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Junior National Team program sets spring schedule

OTTAWA – For the first time since 2019, the Junior National Team program plans to conduct a full spring schedule with three development camp opportunities slated to take place in April, May and June.

When Covid-19 became a global pandemic in March 2020, in the midst of spring training, the Junior National Team program was forced to halt in-person operations that lasted over a year with a pair of camps taking place last summer including a Friendship Series against USA’s 18U National Team.

The 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation U18 Baseball World Cup scheduled for last September in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida was postponed and will now take place from September 9-18 with Canada already confirmed as a participating nation.

The road to the U-18 Baseball World Cup will begin next month in West Palm Beach, Florida from April 13-23 where the Junior National Team will call FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches home for 11 days using the spring training location of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Athletes will participate in daily workouts and an 11-game professional schedule against prospects squads from the Astros, Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals organizations.

The spring schedule will shift to the Dominican Republic from May 11-21 with a 16-game professional schedule against MLB-affiliated academy teams who participate in the Dominican Summer League. With the exception of 2020 and 2021, the Junior National Team program has travled to the Dominican Republic each year since 2001.

A new addition to the Junior National Team program will see the squad travel to the Toronto Blue Jays state-of-the-art Player Development Complex (PDC) in Dunedin, Florida from June 8-18 for a Pre-Draft Training Camp. Daily workouts and games against pro competition will provide the athletes with a development and playing experience that is second to none taking place just weeks prior to the annual MLB Draft.

Keep up with the Junior National Team program on Twitter by following @BaseballCANJNT.