Roll these numbers around: 490, 739, 715, 726, 738, 712 and 697. Those are some of the yearly totals, since 2000, of Canadians attending school in the United States or playing the majority of their baseball schedule south of the border.
Only one — Waterloo lefty Brad Drew (1998-2000) was both good enough and smart enough to pitch for Stanford University.
But now that Port Hope right-hander Cal Quantrill of the Ontario Terriers has signed a letter of intent, a second Canadian is headed to Stanford in the fall of 2013.
“Two things are obvious,” said Blue Jays bullpen coach Pat Hentgen when told the news. “Cal got his arm from his father (former major-league pitcher Paul Quantrill) and his smarts from his mom, Alyson.”
Cal pitched 15 scoreless against Mexico and Team USA at the world junior qualifier in Colombia last fall as Canada won its first silver medal.
Currently with the junior nats, Quantrill pitched two scoreless innings as the Canadian high-schoolers beat the Detroit Tigers rookie-class Dominican Summer League team 8-2 on Tuesday. Quantrill walked two, struck out a man and, like pop, hit a batter. Paul, who attended the University of Wisconsin, hit 45 batters during his 14-year career.
Quantrill, whose best pitch might be his change-up, pitched the championship final game in Nashville last summer when the 17U Terriers won the World Series and recorded the win with five scoreless in the gold medal game at the 2011 Canada Cup in New Brunswick.
He’ll study engineering at Stanford.
“Cal obviously gets most of his talent from his mother Alyson, who certainly has all of the brains in the family,” Dan Plesac, another former Jays reliever, now of MLB Network, said from Weehawken, N.J.
“Paul was a terrific pitcher but he was not the sharpest tool in the shed. ‘Mom knows best,’ was the battle cry in the Quantrill household.”
BIG MAN ON CAMPUS
Brampton outfielder Sean Bignall is one of 30 semifinalists for the 35th annual USA Golden Spikes Award. Previous winners include Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, David Price, Tim Lincecum, Alex Gordon, Mark Prior, Rickie Weeks, J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek and Jared Weaver.
Bignall, the only Canuck amongst the 30, established school records for homers (18) and total bases (149), becoming the first player in school history to reach 60 runs and 60 RBIs in a season. He ended the season ranked fourth in the U.S., in home runs, fifth in slugging percentage (.696), and sixth in RBIs. The Team Ontario grad earned first team all-Sun Belt conference honours.
Canadians can vote at GoldenSpikesAward.com before June 5 when the three finalists are named.
Whitby’s Julian Service and Brampton’s Derek Jones attended a private workout held by Blue Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish and Canadian scouting director Jamie Lehman on Tuesday morning at the Rogers Centre. Both Service and Jones are outfielders playing with with the Ontario Blue Jays.
There were not a lot of power arms, but when 160 players showed up in Vaughan, coach Marc Picard found a rare Canadian baseball trait: Speed. Mississauga infielder Malik Collymore, outfielder Demi Orimoloye from Orleans and infielder Justin Orton of Essex were all clocked at under 7.0 seconds in the 60-yard dash.
The scouts’ top five: Etobicoke righty Daniel Procopio, Windsor shortstop Jake Lumley, Toronto lefty Adam Jafine, Whitby third baseman J.D. Osborne and Georgetown’s J.C. Kirke.
The junior national team swept a doubleheader Tuesday in the Dominican, beating the Atlanta Braves affiliate 5-2 and the Tigers 8-2. Oakville’s Kyle Hann tripled, while Milton’s Nathan DeSouza knocked in a run. Windsor’s Brett Siddall doubled and Goderich’s Brock Dykxhoorn struck out four in two perfect innings.
Whitby’s Ryan Kellogg, Guelph’s Michael Clouthier, Jason Tarapasky of Pierrefonds, Que. Jake Marks of Brights Grove and Quantrill combined on a three-hitter. Windsor’s Jacob Robson hit an RBI single while Hann doubled and DeSouza singled in a run.
Richmond pitched eight scoreless for triple-A Las Vegas in a 9-0 win over Salt Lake City for the best week of the 67 Canadians in the minors. He allowed three hits and two walks, while striking out four for the Blue Jays top affiliate.
Runners-up: Tyson Gillies, Langley, B.C. .583, one homer, 5 RBIs at double-A Reading (Phillies); Ryan LaPensee, La Salle, Ont., .417, one homer, three RBIs, class-A Visalia (Diamondbacks); Nick Weglarz, Stevensville, Ont., 1 RBI, .417 double-A Akron (Indians), Lars Davis, Grand Prairie, Alta., one RBI, .417, double-A Tulsa (Rockies).