PBR Ontario Futures Team in Indianapolis and looks to be a safe bet to be back again next summer. He ran a best 60 time, like Clarke did at the Rogers Centre this September with a 6.65, and began to show better quality at-bats later in the fall. A very toolsy player, Brown will look to be one of the top prospects in the CPBL league this summer in the 16u loop as an Ontario Blue Jay.

Video of Brown:


Tyler BlackTyler Black, INF/RHP, 2018
Breakdown: Tyler Black jumped onto the scene this summer at our Top Prospects Games in June as a middle infielder with smooth actions, arm strength, and a short compact swing from the left-side of the plate. Athletic with wiry strength at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, Black comes off with tools across the board, runs well with a 60 time of 6.96 and shows intelligence and awareness within the game.

A member of the Ontario youth team that travelled to Alberta this year for the 2016 Canada Cup, Black was arguably Ontario’s top hitter as he went on to post a .333 average over 8 games with 8 hits, two of them coming of the triple and one double, while playing in every game at either second or third base.

He earned himself a Tournament 12 selection with the Futures Navy squad, while also earning an invite to the PBR Future Games but was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. Black capped off a busy and solid 2016 campaign in the fall continuing to drive the ball at a tournament in Georgia with his club team, and looks to be one of the top prospects in the province heading into 2017 season.

Video of Black:


David McCabeDavid McCabe, 3B/1B, 2018
Breakdown: McCabe, a physical switch hitting corner infielder at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds was a standout this summer at PBR events, as well with his club team Team Ontario. An attention grabber with his physical traits as soon as you get to the park, seeing him hit from both sides of the plate is not something seen everyday here in Ontario, and when we do see switch-hitters, it isn’t typically your 6-foot-3 corner guys doing so.

McCabe has been hitting from both sides for quite some time now, and there in not much difference from a mechanical standpoint over his left and right approaches. Good hands on McCabe both offensively and defensively, shows feel for finding the barrel at the plate while he exhibits softness in his glove hand on the defensive side of the ball. He he can profile at either position but may make the shift over to first as time moves on, his foot speed and agility will be the determining factor in that move. But whether it is at third or first, the bat profiles and McCabe will certainly make pitchers aware when he steps into the box come 2017.

Video of McCabe: