Leach and Hall taken on Day 1 of 2017 MLB Draft
OTTAWA-Junior National Team right-handed pitcher Landon Leach (Pickering, ON) became the first Canadian selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft after the Minnesota Twins used the first pick in the second round, 37th overall to draft the 17 year-old. Twenty-three picks later, the Baltimore Orioles used their second round choice (60th overall) on Junior National Team shortstop Adam Hall (London, ON) as the first day of the draft concluded with two Canadians selected.
Leach joined the Junior National Team program in the spring of 2016 and recently participated in the Dominican Summer League camp in May where he threw four innings without giving up an earned run against MLB Prospect League, a squad featuring some of the top international players eligible to sign with big league clubs on July 2nd. He is committed to the University of Texas.
With the selection by the Twins, Leach becomes the 14th highest Canadian-born player ever taken in the draft joining James Paxton (Ladner, BC) who the Toronto Blue Jays used the 37th overall pick on in 2009. The pick also marked the fifth consecutive year that a Canadian has been selected on the first day of the draft and the fourth year in a row that a player from the Junior National Team program has gone on day one.
In 2014, Gareth Morgan was taken in Competitive Balance Round B by the Seattle Mariners 74th overall before Josh Naylor (15th overall, Marlins) and Mike Sorokoa (28th overall, Braves) were taken in the first round in 2015. In 2016, Junior National Team catcher Andrew Yerzy went to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round with the 52nd overall selection.
Hall, 18, joined the Junior National Team program as a 15 year old in the fall of 2014 before representing Canada at the 2015 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Osaka, Japan. In 2016, he was the lone Canadian to participate in both the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago and the Perfect Game All American Game at Petco Park in San Diego. He was also the recipient of the Canadian Futures Award handed out by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America last January at the annual Baseball Canada National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser.
Hall was teammates with Leach on the recent Dominican Summer League tour and hit .318 in 13 games with three doubles, a triple and seven stolen bases. He is committed to Texas A&M University.
Both Leach and Hall are eligible to play for Canada at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Ontario from September 1 to 10.
Canadians selected in 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft
1. RHP Landon Leach (Pickering, ON) – Minnesota Twins – 2nd Round (37th overall) Junior National Team/Toronto Mets
2. SS Adam Hall (London, ON) – Baltimore Orioles – 2nd Round (60th overall) Junior National Team/Great Lake Canadians