The exposure Brady Porter received by playing for Team Alberta in the Tournament 12 baseball tournament at the Rogers Centre last week should go a long way toward him receiving a baseball scholarship to the States.
But the 19-year-old from Red Deer, isn’t spending a lot of time thinking about it.
“Not at all, but my coach (Todd Hubka at the Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge) is looking into it and I’ll know more by the end of the season,” said Porter, who is in his third and last year with the PBA program. He is taking general studies at Lethbridge College.
“He said there was some interest from teams my first year there, but he’s looking after that.”
Porter played on the junior varsity team his first season at PBA and was the starting second baseman with the varsity team last year. It was during that time when he caught the attention of Team Alberta head coach Mike Johnson of Edmonton.
Johnson contacted Hubka about Porter playing for Alberta at the Tournament 12, which was put together by Roberto Alomar and the Toronto Blues Jays to display the talents of up and coming players from across Canada.
“It was a great experience, especially to get to play in the Rogers Centre and in front of so many scouts,” said Porter during a telephone interview from Lethbridge. “I was nervous for the first couple of games, but then settled down and just decided to take it as any other game.”
Porter played third and first base and didn’t commit an error. He finished the tournament with a .231 batting average, below his normal average, but drove in six runs in the four games.
Alberta missed the playoffs when they dropped a 12-11 decision to Quebec White in their final round-robin game and finished at 2-2.
“We hit the ball and should have won with 11 runs, but that’s baseball. Our pitching struggled a bit,” said Porter, who had three RBIs against Quebec.
Porter, who moved to Red Deer from Grande Prairie in Grade 5, grew up playing baseball and hockey in Red Deer.
He played two years of midget hockey with the Red Deer Elks while also playing baseball with the Red Deer midget AAA Carstar Braves.
“I was more into hockey and didn’t take baseball seriously until I got here (PBA),” he said. “They showed a lot of interest in me.”
The PBA Dawgs won the Canadian College Baseball Conference title last year and will host this year’s championship., The CCBC also consists of the University of Calgary Dinos, Thompson Rivers University of Kamloops, the Okanagan Academy from Kelowna and Vancouver Island University from Nanaimo.
Porter, who hit .400 for PBA last year, played summer baseball with the Innisfail Indians of the Parkland Baseball League. He didn’t think about playing for the Red Deer Riggers.
“I wanted to work full time and take it easy after playing a lot during the winter,” he said. “We practice six days a week here and after the season is over it’s nice to have some time off.”
Porter gives credit to the Red Deer Minor Baseball Association for where he is today.
“My dad and grandfather played baseball, so it was a family tradition and Red Deer had an excellent program, which worked well for me. It gave me an opportunity to move on.”