The names of Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, Will Smith, Matvei Michkov and, closer to home, Gabriel Perreault, Ethan Gauthier and Étienne Morin are fueling discussions as the next National Hockey League draft approaches, but major league baseball will also hold its annual auction in the coming weeks, from July 9 to 11.
If several hockey hopefuls were gathered in Buffalo for the “NHL Combine” during the recent weekend, many young baseball players are participating these days in the “MLB Draft League”.
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Among them, there is a Quebecer who does a good job on the mound, having allowed no hits in addition to registering six strikeouts in three innings of work in the uniform of the West Virginia Black Bears. Right-handed reliever Louis-Philippe Langevin obviously earns points in the eyes of scouts, even though the “MLB Draft League” is just one tool among many for player evaluation that spans many years. .
“I trained hard in the gym and changed some habits. I now run regularly at 94 or 95 miles per hour and there are more and more scouts who are interested in me, “said Langevin, in all humility, when contacted Tuesday in Pennsylvania.
Langevin, 19, is from the Quebec region. He had an exceptional season with the Diamonds, in the Quebec Junior Elite Baseball League, in 2022. The gunner then returned to Wabash Valley College, Illinois, having recently taken part in the JuCo World Series. One of his throws was then clocked at 97 miles per hour, a personal high.
Patience is key
The “MLB Draft League”, which brings together several hopes within six teams from June, does not have a major impact on the outcome of the draft. Player seasons in the NCAA are more scrutinized, as are some summer leagues, such as the Cape Cod League. This is why Langevin could still have to wait before being drafted. The pool of good American players is so big.
If he is not selected in the draft or if he does not obtain the desired signing bonus, Langevin precisely retains the option of joining the NCAA, in the first division, with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. in the next year.
« I have an amount in mind for the draft that I think is quite reasonable, » Langevin said of a potential signing bonus.
More than 600 players chosen
In addition to Quebecers already working in the NCAA, a few other young people are the subject of promising reports from recruiters, be it Robin Villeneuve, Marek Lalonde, Elliot Cadieux-Lanoue or Jérémy Pilon, to name a few. In the case of Pilon, who recently had to undergo surgery, it is worth remembering that he had been a choice of 18e round of the Blue Jays in 2022. The left-handed pitcher, however, was unable to reach an agreement with the Toronto organization and, at 17, he will logically take the path of the prestigious University of Alabama. Barring a surprise!
The next major league draft will have 20 rounds and provides for the selection of a total of 614 players. Last year, three Quebecers were chosen. Before Pilon, pitchers Cédric De Grandpré and Nathan Landry were respectively drafted by the Atlanta Braves (in 13e round) and the Boston Red Sox (at 15e round). The two continue to progress within these organizations.
CANADIAN BASEBALL HALL OF DRAWERS
Denis Boucher refines his speech
It’s next weekend that Denis Boucher, who notably pitched with the Montreal Expos in 1993 and 1994, will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Boucher has a proven track record as a player, coach and scout, but he’s far more nervous about delivering a speech to guests Saturday in St. Marys, Ont. Elected in 2020, descriptor Jacques Doucet is making the trip and will also be officially inducted.
Abraham Toro does the job
It’s not easy for a baseball player to keep up when it’s lightly used. But Abraham Toro rose to the challenge with flying colors on Sunday when he was sent late into the fray for the Brewers. Despite an 8-6 loss to the Oakland A’s, Toro took advantage of his only at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning to hit a single and drive in two runs. The Brewers also began a short two-game series against the Twins on Tuesday night in Minnesota. Probable duel between Toro and Édouard Julien. If both play, of course.
CAPE COD LEAGUE
A victory signed by Antoine Jean
His career has been strewn with injuries, but left-handed pitcher Antoine Jean is still ticking. He wears the colors of the Falmouth Commodores again this summer in the Cape Cod League. Aged 21, Jean also signed the victory for his team on Monday, after shutting out the opponent in two sets. In the NCAA, the Quebecer had a 10-2 record and a 3.51 earned run average with the University of Alabama between 2020 and 2022. Drafted in 17e round by the Twins in 2019, Jean had then preferred to take the path of the NCAA.
PHOTO COURTESY/Alabama Athletics Photography
What’s up with the Jays
Does « Vlad Junior » deserve an invitation to the All-Star Game?
Blue Jays color holders Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman are the popular vote leaders in their respective American League positions for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Guerrero Jr. just leads in first baseman, ahead of Yandy Diaz of the Tampa Bay Rays. With nine homers in 64 games, does the Jays star really deserve to be present at the All-Star Game? Opinions are divided. Bichette dominates at shortstop, as does Chapman at third base. Phase one voting continues for another ten days while the annual classic is scheduled for July 11 in Seattle.
Jordan Romano at his best
A late-game specialist for the Jays, reliever Jordan Romano added three saves in as many opportunities over the past week. Even better, he allowed just one hit and one walk in his three innings against the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. Since May 26, Romano has made eight saves on eight occasions.
After the Orioles will come the Rangers and the Marlins
The Blue Jays are on a nine-game road streak through Wednesday, June 21. After their current three-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore, they will visit the Rangers in Texas and then the Marlins in Miami. The surprising Rangers risk being particularly formidable opponents, they who dominate the Western section of the American League, ahead of the Astros.