Canadian Junior National Team Roster Announced: A Look At The Names From Alberta


Andrew MacLean & Ryan Friele
Alberta Director of Scouting / PBR Canada Scout

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Canadian Junior National Team Roster Announced: A Look At The Names From Alberta

As the Canadian Junior National Team announced its roster yesterday for its annual Spring Training Trip to St. Petersburg, and as always, it’s highlighted by the match-up versus the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin at Florida Auto Exchange on March 17, which typically sees many Canadians in the lineup for Toronto, as well many familiar big league names.

The roster of 33 was announced and there were five players who currently play in the province of Alberta that were named to the roster. We take a look at five players here with the scheduled days for pitchers added, but make a quick trade off and include right-hander Zach McQuaid while we leave the number one prospect in Alberta Damiano Palmegiani to director Andrew Maclean.

See here for roster, rotation, and schedule.

2018 Grads

Damiano Palmegiani 3B / Vauxhall Academy, AB / 2018

Report: Third baseman from BC who lives in Alberta as he plays for Vauxhall and is committed to CSUN. Offensive third baseman with projectable power from the right side and should continue to add more as he has additional strength gains. Produces hard contact and ball jumps off bat, leg kick to load, uphill path and drives the ball in the air, lots of bat speed comes from Palmegiani and he does not get cheated while still providing quality at-bats. Solid defender at third, hands work and stays in control off body with arm strength across the diamond. Should draw some pro attention as he game continues to improve every time we see him.

Martin Vincelli - Simard C / Vauxhall Academy, AB / 2018

Report: The Quebec native who is playing at Vauxhall, Vincelli-Simard is solid hitting catcher with good tools and instincts. He possesses good natural bat speed with quick hands through the zone and the ability to stay on time. He can find the barrel effectively with a slight uppercut stroke that results in some power that should get close to average. Vincelli-Simard, continues to develop behind the plate but has good mobility and footwork for his size. He has some of the best raw power in the country and is committed to Midland junior college in Texas.

Jaden Griffin LHP / Vauxhall Academy, AB / 2018

Report: Three-pitch lefty at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds. Intense competitor who will attack hitters with his entre arsenal, changing speeds and eye levels, throwing lots of strikes and getting the most out of his stuff. Not overpowering, Griffin has been a fixture with Team Canada now and will look to provide leadership and quality innings on this first trip to Florida. We saw him last week and he showed a compact and repeatable delivery while snapping off some really good curveballs and fastball that worked in the 83-85 mph range.

LaRon Smith SS / RHP / Okotoks Dawgs, AB / 2018

Report: Thick 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Athleticism is leaking from the #2 ranked 2018 grad in Alberta. Quick footwork and explosive first step, clean glove that works out front of his body, arm strength from all body angles and ability to replace his feet in tough positions. Smooth line-drive swing, good bat speed with short path staying inside the ball. Looks to hit fastballs early and do damage, runs the bases well with aggression and smarts. Can also jump on the mound when needed and light up the gun as reports have had him in the 90-91 range during bullpens. Smith, an Indian Hills commit will look to do battle in the infield and get off to a quick start this upcoming week in Florida.

2019 Grads

Cesar Valero SS / OF / Okotoks Dawgs, AB / 2019

Report: Valero, the top ranked prospect in the 2019 class out of Alberta looks to primarily play shortstop with the National Team if the last trip is any indication on their defensive alignment. Committed to Oregon State, the 6-foot-2, 186-pound right-handed hitter is smooth on the dirt, very calm and controlled with easy actions and moves well to both sides. Mental clock is there and he can throw from multiple slots with quick release across the diamond. Feet and hands sync up nicely and shows proper routes to balls. At the plate, raw power and strength in his bat, there is some swing and miss involved but the bat speed and the way the ball jumps and sounds off his bat is different than others.