18U 2021 Season Preview

by Jason Booth

Many players from the 18U roster are preparing for what is likely their final season in the CPBL and following a fall camp where the team showed well, they would like go out with a bang in 2021.

The fall campaign saw the team establish a strong core of players in their starting nine and when their pitching is on top of their game, they can compete with anyone thrown in front of them.

Catcher Brady Wagenhoffer will play a strong role on the club, both in leadership and performance, and Steven Fiorino is due for a big year as well as he plays a veteran role on the 18U team. The pair have put in a lot of work over the offseason and that dedication has been contagious to the rest of the team.

Kaedan Thompson is another player who will play a key role with the team with a strong game up the middle and smooth swing from the right-side. Jaylen Wood and Jack Larmer are two others who are destined to make strong contributions, both offensively and defensively, while Aaron McLeod-Smith will look to anchor the rotation and lead the pitching staff in 2021.

Together these players and several others have created a culture moving for this team moving forward where they are looking to compete and win this summer.

"Kyle McKay and Myles Schwartz have worked hard with the staff this offseason on strength and conditioning which will begin to pay off once we get going outdoors. Mechanically they've done a great job working and developing our entire pitching staff throughout the winter," says head coach, Shaun McGuire.

"Hitting should be consistent across the board with our squad. I'm expecting a strong season after all the hard work put in these past few months and I'm confident we will be very competitive every time we are between the lines no matter the opponent."

The lost season in 2020 coupled with the continuous lockdown's and cancellations has been particularly difficult for some players as they go through the recruiting process with U.S. collegiate programs. The Zoom practices over the past two months have been different but the coaching staff has been impressed with the engagement and dedication despite the changes. 

The coaching staff is pleased with the team they've assembled for the 2021 season and with the hard work to improve and further their craft over the past several months, everyone in the organization is excited to see the 18U's hit the field this spring.