His first professional training camp cut short faster than expected, but Jean-Christophe Masson had time to taste it. “I can’t wait to go back,” said the young hopeful of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 17-year-old has returned to the home of Saint-Nicolas since Sunday, where he observes a 14-day voluntary quarantine that the organization of major baseball asks him to respect until his conclusion. Every day, we find out if he has developed symptoms related to COVID-19, which is not the case.
“The most important thing for the Blue Jays, currently, is not the maintenance of our condition, but that each player returning home respects the 14-day quarantine. They write to me every day to check and make sure I’m not in contact with anyone, “he said on Thursday.
For the time being, he offers outings for running and has some physical exercises in his room. Everything related to baseball is put aside, for now.
“I spent about a week and a half in Florida [Dunedin], I got there on March 3 and came back on Sunday. It was going great, I had time to play two games against the Canadian junior team, practice sticks, defense, fitness and attend a few conferences. But because of the pandemic, it cut short and they preferred to return all the players to their homes, “said the choice of 26th round in the draft of the major baseball of 2019.
The Blue Jays had managed to convince him to sign his first professional contract last July, which led Masson to leave aside a scholarship from the University of Missouri. He played five games with the Dominican Republic-based Blue Jays development club in August before returning to Québec City to spend the winter training for the recently canceled camp.
“I had no nervousness at camp, I was confident, I arrived well prepared. The Blue Jays understand the level where everyone is going to play, so they put me in the development level with guys of my level, several players from American high schools. ”
At Dunedin, he played his first hopeful game, but he was also invited to take part in the one against the Canadian junior squad, which also included some major league players, such as Rowdy Tellez, Derek Fischer, Teoscar Hernandez and a few others.
“I found myself in the locker room of the major leagues, I saw several regulars, like Vladimir Guerrero Jr, but I did not go to speak to them … I found it good on the part of the Blue Jays to have done me find out, “said the man who struck two hits in that encounter.
At 17, the 6-foot, 3-inch, 190-pound fielder is identified as a future power hitter. He is ready to take the different steps, one at a time.
“I will surely play a year or two in the rookie leagues, and then I will go to another level. But look, I haven’t even finished my first spring training… It didn’t take long, but it gave me a taste of what to expect when ‘we’re going back to Florida, it was really fun.’
Édouard Julien, drafted in the 18th round by the Minnesota Twins, continues his rehabilitation period, he who underwent shoulder surgery last summer. The cancellation of major and affiliate baseball activities could allow him not to be too late between his return to play and the start of the season.