UNC Tar Heel Commit Infielder Patrick Alvarez brings the no quit attitude to the Canes this summer roster full of elite level prospects, and looks to help guide them to more championships.
When it comes to winning major tournaments, this year’s group of Canes already has a leg up on its competition.
Many of the 28 players on this year’s Canes Baseball roster were a part of our Prospects Team last year that went down to Jupiter, Fla. in October and beat the best teams in the country to win a championship ring. This group was a year younger than their competition a year ago, and now they have a chance to win more rings as we travel across the country and face the best competition in baseball.
Head coach Jeff Petty has assembled another ultra-talented squad comprised of top-flight talent with players hailing from coast to coast stretching from the beaches of Florida to the Space Needle in Seattle.
Our challenging cross country schedule begins in Cary, N.C. with the Dynamic Elite Round Robin before we look to defend our Wilson Premier titles playing in the West Championship in Peoria, Ariz. only to travel back to the opposite side of the country and play for the East Championship in Auburndale, Fla.
We’ll go straight from the Sunshine State to Emerson, Ga. for the Perfect Game 17U World Wood Bat Championships before concluding our summer slate back in Peoria for the Perfect Game 17U World Series.
We have put together a roster chock full of players we believe can carry on the winning tradition of Canes Baseball, which won three major championships last year in the 17U division.
There are 12 position players on the roster this season, which features four of the top 50 players nationally, as ranked by Perfect Game.
Outfielder Corbin Carroll (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) is joining the Canes for the first time this summer and is the top-ranked position player on the roster by Perfect Game coming in at No. 31 nationally. The left-handed hitter, committed to UCLA, brings plus speed to the table as well as being an aggressive hitter at the plate.
“I am looking forward to competing with the best of the best against great competition. I’ve met a few of the kids before but the majority of them will be new to me so I look forward to meeting everyone else,” Carroll said. “What made me want to join Canes Baseball is the opportunity to compare myself to the best players in the nation. I love to compete and the Canes, as the number one team in the nation, are the perfect organization to play with because you know that you are always going to get a competitors best effort.”
Infielder Anthony Volpe (Watchung, N.J./Delbarton) is ranked as the No. 45 nationally by Perfect Game. Volpe first played for us in a tournament in the fall last year and has joined the organization full time in 2018.
“My most memorable moment with the Canes was winning the Wilson Premiere Tournament in Arizona,” Volpe said. “I was new to the team, only knowing a few of the players, but the rest of the guys immediately made me feel a part of the team. Obviously since we won, so we were very successful and I attribute that to becoming so close knit over the short amount of time.”
Volpe credits outfielder Tyler Kehoe (Prospect Park, Pa./Archbishop John Carroll) for introducing him to the Canes and the two will team up this summer as top-of-the-order type of hitters.
“I had obviously heard of the great reputation of the Canes and once my friend Bugs Kehoe joined the team, all he would do was rave about how great the program is,” Volpe, a Vanderbilt commitment, said. “I played one tournament with them and realized why he loved the Canes so much. First class program with first class coaches and instruction, plus we play the best of the best across the whole country.”
Kehoe, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound outfielder, was a key part of the Prospects Team’s championship run last year. He picked up the win in relief on the mound, but also supplied a lot of offense with his speed and power over the course of the week. Canes baseball and 16U head coach Mike Petty have helped shape Kehoe on the field and away from it.
“They help you improve as a man as much as a player. Coach Petty made me more of a man and made me a better teammate throughout the summer. It was an eye-opening experience playing with him last summer,” Kehoe said. “What made it so special was just the group of guys going down there not expecting much to come from it but it became real and we knew we had a chance to win the whole thing. Coach Petty kept preaching to us that we had a chance to win it all and once we got that, we understood it could happen.”
Kehoe, who goes by the nickname “Bugs,” is a South Carolina commitment.
Rounding out our group of top 50 position players is infielder Cade Doughty (Denham Springs, La./Denham Springs). He’ll replace one of our stars from last year, Landon Marceaux, as our native Cajun and LSU commitment. This is Doughty’s first year with the Canes and he brings a quick, line drive bat to an already stacked lineup.
“I would watch last year’s team and the constant intensity they brought to the field and want to win. I watched the WWBA Championship Game and saw so much passion for the game. I saw that and knew I wanted to be a part of a team like that,” Doughty said. “I’m looking forward to playing against the best competition in the country. I’m also excited to meeting new teammates and compete for championships while creating new bonds.”
We have several Canes veterans a part of the team this year, including infielder Patrick Alvarez (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park), who starts his third season with the program. The North Carolina commitment never walks off the field with a clean uniform, and he was another incredibly important part of our Jupiter championship team last year going 2-for-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored in the championship game.
