The Under-18 World Cup and Tournament 12 were a great way to kick off the fall and as the 2017 baseball year comes to a close, we now look onwards to what 2018 has in store.

As the game of baseball continues to grow in Canada, one can expect no offseason to be a quiet one north of the border. With fall ball and showcase circuits wrapping up, news continue to break on verbal commitments made by some of the country’s best young talent.

Headlined by Jaden Brown of the Ontario Blue Jays and Owen Diodati of the Great Lake Canadians, the past couple weeks saw a few big names from the Ontario amateur baseball scene commit to high profile schools down in the United States as well as Canada.

Jaden Brown, SS, University of Kentucky: Zach Pop, Tristan Pompey, and now Jaden Brown will continue the recent trend of Canadians to commit to Kentucky’s baseball program. Filling into his muscular and athletic frame with each year, Brown is an electric ball player with explosive bat speed, raw power, and an incredibly high ceiling. The 2019 classman will be fun to watch as he continues to develop with one of the continent’s most esteemed baseball programs.

Owen Diodati, C, Xavier University: Diodati became the first member of the 2019 class to make a verbal commitment. After all, when Xavier University comes calling, the choice becomes slightly easier. The strong and athletic catching prospect has a very agile lower half, a strong arm, and a pop time that already touches 1.93 seconds. With some juice in his bat from the left side, the Great Lakes catcher had a breakout season, impressing from start to finish.

Nick Jaeggin, RHP/SS, UBC: Opting to remain in Canada, the talented Ontario Royals two-way player committed to the University of British Columbia, the same school as recent Pittsburgh Pirates draft pick, Austin Shields. The 2018 classman Jaeggin, a guy who can do a little bit of everything on the field, is athletic and quick, runs the bases aggressively and understands how to swing the bat from the right side. On the mound, the 5-foot-9 right hander mixes all of his pitches well, and uses his breaking ball as the separator.

Dylan Whittaker, RHP/SS, UBC: Joining Jaeggin in UBC’s upcoming recruiting class, Whittaker continues to get better with each summer, playing a big role on Team Ontario this past summer at the Canada Cup. Up to 87 mph on the fastball, Whittaker has a projectable frame and is beginning to show a lot of promise both on the rubber as well as at the plate. Along with Jaeggin, Ben Mitchell of the Toronto Mets and GLC’s Cam Sanderson, the quartet of 2018 classmen should most definitely have UBC baseball extremely excited for the things to come.

Jordan Bahnuk, RHP, Indian Hills CC: What Bahnuk lacks in size, he makes up for with how he composes himself on the bump. Aggressive on the mound, the recently reclassified Bahnuk is always in attack mode. He boasts a sharp fastball, with a great complimentary changeup, can spin a good curveball, and throws a tight slider, because, why not? Clean and quick arm action, Bahnuk is a fun pitcher to watch and should be in for another great year as part of the Ontario Nationals.

Richard Birfer

Regional Supervisor of the Canadian and Midwest regions. Kinesiology graduate student, Biomechaincs and Neuroscience specialization, at Brock University.

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