The OBJ Development Program began in 2004 with the Markham Mariners Bantam AAA team that was coached by father of former OBJ Catcher George Kottaras (former MLB Catcher 2008-2013), who at the time was looking to take his team to the next level for their final year together.  After training all off-season with OBJ and their instructors the Mariners went on to win 50+ Games that season along with Provincials and Nationals before joining the Ontario Blue Jays full-time in 2005. 

The OBJ Development Program was born and began making large strides to help those who at the time were too young to join OBJ or who were working towards a full-time spot as a high school player.  The OBJ Development Program has seen several draft picks over the past few years, including RHP Jordan Balazovic, LHP Evan Grills, 1B Josh Naylor, C Michael Reeves, OF J.D. Salmon-Williams, and RHP Darren Shred.  All of those players began their time with OBJ in the Development Program before earning full-time spots when they turned 15/16 years old.  In addition, the OBJ Development Program has lead to over 100 players achieving their goal to play collegiate baseball in the NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA.

How Does the OBJ Development Program Work? 

Players that join the Development Program will join OBJ essentially on a full-time basis from September to May of the following year.  The only difference between those in the Development Program and those full-time is, OBJ Development Program players will return to their respective teams at the conclusion of our off-season (May 1st).

OBJ Development Program Scheduling

The OBJ Development Program begins with our Fall Ball Schedule beginning the first week of September and runs until the end of October.  Players will practice once a week, and play two games on weekend.  Our weekend games will be controlled intersquads to maximize players playing time and instruction.

Following this, would be our OBJ Off-Season Program.  The Off-Season Program is broken into three phases, which are designed to maximize our time indoors and help develop our players to the best of our ability.

All OBJ Development Program members get full time year-round access to The Athlete Matrix (Home of the Ontario Blue Jays).  Players are encouraged to come into the facility as much as possible to work on their abilities and continue to progress on days when there are no formal practices.  “The Matrix” operates on regular weekday and weekend hours throughout the year. 

Who Can Join the OBJ Development Program?

Players ages 9 to 17 are eligible to join the Development Program.  The program is designed to provide high level instruction to players wishing to better themselves on the baseball field to achieve their goals.

For any other inquiries contact Recruiting Coordinator, Joe Ellison at jellison@ontariobluejays.com.