EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Prospects continue to reshape their roster under Jordan Blundell, with a number of new additions to speak about prior to the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) season kicking off in May.
“I was part of the recruiting group last year; (obviously) it’s not so much a group now, but more on what I’m looking for. Last year was a little more collaborative, and we had less to do last year because we had a bunch of returning players. We don’t have those guys (this year), so we had to go find more guys to fill those job, which we feel we’ve done.”
The reason the team aggressively pursued their new recruits, said the head coach, is pure competition.
“Guys are fighting to get as much playing time as they can, and part of what we do here is provide that,” said Blundell of his approach. “There will be some ups and downs, that’s just the way baseball goes. We feel we’ve got enough athletic depth that we won’t miss anything defensively when we make changes, we’re looking for good people and good baseball players, no different than anybody else.”
As part of that process, the Prospects announced the signing of two players from Benedictine University at Mesa (Arizona). Both Travis Hunt (OF) and Austin Cannedy (RHP) will join the organization this summer as the team looks to eclipse its 23-23 record in 2018. Much like the Prospects prior signings out of Yale, Blundell was attracted not only to the players but the programs.
“Benedictine Mesa is a 40-win program, they have aspirations of being one of the last 10 teams standing to go to the College World Series at that level. Those are the types of programs that we’ve spent a lot of time in relationship building; through those conversations, (Cannedy and Travis) were guys that we pursued pretty hard.”
Hunt, an OF from Moreno Valley, California comes to the Prospects with a stellar reputation from his tenure at Benedictine Mesa. Last season, Hunt posted a 0.313 BA and 34 RBI, with his 9 home runs leading the team. His big bat is something that Blundell is hoping will translate to the larger confines of RE/MAX Field.
“(Hunt) has got some power, he’s got speed, and he’s got a good arm; he’s offensively versatile. We’re looking forward to him slotting into the middle of the lineup; we’re going to be relying on him and another couple guys to be the guys to drive the runs in.”
“Another part of Travis that I like is that he can run. Knowing what our park is like with the turf, you’ve got to be able to cut balls off in the field. Stuff like that is important; guys that can run and do it offensively and defensively is really important. (We feel) he fits the mould for both of those.”
Cannedy, a RHP from Clayton, California joins the Prospects after a successful 2018 season that saw him split time between Los Medanos College (5-4, 3.09 ERA, 81 K), and Diablo Valley (3-4, 3.92 ERA, 39 K).
“Austin’s a right-handed pitcher with huge upside,” said Blundell of the latest acquisition on the mound. “He’s performed in California at the junior college level and put up pretty good numbers in the super-competitive California Juco circuit. He’s a heart-and-soul guy; there’s no question about his compete level. He wants to be the guy who gets the ball in big games, and that’s the type of player we’re looking for.”
After successful playoff runs through the past three seasons, it appears as though the Prospects are yet again building for success.
- The Prospects are currently promoting their Fireworks Pack and “Bring Your Dad” Pack tickets, now available online.
- A reminder that the annual Edmonton Prospects Gala will be taking place on Saturday, February 16th at Fort Edmonton Park. Buck Martinez, John Short and Kent Morrison are all confirmed to attend this year’s event.
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