p.m., March 10)
ball player kicks off spring training tour with a bang
By Fred Sherwin
Demi Orimoloye rounds the bases after hitting
a three-run homer against the Philadelphia
Phillies prospects team in St. Petersburg,
Florida on Sunday. Baseball Canada photo
most high school students are spending March Break on
the ski slopes or on the beach, 17-year-old Demi Orimoloye
is spending his March Break on the baseball diamond in
sunny central Florida.
Grade 12, St. Matthew High School student is one of the
top players on the Canadian national junior team currently
playing a series of spring training games against Major
kicked off the tour with a bang on Sunday, hitting a two-run
homer against a team made up of Philadelphia Phillies
prospects in St. Petersburg, Florida.
threw a 0-1 curveball that hung a bit and was able to
get a good swing on it, said Orimoloye of the blast
that cleared the left field fence.
Canada ended up losing the game 10-6, but not before raising
a few eyebrows.
is one of Canada's top 17-year-old prospects along with
Josh Naylor from Mississauga. The two young men will both
be eligible for the 2015 Major League draft.
came up through the Orleans Red Sox Little League system.
He graduated to the Ottawa-Nepean Canadians U18 team as
a 15-year-old in 2012 and last year made the national
in Nigeria, Orimoloye immigrated to Canada when he was
just a year old with his parents Segun and Adenike. The
family originally lived in Toronto, before moving to Orléans
with natural athletic ability, size and speed, the 6-foot-4,
225 lb Orimoloye has caused many a football coach to drool,
but a dislike for physical contact steered him to the
who know the game and have seen Orimoloye play, describe
him as being raw but with the kind of potential that could
see him selected in the first or second round of the Major
has a chance to be a really special talent. He needs to
develop his over-all game, and its going to come,"
says Greg Hamilton, Canada's director of national teams.
his part, Orimoloye knows he still has a lot to learn,
but he's willing to do whatever it takes to improve his
not really consistent right now, Orimoloye said.
Im still trying to put it all together, but
I think that on this national team I am getting that rawness
removed. I am kind of figuring out what Im going
to do and everything
would like to go in the first round of the draft, and
I want to be the best player I can be. I think over the
next two years with this national team and the coaching
that they have with Team Canada, I can reach my full potential
and then get even better than that.
prospect of Orimoloye reaching his full potential should
make pitchers shudder and Major League scouts lining up
to sign him.
future is bright indeed for the young man whose teammates
have nick-named the Nigerian Nightmare.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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