Three Nats get Rogers Centre experience at T12

by Cam Black-Araujo

If there’s one event on the Canadian amateur baseball calendar each year for players to strive towards attending it might just be the Blue Jays Academy Tournament 12 (T12).

The Blue Jays select the best players across the country to form six teams and over the years the tournament has seen over 90 players drafted including Josh Naylor, Mike Soroka and Abraham Toro who all made their big league debuts this year.

Bennett Moore, Tanner Almond and Griffin Almond all from the 18u team were selected among the country’s top players and took their talents to the Rogers Centre last week to showcase their stuff in front of over 20 MLB organizations as well as a bunch of college coaches.

As players growing up in the Toronto area, the Rogers Centre is somewhere these three looked for motivation and gave them a glimpse of where they one day hoped the game of baseball would take them.

“It’s a feeling you can’t describe... playing on a major league field is something you always dream about and being able to do so at the field I came up watching my favourite team play at was just surreal" said outfielder Tanner Almond.

Across three games Tanner went 3-for-7 at the dish with a walk, a run scored and two RBI’s. Griffin pitched two innings allowing one hit, two runs and two strikeouts while Bennett also pitched two innings allowing one run on one hit, no walks and three punchouts.

We’ve seen the talent over the years that these three players possess but also the work they have put in to establish themselves among not only the provinces best players, but also to be recognized on a national level.  

Griffin says the event definitely proved to himself that his hard work is paying off but by playing with the best this country has to offer, it allowed him to see what kind of work he still needs to put in to help take his game to the next level.

“It was just an honour and I’m grateful to be named as one of the top players in the country. The week showed me that my hard work is paying off but it also showed me that I have to keep working because there’s so many more elite players at my age,” explained the 6-foot-6, 205-pound right-hander.

Performance wise this group represented the Ontario Nationals well during the week and we would like to congratulate them once again on this accomplishment.