A Year in Review, OBJ 2017-18

As fast as it happened, it’s all starting again.  With the 2018-19 season about to kick off with both our Local Fall Program and the OBJ Collegiate Fall Travel Schedule, it’s time to look back on what happened this past year.

This past season for the Ontario Blue Jays will be one to remember for a long time and set the new standard for what is already well known as Canada’s Top Amateur Baseball Program.

Let’s begin in the Fall of 2017.  The OBJ Collegiate Fall Team lead by Mike Steed and his staff travelled across the United States taking on some of the best college baseball teams in the country including the University of Virginia, Texas Christian University, Florida State University, and many more before arriving at the 2017 Perfect Game World Wood Bat National Championship.  The PG WWBA 18U National Championship is the most prestigious and scouted event in amateur baseball, held at the Roger Dean Complex in Jupiter, Florida (Spring Training Home of the St. Louis Cardinals & Miami Marlins).  Thousands of college/university scouts, professional scouts, agents and others gather to watch the best teams compete for a National Championship each Fall.  OBJ placed in the Top 16 defeating the Houston Astros Scout Team (4-0), Houston Banditos (12-1), Cangelosi Sparks (8-7), San Diego Padres Scout Team (2-1) along the way, before falling to the Evoshield Canes (5-3) in the Round of 16.  In addition to the strong team performance, eight OBJ players were named to the All-Tournament Team:  RHP Lukas Barry, RHP Evan Chenier, RHP Diego Dominguez, RHP Jacob Kush, 1B Jake Ervin, SS Ryan Johnston, C Noah Naylor and 3B TJ Schofield-Sam.

After a great off-season indoors, it was time for Canadian Premier Baseball League and Fergie Jenkins Showcase League play at each respective age group.  OBJ, as always, had a strong showing in both leagues.  OBJ combined for a 165 – 65 – 5 record throughout league play with our ten teams, in addition OBJ 17U Steed won the CPBL Regular Season Championship, while OBJ 13U Naylor and OBJ 12U Feijo took home the Fergie Jenkins Showcase League Championships.

OBJ Naylors takes home FJSL 13U Championship. (Photo via FJSL)

Tournament season is always what teams play for, the opportunity to travel into the United States and compete against some of the best players each state has to offer.  Whether it’s within a few hours for our 12 to 15 year old teams, or deep into the south for our older programs, the chance to compete against the best players at each age group is something to get excited for.

OBJ teams combined for six championships in the United States:

Double Play 12U Baseball Tournament Championship (Sandusky, OH)

USSSA 12U Kensington Valley Classic Championship (Farmington Hills, MI)

Lancers Classic 12U Championship (Lewiston, NY)

10th Annual Battle of the Bats 13U Championship (Flat Rock, MI)

Future Stars Series National Trials 16U Championship (Houston, TX)*

Marucci World Series 16U Championship (Baton Rouge, LA)*

* First Canadian program to win Championship.

OBJ Travers takes home the Marucci World Series in Baton Rouge, LA.

In addition to team successes, OBJ placed all 20 graduating players in university or college and had three players selected in the 2018 MLB First-Year Players Draft.  Highlighted by OBJ Catcher Noah Naylor, who was selected in the 1st Round, 29th Overall by the Cleveland Indians.

As a whole, the 2017-18 Ontario Blue Jays year was another one for the record books and continues to solidify OBJ as Canada’s Top Amateur Program.  #OBJFam