What Can You Expect for the 2018 BC (Minor) Bantam AAA Season?

UPDATED ON DEC 18

 

What is the West Coast Cardinals?
The West Coast Cardinals are a merged Bantam AAA team that was established in 2017 and will be returning for the 2018 season. The Cardinals' boundary consists of the following associations: Vancouver Minor, Coquitlam-Moody and Port Coquitlam. Read more about our program here. The coaching staff for the 2018 will include Luke Yam as manager/head coach along with assistant coaches: Henry Ahn, Joseph O'Krafka, Tomio Fukumura, Atsu Inomata and Greg Miles (for more information on each member of the coaching staff click on 'Roster' on the left side panel).

 

Are there any changes to the BC (Minor) Baseball Bantam AAA league I should know about?
Yes, right now for the 2018 season BC (Minor) Baseball plans to group Bantam AAA teams into two tiers; tier 1 and tier 2 (similar to how College Prep/Midget AAA is now). Associations are expected to declare if they have intentions of fielding a Bantam AAA team by December 1st, for the 2018 season an official application describing the program itself, make-up of the players and coaching staff that will run the 2018 team is required; all applications will be thoroughly reviewed by the High Performance committee at BC (Minor) Baseball and from there that committee will determine which teams will be competing in Tier 1 or Tier 2 Bantam AAA next season.
 
 
With two different tiers, how will the season be formatted?
The tiering system will not affect the number of games played but simply the talent each team will face over the course of a regular season schedule. A regular season schedule consists of 30-35 games, your team will only play teams within that tier throughout the season schedule, so travel will vary depending on what teams are in which tier. The provincial championships format for BC (Minor) Baseball is still up in the air but we have been told that there will NOT be two seperate provincials but rather ONE that consists of teams from both tiers. The number of teams from each tier that can clinch a spot in the provincials is still unknown at this point; we are adamant that due to the disparity of talent between tiers, tier one teams should have the rights to majority of the provincial berths. After teams declare and are seperated into two tiers, there will be more information released on the format of the season and provincials. There is one thing that's for certain, Provincials will be held August 2-5 in Chilliwack, with the winner of Provincials getting the opportunity to represent Team BC in Flemington, NJ from August 22-27 at the 15U Blue Chips Prospects Tournament.
 
 
What tier are the West Coast Cardinals expected to be in?
With a top-notch coaching staff expected to be in place for 2018 along with a talented team, West Coast Cardinals are expected to be playing the year in Tier 1.
 
 
Will this team be allowed imports (out of boundary players)?
Last year, each team was allowed a maximum of 3 imports; this year in 2018, BC (Minor) Baseball is allowing unlimited imports per Bantam AAA team. This is different from Midget AAA/College Prep as that division is "no releases required" which essentially means anyone can play anywhere, Bantam AAA "unlimited imports" means you are still required to be released from your home boundary (if you are tied to one). This new change expected to be implemented will affect BC (Minor) Baseball moving forward, their intentions is to eventually have "regional" teams much like how BC Summer Games does it but for now "unlimited imports" is the first change to take place in what's expected to be a flurry of changes in the coming years. 
 
 
How many players will be selected for this team?
The plan is to select 13-14 players for the 2018 West Coast Cardinals.
 
 
What tournaments will the team compete in?
Pre-Season Classic (Mar 29-Apr 1) hosted by the West Coast Cardinals; Queen Victoria Invitational (May 18-21) hosted by the Richmond Chuckers; Perfect Game Canada Day Classic hosted by the Okotoks Dawgs (both are from June 28-July 1) and lastly the Baseball BC Qualifier (held July 26-29 with the hopes of qualiying for the Baseball BC Provincials).
 
 
Since West Coast is a merged team, how will practices and games work?
Home games and practices will be split 50/50 (or as close to as possible) between Van Minor and Tri City. The ideal plan is to play weekday games at Bird Field (Port Coquitlam) since it is lighted. Weekend home games will be try to be evenly split between Nanaimo Park and Bird Field. You can expect 2-3 practices a week held at either Bird Field (Port Coquitlam), Eagle Ridge Park (Coquitlam) Nanaimo Park (Vancouver), or Killarney Park (Vancouver).
 
 
What is the cost for playing for the West Coast Cardinals?
The cost per player in 2018 is $1650. This cost covers a full set of uniforms, umpires, indoor training, adminstration fees, tournaments and coaches.
 
