Tyler Duncan is a little surprised that U.S. universities are tripping over themselves to talk to him.
After all, Duncan hardly heard a peep from schools last year, but everyone wants a piece of him now that he’s in his final year at Edward Milne Community School, and likely one of the best young baseball prospects in B.C., if not Canada.
“Entering Grade 12, I hadn’t really talked to schools, and now all of a sudden they’re calling me and texting me. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so different than playing last year,’” he said.
Duncan, 17, shouldn’t be surprised considering the season he had with the Victoria Eagles of the Premier Baseball League this year.
The young centrefielder, who stands 6’2” and weighs 190 lbs., throws right and bats left and is considered a five-tool player: hits for average, hits for power, good arm, fields his position well and has great speed (60 yards in 6.5 seconds).
When the PBL announced its All Conference Awards earlier this month, Duncan was named the league’s MVP and top offensive player.
Duncan’s success wasn’t handed to him, he worked for everything he earned this year, said Eagles’ manager Anthony Pluta.
“He’s worked his tail off to get where he is now,” he said.
Duncan, who has lived in Sooke his whole life, participated in all the major sports the community offered: hockey, soccer and fastball. As he grew, he wanted to play baseball, but that meant going into Langford and Victoria.
“I like everything about baseball. I just love being on the field making those diving catches or hitting a home run. It makes you want to go back out there everyday,” he said.
It didn’t take long before Duncan was named to summer travel teams and caught the eye of Eagles’ management.
He played his first season with the Eagles two years, while in Grade 10. This season was his banner year where he led the team on and off the field.
Pluta wasn’t surprised.
“In his first year, we saw a big kid with big potential and threw him into the fire in his Grade 10 year, and let him play with guys who went on to play college baseball or even got drafted,” Pluta said.
“I think that helped to boost his confidence a little bit.”
Earlier this month Duncan was invited to a Toronto Blue Jays tournament and showcase hosted by baseball great Roberta Alomar in Rogers Centre, and later this year he will attend a baseball showcase in Florida for top baseball prospects.
“I’ve had a lot of good coaches who have helped me a lot that’s why I was so successful this year,” Duncan said.
Tyler Duncan is the son of Don and Cherie Duncan.