Jimmy Van Ostrand
James O. Van Ostrand
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 210 lb.
- Schools Allan Hancock College, California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
- High School McMath Secondary School
Jimmy Van Ostrand played in A ball and for the Canadian national team in 2007.
Van Ostrand was a man for all seasons in high school. He was class valedictorian, led the school to four city basketball titles and was a badminton star. He was ranked third in Canada for players under age 19 in badminton and won a double gold medal at the Junior Pan American Games. He decided to focus on baseball.
He hit .321 one year and .378 the other at Alan Hancock College, winning MVP honors once and making All-Conference the other year. The Pittsburgh Pirates picked Van Ostrand in the 29th round of the 2003 amateur draft but he opted to go on to NCAA Division I.
Van Ostrand hit .345/.425/.466 his first year at Cal Poly as a right fielder. In the summer, he hit .363 for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots. The next season, he batted .297/.425/.561 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 56 games for Cal Poly and made the all-Big West Conference team as a utility man. The Houston Astros selected him in the 8th round of the 2005 amateur draft and he signed with scout Dennis Twombley. His brother David Van Ostrand was also picked that year, but opted for college.
Van Ostrand debuted professionally with the Tri-City ValleyCats in 2006, hitting a meek .215/.272/.295. He made major strides forward in 2007, producing at a .289/.360/.455 clip for the Lexington Legends. He was a late addition to the 2007 Futures Game, replacing the injured Fernando Martinez. He pinch-hit for Carlos González in the 7th inning and homered against Clayton Kershaw, then stayed in the game in left field. His World team won, 7-2. Van Ostrand wasn't the only Canadian outfielder to star for the World squad as Mike Saunders scored a couple runs as the leadoff hitter.
Van Ostrand was with Team Canada for the 2007 Baseball World Cup, hitting .400/.480/.500 with 6 RBI in 7 games as a 1B-LF. He had one of the team's two hits against South Korea and produced a couple runs in their 7-6 loss to Australia.
Van Ostrand was back with Canada for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament and helped them finish first in the competition. He hit a whopping .556/.619/.944 with 8 RBI in 6 games, splitting time between first base and left field. He was second in the event in average behind Joo-chan Kim. He tied teammate Matt Rogelstad, Dae-ho Lee, Luke Hughes and Kuo-Hui Lo for second in RBI, four behind Seung-yeop Lee. He went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI in a win over Mexico. Against host Taiwan, Van Ostrand was both villain and hero. Down 5-4 in the 8th, he tried to score on a single by Emerson Frostad but was thrown out at home. Taiwan catcher Chun-Chang Yeh threw the ball at Van Ostrand, who had come hard into home. Van Ostrand got angry with Yeh and the fans began to throw things onto the field, requiring police intervention. Van Ostrand got his revenge in the 10th when he doubled home Rogelstad with the winner off of Chien-Ming Chiang. He hit .286/.333/.357 as a backup 1B/DH for Canada in the 2008 Olympics.
Van Ostrand became a coach with the Arkansas Travelers in 2018.