“Canes has helped me because of the attitude everyone has, especially the coaches, that ‘nobody can beat us, roll up on a bus and kick some butt’ kind of grit that we all have. That has stayed with me all through the years and will be something that will never be taken out of my game,” Alvarez said. “I’m looking forward to being around the best guys in the class of 2019. There aren’t many opportunities you get when half of your team is a potential first round draft pick, so that inter-squad competition should be real fun.”
Big power bat Tyler DeMartino (Potomac, Md./Whitman) is also back for his third year with the Canes. Whether it’s at third base, in the outfield or as the designated hitter, DeMartino is going to feature heavily in the lineup over the course of the summer. A West Virginia commitment, the right-handed hitting slugger belted multiple home runs in Jupiter last year.
“Playing with the best team and players in the country is without a doubt a great thing. It just makes you a better player,” DeMartino said. “My most memorable moment was when we won the PG World Championships as the younger team facing the older teams. It was a great experience to go in there and not be afraid to get after it against the best older teams in the country and win.”
Another third year player with the organization is Cortland Lawson (Potomac Falls,Va./Paul VI), who can play all over the infield. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder is committed to Tennessee and he belted the RBI single that tied the semifinal game in the 11th inning last fall in Jupiter, which helped us advance to the championship game.
“Without a doubt, my most memorable moment playing with the Canes was the whole tournament in Jupiter. That was easily one of the best weeks of my life,” Lawson said. “I can’t wait to go to war wearing the same jersey with the best players and coaches in the country. I can’t wait for when we match up against another big time program with an exciting atmosphere, because everyone wants to come watch the Canes.”
Nick Northcut was one of our stars a year ago and his legacy lives on as he recruited Joe Powell (Mason, Ohio/Mason) into the organization. The two play on the same high school team and this is Powell’s second year with the Canes. Due to injury, he wasn’t able to play in Jupiter last year, but the 5-foot-10, 160-pound Cincinnati commitment will have his chance to win rings this summer. Powell can catch, but can also play several other positions on the field for us this year.
“I look most forward to getting back to competing with these guys in the best tournaments in the country with the best players in the country and, of course, winning some more rings,” Powell said. “Canes baseball has helped me love being a winner again and having way more of a drive to compete and play at my best performance.”
Switch hitter Drew Compton (Berkeley Heights, N.J./Governor Livingston) is a corner infielder entering his second season with the Canes. A big game performer, Compton had four hits in the championship game last year and scored two runs. The Georgia Tech commitment has middle of the order potential and will certainly drive in some runs this summer.
“The Canes helped me learn how to adapt as a player. Playing for an organization like the Canes it’s high level all the time and as a player you have to be ready for that mentally and physically,” Compton said. “My most memorable moment is playing 50 innings in two days in Jupiter then winning the World Championship in extras. It was a great experience and a great memory.”
It was outfielder Tucker Flint (East Greenwich, RI/Bishop Hendricken) who delivered the eventual game-winning hit to take the championship in Jupiter last fall, which was his first time in a Canes uniform. The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder is back with us full time this year to provide more fireworks. Flint, a Maryland commitment, says playing for the Canes gives him the opportunity to play with the best players in the country and against them as well.
“My most memorable moment was really the entire fall but the event that stuck out to me was the Jupiter tournament. Having the long weekend turn into a championship was amazing,” Flint said. “For our team to go there as underclassmen and have no real expectations by anyone to win the tournament but then be able to play as many games, at the most bizarre times due to rain, and so many games going to extras was pretty cool. But on top of that to come in on the last day and play close to 30 innings was unbelievable.”
Another catcher who could see some action all over the field is Michael Carpentier (Highland, Calif./Citrus Valley), who is in his first full season with the Canes after joining the organization last fall. The TCU commitment, who stands 6-foot and 190 pounds, says he can’t wait to be a part of the day in and day out competition.
“I’m looking forward to this year’s ride. There are a lot of players I enjoy and have a close relationship with. And, oh yeah, I can’t wait to get in between the lines,” Carpentier said. “I want to compete against the best. The Canes give me this opportunity. The coaching and how close the team has become is also very special to me.”
Also manning time behind the dish is catcher CJ Rodriguez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei), a fixture in the lineup during last year’s championship run in Jupiter. The Vanderbilt commitment was 2-for-5 in the championship game with two RBIs, a double and a run scored. Rodriguez is an incredible defensive catcher with a strong arm while also featuring a short, quick swing at the plate.
Those are 12 championship-caliber position players, but be sure to check out our next story profiling our pitching staff and also a pair of players who could see action in the field and on the mound.