O’Halloran, Bush Jr. among notable prospects on display at Tournament 12

Team Green's Max Grant (centre) catches in a Tournament 12 game against Team Orange on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. (Joe Mastromatteo/Baseball Canada)

TORONTO — Tournament 12, a baseball event featuring the best 150 Canadian amateurs with draft and college eligibility, wrapped up on Saturday at Rogers Centre.

The event first started in 2013 and has yielded several MLB players and prospects including NL Cy Young contender Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves, Josh Naylor of the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros infielder Abraham Toro.

The 2019 MLB Draft included 21 players from last year’s T12 tournament.

Here are six notable players from this year’s edition and a little bit of information about each one…

Connor O’Halloran pitches for Canada’s junior national team. (Credit: Baseball Canada)

Connor O’Halloran
Position: LHP/OF
From: Mississauga, Ont.
Age: 17

O’Halloran has found success on the mound this season in what has been his busiest year on the field yet.

The son of former MLBer Greg O’Halloran estimates he’s played in around 90 games this year between his club, provincial and the junior national team.

The southpaw found success recently at the under-18 World Cup, an event he says was “crazy,” and still has room to grow physically.

Strengths
-Attacks hitters early
-Uses and mix all his pitches

Weaknesses
-Controlling pitch location

Next steps
-Committed to University of Michigan

Career aspirations
-Hopes to play both college and professional baseball

MLB comparable
-Cole Hamels or Jon Lester

One thing people don’t know about you?
-Loves playing music and guitar

Owen Cassie
Position: OF
From: Burlington, Ont.
Age: 17

Cassie has aspirations to be one of the best players in Canada.

He says his goal is to be No. 1 in the country — he believes it’s achievable — and land on the Canadian junior national team.

Cassie has dedicated his whole life to the game and says he spends hours each day analyzing baseball, his swing and the swings of others in order to improve.

Strengths
-Bat

Weaknesses
-Fielding

Next steps
-Committed to University of Michigan, unless other opportunity comes up

Career aspirations
-Play professional ball

MLB comparable
-Max Kepler or Josh Reddick

One thing people don’t know about you?
-Studies baseball constantly

Elijah Hammill playing for Canada’s junior national team. (Credit: Baseball Canada)

Elijha Hammill
Position: SS/3B
From: Oakville, Ont.
Age: 15

Hamill played in the tournament for a second-straight year and says his confidence has grown a lot since the last event.

“Now I can show them what I have, 100 per cent,” he said. “I’m better than last year, more developed, bigger player and more athletic and so it’s much better to come back this year.”

He competed for the Canadian junior team at the under-18 World Cup earlier this month, which he called a “real eye opener” with the different types of pitching around the world.

Strengths
-Base running, stealing bases
-Hits both sides of the plate

Weaknesses
-Says he can’t think of one

MLB comparable
-Says he couldn’t think of one
-Compares himself to Toronto Blue Jays prospect Dasan Brown, a good friend with whom he played on the national team

Next steps
-Plans to keep playing and getting better, with college is an option, but currently no specific schools

Career aspirations
-Professional baseball

One thing people don’t know about you?
-Was on Paw Patrol playing Ryder for two seasons, says acting could be a side gig in the future

Darius Armorer
Position: OF/RHP
From: Whitby, Ont.
Age: 18

A broken hand prevented Armorer from participating in last year’s tournament, but he provided solid offence through this year’s event.

Armorer takes pride in being friendly and approachable to everyone, and made friends with teammates — taking them to Popeyes — and ball boys alike.

Strengths
-Arm
-Speed

Weaknesses
-Says he doesn’t know

Next steps
-Trying to find a school to play next fall
-Building connections

Career aspirations
-Get drafted and eventually play in MLB

MLB comparable
-Mookie Betts

One thing people don’t know about you?
-Very friendly and confident

Homer Bush Jr. runs the bases during the Tournament 12 prospect event on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. (Joe Mastromatteo/Baseball Canada)

Homer Bush Jr.
Position: CF
From: Houston, Texas
Age: 17

Bush Jr. may be a few inches taller than his father, former MLB second baseman Homer Bush, but the similarities are plenty.

The younger Bush says he’s aggressive on the bases and brings a strong work ethic into the batter’s box, much like his father did with the Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins in the 90s and early 2000s.

Bush Jr., born in Toronto in 2001 which makes him eligible for the event, says his father has been a good mentor to him as he prepares for a big year ahead, which features the MLB Draft next spring.

Strengths
-Speed
-Defence

Weaknesses
-Arm strength
-Hitting

Next steps
-Committed to Grand Canyon University
-Eligible for 2020 MLB Draft

Career aspirations
-Play in MLB

MLB comparable
-Ronald Acuna Jr.

One thing people don’t know about you?
-Reserved off field, ultra competitive on diamond

Max Grant
Position: C/3B
From: Fredericton, N.B.
Age: 17

A former hockey player before focusing on baseball, Grant has posted impressive hitting numbers this season at both Tournament 12 and the Canada Cup.

He says he misses playing hockey, but has the ability to still strap on his skates every Friday in Vauxhall, Alta., where he attends school and plays baseball.

Grant is attending T12 for the third-straight year and enjoys the versatility of playing both catcher and third base.

Strengths
-Baseball IQ
-Bat
-Base-running awareness

Weaknesses
-Speed
-Infield timing
-Arm strength

Next steps
-Return to Vauxhall Baseball Academy for Grade 12
-Looking at colleges

Career aspirations
-Play Division 1 in U.S.
-Playing professional would be bonus

MLB comparable
-Mike Trout or Javier Baez

One thing people don’t know about you?
-Very picky eater, prefers eggs and toast

Scouts also liked:
Austin Gomm of Mississauga, Ont. (SS/3B)
Theo Millas of Burnaby, B.C. (RHP)

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