Richard Birfer

TORONTO– It was a warm and humid Friday morning, but an exciting one in downtown Toronto, as the Blue Jays’ Rogers Center hosted a summer scout game. It was a game which brought talent from all over the United States north of the border to compete against some of the best amateur prospects in both Ontario and Quebec.

Plenty of MLB teams were represented at the showcase, as the day kicked off bright and early with some batting practice. Right away, some of the top Ontario kids stood out, most notably the first baseman of the Ontario Royals, Ryan Magdic, and top ranked 2019 Ontario prospect, Jaden Brown of the Ontario Blue Jays. Both guys demonstrated that each of their bats gets some juice, as they barreled a few baseballs into the home and away bullpens in the outfield.

Another name that stood out was 2019 classman Noel McGarry Doyle of the Toronto Mets, a strong player with great barrel awareness for his age.

As the game started, it was Magdic and Brown who continued to impress. Brown, who showed great composure and athleticism at the plate, walked twice and launched an opposite field double. Quick hands and explosive bat speed, Brown has a lot of raw tools that make him a very impressive young prospect. Meanwhile, 2018 classman Magdic lined a couple of singles to both sides of the outfield, displaying a short and fluid swing that generates some pop.

The first baseman also got an opportunity to show what he could do on the field, demonstrating a good feel for the position, soft hands and some athletic actions around the bag.

On the mound, a trio of Ontario arms showed incredible promise. Despite eventually falling to the Americans by a score of 7-3, Lukas Barry, Hayden Pilmer and Keegan Pullford-Thorpe generated some buzz with their stellar performances.

Pilmer, a big-bodied 2019 classman, flashed 86 mph on the bump, as well as a nasty slider, which induced swings-and-misses. Lukas Barry was his usual self, pounding his explosive fastball all over the zone for strikes; while crafty lefty Thorpe showed off an impressive arm, with a sweeping breaking ball and a fastball that touched 83 mph with late life.

For competitors, the final score is all that matters, but at the end of the day, it was yet another incredible showcase of talent, which left scouts and players alike excited for what the future holds.

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