CAN-AM LEAGUE OWNERS VOTE TO IMPLEMENT EXPANSION PLANS

Dayton, Ohio Following the conclusion of the Can-Am League Owner Meetings in Orlando, Fla., club owners have given Executive Director Kevin Winn approval to implement league expansion plans on multiple levels. Moving on this exciting directive, Winn is actively seeking new venues, investors and ownership groups in promising Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets to grow the league. In addition, the Can-Am League is expanding team roster size from 22 to 23 players and raising the salary cap accordingly. The increased roster size will offer clubs more opportunities for developing players and to be cognizant of player injuries.

« Right now, the Can-Am League is stronger than ever. With a steadily growing reputation for attracting talent and an exciting brand of baseball in our markets, now is the time to implement expansion plans to grow our North American footprint, » Winn said. « As we set our sights on growing, we feel it’s only fitting to expand our rosters and raise the salary cap. We are in ongoing talks in several promising markets in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. »

Entering its 15th season, the Can-Am League’s 2019 season will begin on May 16. The league’s teams will play a 95-game schedule that includes series against the Cuban National Team and Japan’s Shikoku Island Team. The Can-Am League has been a leader in several areas, including the implementation of speed up rules that dramatically reduced game times league-wide. The league has also been the most progressive independent league in the past five years by hosting international teams, most notably from Cuba and Japan.

ANGELS INK QUEBEC CATCHER CRUZ

Just days after signing catcher Michael Cruz, the Quebec Capitales learned that the Puerto Rican would be getting a second chance in affiliated baseball, signing with the Los Angeles Angels organization on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs organization out of spring training and had planned to come to Quebec to continue his career. In 2018, Cruz hit 12 home runs and drove in 48 runs, mostly at the Class A level. He becomes the second player in 2019, following RHP Tyler Gillies (Milwaukee), to sign with the Capitales this off-season, only to later join an affiliated organization.

TRYOUT CAMP DRAFT RESULTS ANNOUNCED

Dayton, Ohio The Can-Am League announced on Tuesday the successful conclusion of its 2019 open tryout camp. Over the two-day event (April 2-3) held at Sanford Memorial Stadium in Sanford, Fla., 138 players tried out and six players were drafted. Scouts from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays, as well as the Frontier League and Japan’s Shikoku Island Team attended the event.

« The Can-Am League’s open tryout camp had a fantastic turnout. It’s always gratifying to have our teams and events scouted and with that said, we appreciate all the organizations that attended, » Can-Am League Executive Director Kevin Winn said. « Everyone’s participation affirms the Can-Am League’s reputation of attracting quality talent. It will be exciting to see how the drafted players will do for their teams this season. »

The draft results are as follows:

  • Ottawa Champions-                  Ricky Reece (pitcher)
  • New Jersey Jackals-                 Chris Motta (pitcher)
  • Trois-Rivieres Aigles-               Derek Martin (pitcher)
  • Rockland Boulders-                  Wascar Deleon (infielder)
  • Quebec Capitales-                    Brandon Brosher (catcher)
  • Sussex County Miners-             Justin Kortessis (pitcher)

Entering its 15th season, the Can-Am League will begin the 2019 season on May 16. The league’s six teams will play a 95-game schedule which includes series against the Cuban National Team and Japan’s Shikoku Island Team.

BREWERS PURCHASE CONTRACT OF QUEBEC RIGHTY GILLIES

Dayton, Ohio — The contract of Quebec Capitales RHP Tyler Gillies has been purchased by the Milwaukee Brewers organization, the Can-Am League announced Wednesday.

Gillies was signed by the Capitales last month, having previously spent part of the 2017 season with Quebec. The London, Ontario, native went 0-1 with a 5.72 ERA in 8 outings, striking out 10 hitters in 11 innings of work. It was his first professional season.

The 23-year-old spent the 2018 campaign with the Brantford Red Sox of Ontario’s Intercounty League. Prior to his first stint with Quebec in 2017, Gillies played collegiately at the University of British Columbia. He is the second Can-Am League player this month to have his contract purchased by a major-league organization, following Trois-Rivieres Aigles RHP Kyle Halbohn, who joined the Cincinnati Reds system. The Capitales currently have two other former pitchers in affiliated baseball, Arizona LHP Matt Marksberry (2017) and Washington LHP Jordan Mills (2016).

AIGLES’ RIGHTY HALBOHN JOINS REDS ORGANIZATION

Photo: Trois-Rivières Aigles

Dayton, Ohio — The contract of Trois-Rivières Aigles RHP Kyle Halbohn has been purchased by the Cincinnati Reds organization, the Can-Am League announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 Halbohn was effective as both a starter and a reliever after joining the Aigles in June 2018, going 2-2 with one save and a 3.08 ERA in 16 appearances, nine of them starts. The North Massapequa, N.Y., native fanned 70 hitters in 61.1 innings while walking just 16, and finished the season strong, allowing just three earned runs over his final 20.2 innings.

