ETOBICOKE, ON: The Hawks Nest has always been a place that student-athletes can call home. At the same token the Nest has been incredibly lucky to house some of the best athletes in the OCAA and CCAA. But there are times when these athletes have played at levels that most others dream of.
The men's baseball team has signed two of the best pitching prospects to ever come out of Toronto. Cameron Gray and Jeff Gibbs are both Team Canada Junior National Team alumni and have both had their names called at the MLB Draft. Both have had impressive journeys that should prove valuable to the Hawks.
Gray's star rose in 2006 when he won the National Championship with the Ontario Youth Team and later took to the mound for Team Ontario and Team Canada. That year the Silverthorn C.I. alumni was ranked the 102nd best high school prospect on Baseball America's Top 250 and 42nd out of 85 high school pitchers, which led him to being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 49th round in 2007. Gray chose to focus on education and played college ball for Connors State College in Oklahoma and the Chipola College Indians in Florida, the same program that Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista and catcher Russell Martin played for and credit for most of their development into the Big Leagues.
Gibbs has had an amazing amateur career that led to playing in some of the Minor Leagues' most historical systems for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 6'4 right hander's career took off when he won the Ontario High School Title with Birchmount Park C.I. and the National Championship with the Ontario Youth Team. By 2008 Gibbs got the call to pitch for Team Canada and worked his way to his first MLB Draft where he was picked in the 48th round by the Blue Jays in 2009. Like Gray, Gibbs went to school after being drafted and made a remarkable first impression on the NCAA DI University of Maine Black Bears. Gibbs tore it up in the America East Conference as a rookie by leading the team in strikeouts, a team-high 3.94 ERA and added America East All-Rookie Team selection and All Conference Second-Team nods to his resume. He made a significant jump from his last draft and was selected in the ninth round as the 303rd pick by the Diamondbacks. Gibbs started his Minor League career with the Yakima Bears in the Northwest League, moved to the Arizona League to suit up for the D-Backs and in 2013 signed with the Pittsburgh where he pitched for the Gulf Coast League Pirates.
Gray and Gibbs become the first players in Humber's baseball history who've worn the Maple Leaf and have been included in the small group of elite Canadian players to be drafted by Major League teams.