It is now two weeks before the opening of the Can-Am College League, which debuts this season, and which will provide a supply of talented players for the Bull League first year player draft in June. Here, we take a quick look at some of the top teams and prospects based on OSA ratings and predictions.
There are 26 teams in the Can-Am College League Division I, which is divided into four geographic divisions: with eight teams in the Canada Conference, and six teams in each of the New England Conference, Caribbean Six Conference, and the Southern Conference.
TOP 5 TEAMS
From OSA rankings, the top five teams (in no particular order) are predicted to be:
- Everglades University Swampmen (Southern Conf)
- Freeport University Rum Runners (Caribbean Six Conf)
- Rocky Mountain University Steamwheelers (Canada Conf)
- College Cardinal Richelieu Monarchistes (Canada Conf)
- Vermont Botanical Academy Foresters (New England Conf)
Other teams that could prove to be strong include Fraser Valley University Preservers (Canada Conf), Utah State University Preachers (Southern Conf), and Jimmy Buffet Community College Parrots (Caribbean Six Conf).
The Everglades U Swampmen are looking particularly strong with a roster headed by one of the top prospective players in the college system, Francisco Villarreal, along with two of the top 5 pitchers, Duane Carrere and Shino Morimoto. Their coaching staff is headed by a former Bull League manager, Cody Olsen, who spent 23 years as a manager, racking up two Bull Cup championships (2003 and 2008) with the New York Minutemen and amassing a lifetime 964-807 win-loss record.
TOP 5 HITTING PROSPECTS
The following college players may or may not be eligible for the 2017 draft, but are considered the top Can-Am position players by OSA scouts:
- Jose Torres, 20 (1B) – Vermont Botanical Academy
- Francisco Villarreal, 23 (CF) – Everglades U
- Justin Longfield, 22 (RF) – Caribbean English School
- Terukiyo Higashi, 21 (2B) – Freeport U
- Fernando Mendolla, 20 (RF) – Cardinal Richelieu
TOP 5 PITCHING PROSPECTS
- Jeremy Wright, 20 (LHP) – Jimmy Buffet Comm Col
- Shino Morimoto, 20 (RHP) – Everglades U
- Duane Carrere, 20 (RHP) – Everglades U
- Branden Cassidy, 20 (RHP) – Utah State
- Takashi Hamasaki, 22 (RHP) – Rocky Mountain U
The Can-Am College season opens on Monday, February 20, and runs for 75 games through to April 27. College playoffs follow starting Saturday, April 29. The format is a four-round playoff, with the first two rounds as a one-game conference finalist series, the third round as a best-of-3 Conference Final, and then a best-of-3 College World Series final round.