Futures Trials – A Recap of the Top Talents

Logan Wedgewood
PBR Canada Scout

The Future of baseball in British Columbia is in safe hands with some exciting 2024s and ’25’s coming through the pipeline. A fraction of the upcoming talent went out of Parkgate Park in North Vancouver last week. If these players speak for the group, it could be a fun couple of years watching BC Baseball continue at the top of National Leaderboards.

The Dudes

Landon Kauffman OF / LHP / Vancouver College, BC / 2024

The heaviest hitter of the group came out of UBC Thunder baseball, finding himself top of multiple metric leaderboards on the day. 2024 OF/LHP Landon Kauffman has continued his development, showing us one more thing every time he arrives on showcase day. He was top in the camp at 98.5mph with a short and quick swing, spraying to all fields with backspin and loud barrels. Kauffman outpaced the group, besting the following highest EV by 7 MPH. Kauffman ran the 3rd fastest 60 Yard at 7.07 and the third highest in OF velocity at 85 MPH. Throwing in poor weather and bullpen conditions, Kauffman sat 77-79, spinning a good breaking ball and getting his change-up down with an arm-side run. Kauffman is a must-follow two-way prospect.

Sam Tusa RHP / 3B / Vancouver College, BC / 2024

The top velocity on the mound in North Shore goes to a 2024 two-way developing power-power guy, Sam Tusa, out of the North Shore Twins organization. Topping at 84 mph and showcasing a good 3-pitch mix, Tusa impressed, striking out three batters in his inning of work before the skies opened. Earlier in the day, the left-handed-hitting Tusa showed consistent and repeatable pop, with his top at 91.2 MPH and his lowest at 88 MPH.

Declan Spooner C / 1B / North Shore Academy, BC / 2024

North Shore Twins 2024 backstop, Declan Spooner, showed well as a left-handed hitting catcher with some pop. His POP numbers were right around that 2.00-2.1 mark with good backspin and true carry. During bullpens, he looked comfortable receiving good arms and blocked the ball well in the few innings we got in on the day. Offensively, there is no doubt he has some pop from the left side of the plate and demonstrated the ability to lift to his pull side. He projects to be a middle-of-the-order left-handed hitting catcher and has shown the knowledge in the season to lead a good pitching staff. He is a quality catcher to watch going forward through his PBL career.

The Mashers

Oliver Clements SS / 3B / Vancouver College, BC / 2024

2024 UBC Jr. Thunder Shortstop Oliver Clements showed some emerging tools defensively and at the plate. He is one of the leading hitters in the Jr. PBL and delivered a quick and repeatable swing that will translate to the next level. He matches planes well and can turn and burn on the basepaths additionally. Clements was consistently in left field during BP with a reasonable extension, keeping his drives straight to his pull side with a little hook. As Clements continues to develop his strength and approach at the plate, look for him to start putting up some power numbers in the coming years. An intriguing bat, his athleticism will decide whether he stays at short or gets bumped to third base; either way, he can pick it and has a good arm across the field. His bat will keep him active in the middle of the order, and he could be one of the PBL’s leading hitters over the next two years. Fun to watch; keep tabs on him.

Ben McKinnon RHP / 3B / Semiahmoo High School, BC / 2024

A 2024 Infielder/Pitcher out of the White Rock Tritons organization, Ben McKinnon, has a quick, explosive swing that stays smooth. He shows patience, seeing the ball and organizing his body to match plane and get behind pitches well. He showed backspin to all fields and came in at 2nd on the day with a max EV of 91.7 MPH. There is a lot to like about how MacKinnon goes about his business, showing smooth motions around the infield and adding a bases-clearing double in the scrimmage off live pitching. At the halfway point of the Jr. PBL season, he sits at second on the leaderboards in doubles with 7 in 55 at-bats. We could see McKinnon turn himself into one of the better extra-base hit guys in the PBL over the next few seasons with a continued focus on the athletic improvements. An excellent early get.

Tate Martin SS / RHP / Vancouver College, BC / 2024

Another slugger out of the North Shore Twins organization, 2024 INF Tate Martin, showed good bat speed with a gap-to-gap approach. He currently tends to get heavy on his front side but has shown plenty of success in the young season, raking over .450 with seven doubles in 40 at-bats. Sidelined with some nagging arm injuries, he has been reserved to a DH role; however, he took reps at shortstop and showed smooth feet with good athleticism going side to side and working around the ball towards first base. It’s tough for a young hitter to be a hitter only, but Martin has shown an ability to flat-out hit, and we are excited for him to bounce back and start showing his stuff on both sides of the ball.

David Dorland OF / 2B / Alpha Secondary, BC / 2024

Coquitlam Reds outfielder David Dorland was the top runner on the day, standing alone in the sub-7.00 club with two consecutive 6.90 times. With his speed, his offence is currently enough to put the ball in play and use his best weapon to earn his base hits. He is not far behind the top of the pack with a top 84 MPH exit velo, and with strength gains, it’ll be easy to see his speed and power cause opponents trouble for years to come. Seemingly not afraid of the moment and keeping it light, he showed good movements around the outfield, good legs, and a spray-for-now approach to his batting practice. A potential lead-off right-handed bat as we advance, it will be interesting to see where he takes his game in the coming years.

This Future Games group was a competitive and talented group that will be a lot of fun to watch and evaluate as they progress in their baseball journeys. Stay tuned as we throw some love at the 2025s in the coming week, as the talent in this group is impressive.

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