Prior to joining Trois-Rivières, Halbohn, 26, spent parts of three seasons in the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels organizations, reaching as high as Single-A. He pitched collegiately at Kansas State and at Belmont Abbey (N.C.).

Halbohn will likely begin the season on the roster of Double-A Chattanooga. He is the fifth Can-Am League player to have his contract purchased by Cincinnati since 2016. Two other league alumni are currently in the Reds’ system: RHP Tim Adleman (New Jersey ’13) and RHP Alex Powers (New Jersey ’15).

BOULDERS’ CULVER ANOTHER FIRST-ROUNDER IN CAN-AM LEAGUE

Photo: New Orleans Baby Cakes;
Release: Rockland Boulders

Pomona, N.Y. — The Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League announced Friday the signing of former New York Yankees first-round draft pick SS Cito Culver for the 2019 season.

Culver, 26, was selected by the Yankees with the 32nd pick in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft and becomes the highest-drafted player in the Boulders’ nine-year history.

Culver is one of several first-round draft choices to have played in the Can-Am League. Others include:

A native of Irondequoit, N.Y., Culver was drafted out of high school and made his professional debut at age 18 for the Gulf Coast Yankees. His pro stops included affiliates in Staten Island, Trenton, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit 12 homers in 2017, his last season in the Bronx Bombers’ organization. He appeared at the AAA level as recently as last year, which he spent with the New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Miami Marlins’ system, before opting for free agency at the conclusion of the season.

Aside from his slick fielding at shortstop, Cito brings important versatility to the Rockland roster as he is adept at each infield position, and his drive to reach the majors is not lost on team president Shawn Reilly. “This is a great opportunity for both Cito and the Boulders,” Reilly stated. “He’s still young and motivated, and our organization and our fans will be excited to see him in action and continue his quest for the big leagues.”

Rockland’s new manager and former New York Met Kevin Baez was equally enthusiastic about the acquisition. “He has great talent and still a major upside,” the veteran manager stated. “His mix of youth and experience will have a positive influence on the entire team.”

2019 INTERNATIONAL OPPONENTS ANNOUNCED

Dayton, Ohio — Can-Am League officials attended meetings in Havana, Cuba, this week to finalize the agreement with the Cuban National Team and also hosted the delegation from Japan’s Shikoku Island League at Yogi Berra Stadium later in the week.  The Can-Am League is pleased to announce both organizations will participate in the fifth annual International Series. This year marks the third time each team will play in the Can-Am League’s highly popular baseball showcase. The Cuban National Team and the Shikoku Island League’s all-stars will play a three- or four-game series against each of the league’s six clubs from June 14-July 4.

« For years, the Can-Am League has been honored to host teams from around the world, and we’re proud this tradition will continue for the 2019 season,” league executive director Kevin Winn said. « We’re especially pleased to host the Cuban National Team, which will be in preparation for its appearance in the Pan American Games in Peru. I’m confident these games between our clubs and both Cuba and Shikoku Island will be competitive and exciting. »

The Cuban National Team has mixed success against the Can-Am League with an overall record of 16-25. In 2017, Cuba went 5-16 against league opponents. While the Quebec Capitales and the New Jersey Jackals went 4-0 against Cuba’s national squad, the Trois-Rivieres Aigles were less fortunate with a 1-4 record. Yet, Cuba went 11-9 during their first visit for the league’s global showcase. The Capitales were the most successful against Cuba as they posted a 4-1 record. However, Cuba’s National Team swept the Rockland Boulders and Sussex County Miners in three-game sets.

Shikoku Island has logged an overall record of 14-22 against the Can-Am League. Their last visit was in 2016 when they went 8-12 versus league opponents including going 2-1 against the Boulders and Ottawa Champions, respectively. The Aigles were the most successful by sweeping Shikoku Island in a three-game series. In 2015, Shikoku Island went 6-10 including taking two out of three against the Miners. The Boulders were the league’s best as they went 4-0 against Shikoku.

ABOUT THE CAN-AM LEAGUE:
Established in 1936 and running through 1951, the Can-Am League was re-formed in 2005 and is now the premiere independent baseball league in the Northeastern United States and Canada. Fueled by strong cities, good stadiums and a great brand of baseball, the league has teams in Little Falls, N.J. (New Jersey Jackals), Augusta, N.J. (Sussex County Miners), Pomona, NY (Rockland Boulders), Ottawa, Ontario (Ottawa Champions), Quebec City, Quebec (Quebec Capitales) and Trois-Rivieres, Quebec (Trois-Rivieres Aigles).

CAN-AM LEAGUE TO HOLD TRYOUT CAMP APRIL 2-3

Register online today.

