Home News Local news Wood Bats Baseball League Moves to the On Deck Circle

Wood Bats Baseball League Moves to the On Deck Circle

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March 2, 2008 — The crack of the bat during soft toss echoed through the field at Kirwan Terrace Sunday morning, as Darren Canton's developmental wood bat league got underway, bringing a crop of 25 of St. Thomas' elite players one step closer to the major leagues.
The use of aluminum bats has become common practice in the Virgin Islands, but is not used in Class A baseball up through the major leagues. Integrating the use of the wood bat in local play will help up-and-coming players refine their skills, Canton said. With their all-around better use of the wood bat, the players can also showcase their talent in local scouting events on the same level as major leaguers, he added.
During the fall, Canton works with local players through the V.I. Future Stars baseball program, which holds annual clinics, tournaments and scouting days. On Sunday, Canton said the idea to start the wood bat league came in part through recommendations made by some of the pro scouts.
"I also got the idea by watching the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, which is very functional in developing local talent," Canton added. "They get some of their top seniors and juniors, and they get a lot of instruction and compete, wood bat alone."
Canton hopes the wood bat league will also bridge the gap in the baseball season, making a seamless transition into the AA League, which kicks off after Carnival.
"We usually do things in the fall season, but for our high school seniors, especially, they need the repetition of having something going all year round," Canton said. "Several scouts are interested in coming to the territory in the next few months to help us out with this. So this will help us develop our players and get them ready for college placement, which is also coming up in the next couple of months."
Kicking off the league with a two-week spring training, players warmed up on the field Sunday, taking part in drills such as soft toss under Canton's instruction. Players also did outfield work with volunteer coach Brock Creque. Coming from Tortola to help with pitchers — and bringing some of his own players — was Terry Chinnery, instructing a small group of players by the mound.
Later players split up into two teams and began a scrimmage.
The league should officially start on March 23, Canton said, and will field four teams. Players interested in joining can contact Canton by visiting viftuturestars.comor calling 473-7128.
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