 
How will uniforms work?
We will be using similar uniforms to ones used in 2017 but we will also be re-desgining a few things. The fees will cover socks, belt, St. Louis Cardinals MLB authentic hat as well as an alternate PTS20 hat (navy with red brim) that is customized for the WC Cardinals, two jerseys (one dri-fit tshirt with name and number on the back, the other a full button up Cardinals jersey with number on the back), a red Rawlings short-sleeve cage jacket with WC on the breast and a custom Rawlings West Coast Cardinals hoodie. 
 
 
What is the difference between the BC (Minor) Baseball and Baseball BC provincials?
The BC (Minor) Provincials are only open to Bantam AAA teams in the B.C (Minor) Baseball league, the Baseball BC provincials are open to all Bantam AAA teams in BC (Bantam Prep PBL and BC Minor). Since we are not a part of Baseball BC, our team needs to qualify for the Baseball BC Provincials, meaning a Qualifying Tournament must be played against other teams that have the same intent as us to play in the Baseball BC Provincials. The number of berths handed out from the Baseball BC Qualifier is varies from year to year and is dependant on the number of teams entered, at this point it is unknown. The winner of the Baseball BC Provincials earns the right to compete at Nationals (hosted in Oshawa, Ontario from August 23-26) while the runner-up competes at Westerns (hosted in Alberta from August 16-19).
 
 
There is a "reward" for the winner/runner-up of the Baseball BC Bantam AAA Provincials...so what happens to the winner of the BC (Minor) Baseball Bantam AAA Provincials?
This year, the winner of the BC Minor Bantam AAA provincials will travel to Flemington, NJ from August 22-27 for the 15U Blue Chip Prospects Tournament.
 
 
What teams are expected to be in B.C Minor Bantam AAA league for 2018?
West Coast, Delta A, Delta B, Richmond, Kelowna, Kamloops, Cloverdale, Ridge Meadows, Vancouver Community, North Shore, North Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Nanaimo, Cowichan and Victoria (these are the confirmed 16 teams that will compete at the Bantam AAA level in 2018, each team will compete in either Tier 1 or Tier 2)
 
 
What high performance programs/opportunites will BC (Minor) Baseball and this West Coast Bantam AAA team be offering in 2018?
Langley Conference - There are a couple high performance clinics offered by BC (Minor) Baseball in February during the weekend of the annual coaches conference held at in Langley. 
15U Players Clinic - Feb 16th 6-9pm (cost $25) - Register HERE
13U, 15U and 18U High Performance Clinic - Feb 17th 9am-5pm (cost $55, lunch included) - Register HERE
Illinois Select Team - For the second year in a row there will be BC (Minor) Baseball 15U Select Team, open to only Bantam age players in BC (Minor) Baseball only. In order to be selected for this team, one must attend one of two open tryouts, tryouts to be held at Bird Field in Port Coquitlam, interested players must attend one of the two tryouts. After tryouts, players will be selected and asked to attend a development camp (held in Richmond). After the camp, ~16 players will be chosen for select team. Team will travel to Illinois in early July and compete in the 15U Great Lakes Wood Bat Classic. (more information to come)
BC Summer Games - Cowichan will be hosting the 2018 BC Summer Games, all 15U players (BC Minor or Baseball BC) that reside in BC may try out for their region (more information to come)
Pickups - Players will also be able to have a chance to get picked up by teams for Flemington, NJ (BC Minor) as well as Westerns and Nationals (Baseball BC).
 
 
Where will information about tryouts be posted?
Check out the '2018 Tryouts' tab (left panel).
 
------------------- RECENTLY ADDED FAQs -------------------
 
Is Bantam AAA a wood bat only league?
Yes, Bantam AAA is strictly wood or wood composite bats only. 
I recommend trying to order a bat online as Prostock and MVP can get quite pricey.
Here are a couple online stores to look at:
Baseball Express
Team Express
 
With regards to the type it doesn't have to be a -3 wood it can as light as a -5 it's all about preference. I found that at the beginning of the year many players feel comfortable with a -5 wood then transition to a -3 throughout the year.
 
I recommend going into Prostock, MVP, Sportchek and swinging a few bats see what feels good then go online and look for similar wood, weight and length. From my experience it was always less expensive online and I found no problems. A store really worth checking out is Sports Replay on the Langley bypass, Sports Replay has less expensive baseball equipment that are new and used, including new wood bats that are lower than retail price.
 