Dayton, Ohio — Today the Can-Am League announces it will hold a two-day open tryout next spring. Hosted at historic Sanford Memorial Stadium in Sanford, Florida, the tryout will take place on Tuesday, April 2 (11:00am-5:00pm) and Wednesday, April 3, 2019 (9:00am-2:00pm). A player selection draft will take place following the tryout. »As the league enters our 15th season, we are excited to announce our 2019 tryout camp, » Can-Am League Executive Director Kevin Winn said. « If you’re looking for a place to play, join us on April 2 and 3 in Sanford, Florida and show us what you can do. »

On-site instructors during this tryout include the following Can-Am League team managers:

In order to participate, players are required to pay a registration fee of $150. Additional information on the tryout can be found at canamleague.com or by calling (862) 283-5935.

MATCH DES ÉTOILES 2019

Rockland County, N.Y. — The Rockland Boulders will host the 2019 All-Star Game between the Can-Am League and the Frontier League on Wednesday, July 10, at Palisades Credit Union Park, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital. This will mark the first time that these two independent professional leagues will face each other, and only the third time a Can-Am organization has hosted an All-Star game since the league’s re-formation in 2005.

Festivities will begin with a home run derby on Tuesday, July 9, with the game the following evening. “We consider this a great holiday gift to our fans,” stated Boulders president Shawn Reilly. “It’s a rare opportunity and we’re very appreciative of the Frontier League and Good Samaritan Hospital making it possible. Many of the best independent probaseball players in the country will be in our park, and we look forward toputting on a first-class event worthy of that talent.”

« Everyone in the Frontier League is excited to play the Can-Am League in the All-Star Game this year,” noted Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee. “We are also excited to come to Rockland and the New York market. We want to thank the Boulders organization for hosting this event. It will be tremendous for the fans to see the best players of two of the oldest and most established independent leagues in the country showcase their talents. We also believe it is great for the entire independent professional baseball industry that leagues can work together. »

The Frontier League consists of 10 teams from cities in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Formed in 1993, the circuit had 23 player contracts purchased by Major League Baseball organizations last season. Its list of players to appear in the majors includes former Boulder Stephen Cardullo, who was with the Florence Freedom in 2012 before spending three seasons in Rockland en route to a stint with the Colorado Rockies.

“The Can-Am League is pleased to take on the Frontier League in the 2019 All Star Game. For 25 years, the Frontier League has consistently been a formidable force on the independent baseball scene,” added Can-Am League Managing Director Kevin Winn. “I want to thank Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee and Rockland Boulders president Shawn Reilly for putting this event together. I can think of no better venue than Palisades Credit Union Ballpark to host this historic event.”

Now entering its 15th season, the Can-Am League features six clubs in the Northeast U.S. and Canada and plays a 95-game regular season between Memorial Day and Labor Day. 17 league alumni have reached the majors, 15 as players and two as umpires.

The Boulders partnered with Skye Design Studios to develop the 2019 All-Star identity. Based in the greater New York City area, SDS is a national leader in sport branding and identity design, with experience at all levels of collegiate, professional, and minor league sectors within the industry.

BOUCHER NOMMÉ GÉRANT DES CHAMPIONS

Photo: Marc Lafleur / Champions d’Ottawa
OTTAWA — Les Champions d’Ottawa ont annoncé mercredi que Sébastien Boucher a été nommé gérant, après avoir servi de joueur-entraîneur pour les quatre dernières saisons.

Étant l’un des meilleurs frappeurs dans l’histoire de la ligue Can-Am, Boucher est le meneur en carrière pour les coups sûrs (981), points marqués (597) et points produits (545). Avant son arrivée à Ottawa, Boucher a passé six saisons avec les Capitales de Québec, eux qui ont remporté cinq championnats Can-Am consécutifs.

Originaire de Gatineau, Québec, Boucher était un choix de septième ronde des Mariners de Seattle dans le repêchage de 2004. Le québécois a passé quatre saisons dans les organisations de Seattle et Baltimore, lui qui s’est rendu jusqu’à niveau Triple-A. Il a également joué pour l’équipe Canada à la Classique de Baseball Mondiale en 2006.

Toujours actif dans sa communauté, Boucher est l’entraîneur chef du programme Sport-Étude à la Polyvalente Nicolas-Gatineau, et copropriétaire de l’Académie de Baseball Ultime de Gatineau.

« Nous sommes excités d’avoir Boucher » dit le propriétaire des Champions Miles Wolff. « Nous sommes persuadés qu’il est la bonne personne pour mener les Champions »

Boucher, âgé de 37 ans, remplacera Hal Lanier, qui a été le gérant des Champions depuis leur saison inaugurale en 2015.

« Hal Lanier a été très important pour les Champions d’Ottawa. Son professionnalisme était contagieux pour nos joueurs, et il laissait vraiment tout sur le terrain. Son dévouement envers cette organisation fût très important lorsque nous avons commencé à zéro. Il nous a aidé à remporter notre premier championnat, et nous sommes très reconnaissants  pour tout ce que Lanier a fait pour notre équipe. » a dit Wolff.

Boucher et les Champions débutent la saison 2019 le vendredi 17 mai à domicile contre les Jackals du New Jersey.