Booth, Black-Araujo and 3 alumni named to Top 100 Most Influential Canadians in baseball

by Jason Booth

The Canadian Baseball Network released the remaining names on their annual 'Top 100 Most Influential Canadians in Baseball,' and a pair of Team Ontario staff cracked the list, as well as three alumni. 

Director of Baseball Operations Jason Booth cracked the Top 100, coming it at No. 94 and Video Coach/College Placement Asst. Cam Black-Araujo was named an honourable mention.

2001 graduate Chris Kemlo came it at No. 31, 2000 graduate Scott Thorman at No. 78 and 2001 graduate John Axford was an honourable mention.

Booth has decades of experience in the baseball world at several different levels and in multiple different positions. These days he runs the Team Ontario program as the President and Director of Baseball Operations. He is also the head coach of the College Prep Grey Team that won the PG SouthEast Fall Championship back in October. During his time with Team Ontario, Booth has seen five graduates from the program play in the big leagues and over 60 players drafted or signed at the pro level.

Black-Araujo joined the program in September 2020 as the Director of Media/Communications and his role has continued to evolve since. He now helps in multiple different areas of the program and was a key part of our 2021 Fall Trip, recording game footage for recruiting purposes. On top of his role with Team Ontario, he works with Prep Baseball Report (PBR) as the Lead Scout in Canada and runs Operations in Colorado and Arizona. He spent the past summer in Pennsylvania working with the Williamsport Crosscutters of the MLB Draft League in an analytics and media role.

Kemlo (No. 31), the top-ranked person on the list with ties to the program, played at the pro level in the Yankees and Diamondbacks systems before moving into the scouting side of the game. He first worked with the MLB Scouting Bureau before it closed down and then pivoted to start PBR Ontario from scratch back in 2014. He's now grown PBR across the country and serves as a Supervisor. Beyond his role with PBR, Kemlo is a Canadian Scout with the San Diego Padres where he's already made a big impact in his first two years/drafts. He is also a coach with Toronto Mets.

Thorman (No. 78) was recently promoted within the Kansas City Royals organization to become the manager of the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers. Before he moved onto the coaching side, he was the first player in Team Ontario's program to reach the big leagues. He made his debut in 2006 with the Braves and ultimately played 175 total games in the big leagues. Thorman is now one of the most respected coaches in the minor leagues as he's won his league championship the past three seasons. It would be no surprise to see him on a big-league bench in the coming years!

Axford (honourable mention) is likely the most-known name to come out of Team Ontario's program. He graduated in 2001 and had to work incredibly hard, taking an interesting and non-traditional path to the big leagues but once he got there, he became the best at his position. In 2011 he led the league with 46 saves and was named Reliever of the Year in MLB. His big league career began in 2009 with the Brewers and he's since pitched with Oakland, Colorado, St. Louis, Cleveland, Toronto, Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He returned to baseball's highest level this past summer after a strong showing at the Olympic Qualifiers with Team Canada but was ultimately shut down in his first game back. Axford has also appeared on television as a Blue Jays analyst on Sportsnet.