In 2018, will BC (Minor) Baseball teams still be allowed to compete for a berth at Baseball BC's provincials and have a chance at Nationals?
Yes, Baseball BC will once again be working around BC (Minor) Baseball's provincial championships in order to allow BC (Minor) Baseball teams to participate in their provincials. In 2018, BC (Minor) Baseball will be hosting majority of their provincials (including Bantam AAA) on the August long weekend (August 2-5), Baseball BC will be holding majority of their provincials (including Bantam AAA) the weekend after (August 9-12). Bantam AAA teams like West Coast, Delta, Richmond etc. are all under BC (Minor) Baseball and contrary to popular belief Baseball BC is NOT BC (Minor) Baseball's governing body; therefore, all BC (Minor) Baseball teams looking to play in Baseball BC's provincials must compete for a berth at a qualifer. In the Bantam Prep PBL league, since all these teams are under Baseball BC majority of their berths will come from where the respective teams place at the end of their regular season's standings. BC (Minor) Baseball teams do not have that luxury and like stated above must compete for a provincial berth at a Qualifier. Last season saw two separate qualifiers, a BC (Minor) Baseball (in which 5 teams fought for 2.5 berths) and one for Baseball BC teams (which was essentially a wild card tournament for them). In 2018, a joint qualifier seems to be in the works with all interested BC (Minor) Baseball Bantam AAA teams and all Bantam Prep PBL teams that did not clinch a berth after regualr season play. This joint qualifier is hoping to be held on the BC (Minor) Baseball Bantam AAA wild card weekend (July 26-29), meaning all teams that do not qualify for BC (Minor) Baseball's Bantam AAA provincials in Chilliwack after regular season play will have to compete in the BC (Minor) Baseball wild card tournament and will not be able to compete at the conflicting qualifier.
 
West Coast Cardinals are hosting a tournament in 2018?
Yes, we are. The first pre-season tournament hosted by the West Coast Cardinals will be open to all BC (Minor) Baseball Bantam AAA teams, the tournament will run from Mar 29-Apr 1. The tournament will be a 5 game-guarantee with bronze and/or gold games for the top 2 teams in each pool after round-robin play. The tournament will be run out of Bird Field and Towne Centre, cost per team will be $500 + BB. Email vanminor15ubaseball@gmail.com for more information.
 
When will we be notified of which teams will be in Tier 1/Tier 2 for 2018?
The high performance committee at BC (Minor) Baseball anticipates the announcement of this to come mid-January. We will have it posted on the front page of our website as soon as the information is released. There will be 16 teams competing in Bantam AAA in 2018 (list of teams in one of the FAQs above). If you would like our subjective take on which teams will be Tier 1/Tier 2 in 2018, please send us an email and we'd be happy to answer.
 
Will it only be a 28 game season in 2018 due to 8 teams in each tier?
As of right now, BC (Minor) Baseball anticipates splitting the 16 teams evenly into 8 teams a tier as this would be ideal for scheduling purposes and # of games. If it is split 8 teams a tier, expect to play each team in your respective tier 4 times making that 28 games. 4 additional games will be played after the 28 game season in order to determine seeding for provincials (since Tier 1 and Tier 2 are combined into 1 provincial). The specifics of which team will play which team to make up the 4 games is still undecided and will be released mid-January. 
 
With the new tiering system, what is the qualification process for BC (Minor) Provincials in 2018?
The tiering system and one provincial amongst the two tiers does make things a little complicated but here is what was suggested at the 15U AAA meeting on December 16th and is expected to be implemented in 2018:
If Chilliwack (host of provincials) is put in Tier 1:
- Top 5 out of 8 teams from Tier 1 (not including Chilliwack) qualify for provincials after regular season play
- Chilliwack from Tier 1 qualify for provincials due to host
- Top 2 out of 8 teams from Tier 2 qualify for provincials after regular season play
- 2 out of the remaining 8 teams qualify for provincials based on top 2 finishes at the BC (Minor) Baseball Wild Card Tournament
 
If Chilliwack (host of provincials) is put in Tier 2:
- Top 5 out of 8 teams from Tier 1 qualify for provincials after regular season play
- Top 2 out of 8 teams from Tier 2 (not including Chilliwack) qualify for provincials after regular season play
- Chilliwack from Tier 2 qualify for provincials due to host
- 2 out of the remaining 8 teams qualify for provincials based on top 2 finishes at the BC (Minor) Baseball Wild Card Tournament
 
