With the 2023 Major League Baseball season starting last week, Canadians across the country are eager to see their homegrown talent take the field. With the game's popularity continuing to grow in Canada, more and more Canadian players are making their mark in the big leagues.
Let's take a closer look at some of the standout Canadian players to watch this season:
Joey Votto - IB, Cincinnati Reds
Votto is one of the most accomplished Canadian players in MLB history. The Toronto native has spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds, earning six All-Star selections, one MVP award, and a Gold Glove.
In 2022, Votto continued to produce at a high level, hitting .267 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Josh Naylor - OF, Cleveland Guardians
Born in Mississauga, Ontario, Naylor is a rising star in the league. He had a solid 2022 season, hitting .273 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs in 107 games for the Guardians.
Naylor has the potential to be an all-around threat for the Guardians this season. Look for Naylor to continue developing his game and putting up big numbers in 2023.
Tyler O'Neill - OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Born in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, O'Neill is another young Canadian player to watch this season. He had a breakout season in 2022, hitting .278 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs in 152 games for the Cardinals. If he can continue to develop his game and stay healthy, O'Neill could become one of the top outfielders in the National League.
As Canadian baseball continues to grow in popularity, players like Naylor and O'Neill will lead the way. Making it to the big leagues is a dream for many young Canadians, and it's not an easy road. Canada is not known as a baseball hotbed, and players often have to work harder to get noticed by scouts. Additionally, Canadian players face unique challenges, such as cold weather and limited access to quality baseball facilities. Despite these challenges, Canadians continue to make a significant impact on the game of baseball.