Jun 05, 2013 | Bob Elliott | 341 views
Canadian Lefty Travis Seabrooke Has Right Stuff For Mlb Draft
Five years ago, Brett Lawrie made his mark in the Dominican Republic.
Lawrie hit five homers for Canadian junior team in a doubleheader off five 90-mph fastballs.
Milwaukee Brewers scout Tom McNamara was there and Lawrie moved into first-round status.
Travis Seabrooke didn’t hit any homers, but his draft status took a leap forward last month in the same locale.
More than once this week, a scouting director has told us “our Latin America scout phoned in and said that the best pitcher on the island last month was the tall lefty from Canada.”
After a week busing from between major-league complexes the juniors moved into the capital of Santo Domingo.
“The fans seemed a lot more excited. It was a more intense atmosphere than our guys had seen before, pretty electric,” said Seabrooke on Wednesday of the crowd he estimated at 1,000.
The 6-foot-5 Seabrooke fanned seven in five scoreless at Estadio Quisqueya, facing the best the Dominican high schoolers eligible to sign after June 1.
“It was the best game of the year ... so far,” said Seabrooke. “From a velocity standpoint, I wasn’t throwing as hard as I have. But I could put my curve and changeup pretty much where I wanted.
“I had confidence in my off-speed pitches, no matter the count. I could double up or triple up with a curve or change if a hitter was in a fastball count.”
The Peterborough teen-ager, who pitches for Scott Van de Valk’s Ontario Terriers, allowed two hits in his dominant outing. The lefty may be on the rise, but he still won’t be the top Canuck when major-league teams begin drafting on Thursday night.
That honour will go to Edmonton lefty Rob Zastryzny of the University of Missouri.
Slugger Tyler O’Neill from Maple Ridge, B.C., and Port Hope right-hander Cal Quantrill are ranked in the top 100 prospects by either Baseball America or Allan Simpson’s Perfect Game scouting service.
Seven scouting directors tell us Zastryzny will be the top Canuck, possibly being selected on Day 1 when the first 73 players are chosen (the first two rounds, plus lottery picks).
Of course, that leaves 23 other teams to say Quantrill or O’Neill are the top man.
Previous top Canucks who made the majors were Justin Morneau, Ryan Dempster, Phillippe Aumont, Jason Dickson, Chris Reitsma, Scott Thorman, Adam Stern, Kevin Nicholson and Lawrie.
Victoria, B.C., right-hander Nic Pivetta from New Mexico Jr. College, Mississauga’s Malik Collymore, an Ontario Blue Jays infielder; Washington State third baseman Adam Nelubowich of Stony Plain, Alta.; Toronto infielder Daniel Pinero or the Ontario Blue Jays; Peterborough’s Mike Reeves of Florida Gulf Coast University; along with Zastryzny, O’Neill and Quantrill, could go all go in the top 10 rounds. Rounds 3-10 will take place Friday.
Last year, the draft was reduced from 50 to 40 rounds as 27 Canucks were drafted. In 2011, eight Canadians were drafted between the 41st and 50th rounds.
While Quantrill is the son of Paul Quantrill, who pitched 14 years in the majors, Seabrooke is the son of Glen Seabrooke, selected 21st overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1987 NHL draft from Dick Todd’s Peterborough Petes.
“My father told me how scouts told him he’d go with at this pick or that pick and he slid,” Seabrooke said. “I know I won’t necessarily go where I’ve been told I’ll go. Hopefully on Friday.”
Seabrooke has signed a letter of intent to attend Boston College.
“When I began playing I didn’t want to grow up to pitch college ball, I wanted to pitch in the pros,” said Seabrooke. “There’s a very good chance of signing, but to get an education and play in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) is appealing too.”