So it begins…. unless any of these guys get promoted before the qualifying tournament in September:
Pitchers such as Andrew Albers of North Battlefield, Sask. (Minnesota), Shawn Hill of Georgetown, Ont. (Toronto), Scott Richmond of North Vancouver (Toronto) and Kyle Lotzkar of Delta, B.C. (Cincinnati), catchers Cole Armstrong of Surrey, B.C. (Miami) and Chris Robinson of Dorchester, Ont. (Baltimore), infielders Jimmy Van Ostrand of Richmond, B.C. (Washington), Shawn Bowman of Port Moody, B.C. (Miami), Jonathan Malo of Joliette, Que. (Mets), Skyler Stromsmoe of Bow Island, Alta. (San Francisco), and outfielders Tim Smith of Toronto (Atlanta), Brock Kjeldgaard of Edmonton (Milwaukee) are among those to win gold last year that director of national teams Greg Hamilton is hoping to bring back for the crucial four-team event.
Others on his wish list include outfielders Adam Loewen of Surrey (Mets), Rene Tosoni of Coquitlam, B.C. (Twins), and Nick Weglarz of Stephensville, Ont. (Cleveland) plus starter James Paxton of Ladner, B.C. (Seattle) and reliever Trystan Magnuson of Vancouver (Toronto), but the participation of several players is uncertain since they may earn September call ups from their big-league clubs.
Already, Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Jimmy Henderson of Calgary, a pitcher Hamilton was looking to use for the Sept. 20-24 event in Regensburg, Germany, has been promoted to the majors, while Hill, Richmond, Loewen, Tosoni and Weglarz are among those likely to get strong consideration when rosters expand.
Forty-man roster players will be eligible for the four Classic qualifying tournaments after organizers initially ruled them out.