Annual draft impacts locally

BOB ELLIOTT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

Leslie Williams is the most talented area high schooler, according to scouts, heading into tomorrow's annual draft.

Yet, that's no guarantee that the Scarborough outfielder/right-hander will be the top area player chosen.

There is the matter of signability and Williams has signed a letter of intent to attend Northeastern University in Boston.

Clubs must decide whether to give Williams enough of a signing bonus to make him choose pro ball over college. Do they select Williams knowing they might not be able to sign him?

If not Williams, who played for Team Ontario and the Toronto Mets, the top choice will be either Mississauga catcher Jordan Wideman, or Toronto first baseman Cameron Robulack, both of the Ontario Blue Jays.

Williams has shown he can play all they outfield positions and hit well for the Team Canada National Junior Team on their trip to the Dominican Republic. Some clubs like him on the mound.

There is no doubt as to where Wideman and Robulack play.

Team Canada was on its spring tour of Florida in 2006 when coach Greg Hamilton put out an emergency call to Wideman.

"A couple of catchers went down, they phoned me in the middle of the week," Wideman said. "I ended up starting in Cuba."

BIGGEST ASSET

Canada finished third in the World Junior championships. Wideman, a catch and throw guy, describes his biggest asset as being able to "control the game with the pitcher."

"I learned a lot by watching, from my catching coach Damon Topolie and Hamilton (Team Canada) helped with the mental aspect."

Wideman and Robulack attended a private Boston Red Sox workout at Fenway Park, along with Illinois University's Lars Davis, of Grande Prairie, Alta. If he does not sign Robulack is headed to the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wideman to Connors State College.

Wideman also went to a Cleveland Indians workout at Jacobs Field. Robulack, whose father John Robulack used to be a clubhouse attendant for the Jays, went to a workout at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

In 2003, the catcher's older brother, A.J. Wideman was the top Toronto area player selected going in the 11th round to the Montreal Expos. He's at single-A Dunedin where he is 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA in six starts, after coming over in a trade.

"My brother has helped me a lot over the years, tells me what to do behind the plate, what his catchers do," the catcher said.

Has he thought about brothers from the same family being top dog in the Toronto area twice in five drafts? "That," Wideman said, "would be cool."


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