OTTAWA — Tate Carey spent his week in Ottawa turning heads and establishing himself as one of the top arms in the class of 2024.
The Great Lakes Canadians product started two games at the Toronto Blue Jays Futures Showcase at Ottawa Stadium, throwing three innings while giving up no hits and no runs with two walks and four strikeouts.
In addition to flashing his talents on the mound, Carey showed off his athleticism by making a diving throw across the first base line to get an out during his first start.
Pitching for Team Black, the Windsor, Ont. native had his fastball working between 88-91 MPH at the Showcase, operating as one of the hardest young throwers in Canada.
“I was pretty confident coming into it,” Carey said after his first appearance. “I wanted to be aggressive, stay in the zone and throw all my offspeed for strikes … I think I did that pretty well.”
Since spending the week at the Blue Jays’ premier high school event and playing in front of Major League and college scouts, Carey has continued to impress.
He played on the Canadian Premier Baseball League’s ‘Premier Team’ in Jupiter, Fla at the World Wood Bat Association World Championship, where he was highlighted for his play in a Perfect Game article titled Uncommitted Gems: Jupiter Part 3.
Former MLB and Team Canada catcher Chris Robinson is the director of baseball operations with the Canadians organization and has been working with Carey since 2019 when he was a catcher.
“When [Carey] sat down with us in his first year, we knew that he was a special player right away,” Robinson said in a phone interview after the Blue Jays Showcase. “His mom and dad are fantastic people; he’s a very athletic kid and has a ton of talent.
“I think he just continues to get better.”
As he continues to work on his game, Carey says that developing his offspeed pitches has been the main focus for the 16-year-old.
“This season I learned a lot while trying to develop my offspeed because I had to rely on that more,” he said. “ I wasn’t able to just throw fastballs in any count. So now, I’m just working on that for next season.”
Robinson agreed that Carey took some big steps in the summer of 2022.
“This year was big for him. He really developed the maturity that he needed on the pitching side,” he said. “His secondary pitches have become really good pitches, so when you put everything together it’s an exciting time.”
As successful as Carey is on the mound, he also excels at the plate and in the field. He plays third base and hopes to move onto the next level as a two-way player.
It is no easy feat for baseball players to pitch and hit at the college level, as they have to commit double the time to working on their crafts.
“He’s going to have the opportunity to be a two-way just because of his athleticism and upside on the offensive side,” Robinson said. “I think at this point the pitching is a little more advanced, but at the same time the upside on both sides is glaring.”
One of Carey’s favourite moments on a baseball field was throwing a no-hitter against the Toronto Mets.
“I didn’t really think about it much until the sixth inning but it was definitely in the back of my head,” the right-hander said. “It was funny because none of my teammates knew. [Once I got the last out] I threw my hands in the air and looked to see if anyone was running at me, but they didn’t do anything, so that was a funny moment.”
With all of his success on the baseball field, it’s Carey’s off-field demeanor that separates him from other players his age.
“He’s got a real quiet confidence about him, he’s a real hard worker, he enjoys the grind and enjoys the process,” Robinson said.
“He’s a special kid. He’s got the ability to be a great baseball player but he’s also going to be an ambassador of doing things the right way and playing the game the right way.”