 
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Outlook on the 2018 Season
 
December-January: Winter Training at Inside Performance and Riverside Secondary, Peter Francis and the Tri City 18U College Prep coaching staff will be running the strength and conditioning portion of the winter training while the 2018 West Coast coaching staff will be facilitating the baseball related training. This will be open to all players interested in trying out for West Coast Bantam AAA, Van Minor Bantam AA or Tri City Bantam AA. (Info posted here)
 
February 16-17: High Performance session for all and any interested players held at the Langley Events Centre during the BC (Minor) Baseball's Coaches Conference, highly recommended as many top-level coaches will be in attendance and instructing the session(s) for the players. Please register via. BC Minor's website (more information to come).
 
February: Tryouts for the West Coast Cardinals, team roster announced near the end of February (tryout information posted, see left panel)
 
March: Pre-Season/Spring Training (Strength and Conditioning and Indoor Practices) at Inside Performance and Ballyard @ SportsCentral
 
March/Early April: Exhibition games against BC (Minor) Baseball Bantam AAA and Bantam PBL teams
 
March 29-April 1: Pre-Season Classic hosted by the West Coast Cardinals
 
April 7/8- end of June: Season Games
Teams will be split into two tiers, teams will only play teams in their own tier throughout the season
 
April 19 & 26 (6-9pm): 15U BC Select Team Tryouts, open tryout for Bantam age players in BC (Minor) Baseball. Lower Mainland tryouts to be held at Bird Field, must attend one of the two. 
 
May 18-21: Queen Victoria Invitational hosted by the Richmond Chuckers
 
June 1-3: 15U BC Select Team ID Camp, ~40 players will be chosen from the April tryouts to participate in this ID camp held in Richmond. Team will be selected by the coaches, instructors and high performance committee shortly after the camp
 
June 28-July 2: Perfect Game Canada Day Classic hosted by the Okotoks Dawgs
 
July 5-8: 15U BC Select Team Tournament, ~16 players will be chosen from the ~40 that participated in the ID Camp to travel and compete in Illinois at the 15U Great Lakes Wood Bat Classic
 
July 20-22: BC Summer Games held in Cowichan
 
July 26-29: Baseball BC Qualifying Tournament (host TBD) in order to clinch a berth at the Baseball BC Bantam AAA Provincials in early August
 
July 26-29: BC (Minor) Baseball Wildcard Tournament hosted by the North Langley Trappers (format TBD)
 
August 2-5: BC (Minor) Baseball Bantam AAA Provincials hosted by the Chilliwack Cougars (format and number of berths per tier still TBD)
 
August 9-12: Baseball BC Bantam AAA Provincials hosted by the White Rock Tritons (host, format and number of berths allocated to BC Minor and Baseball BC teams still TBD)
 
August 16-19 : Runner-up of Baseball BC Bantam AAA Provincials travels and competes at Westerns hosted in Alberta
 
August 22-27: Winner of BC (Minor) Bantam AAA Provincials travels and competes in Flemington, NJ for the 15U Diamond Nation Summer Finale Tournament
 
August 23-26: Winner of Baseball BC Bantam AAA Provincials travels and competes at Nationals hosted in Oshawa, Ontario
 
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know at vanminor15ubaseball@gmail.com
 
Luke Yam
Manager - West Coast Cardinals 15U AAA
Recent Results
Sat Aug 11/18 3:15pm: (2018)

Cardinals

1
Parksville Prep (Round Robin) 1
Fri Aug 10/18 6:15pm: (2018)
North Shore Prep (Round Robin) 10

Cardinals

5
Fri Aug 10/18 9:30am: (2018)
Victoria Eagles Prep (Round Robin) 4

Cardinals

8
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Cardinals

2
Langley Blue Prep (Round Robin) 3
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Delta Orange (Championship Final) 2

Cardinals

5
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North Langley (Semi Final) 2

Cardinals

3
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Cardinals

0
Cloverdale (Round Robin) 3
Fri Aug 3/18 3:30pm: (2018)
Kamloops (Round Robin) 1

Cardinals

7
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15U Summer Finale - Flemington, NJ

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15U Summer Finale - Flemington, NJ

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15U Summer Finale - Flemington, NJ

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