OTTAWA, ON – The Milwaukee Brewers made Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) the 16th overall pick of the 2008 MLB First Year Player Draft, and thus making him the fourth highest Canadian selected in the history of the event.
When Commissioner Bud Selig uttered the 18-year-old’s name as the 16th pick, his reaction to the moment was one that would be expected.
“I was really overwhelmed by the whole situation,” says a very excited Lawrie. “It was great to have all my family and friends behind me and it’s been a fun day.”
When asked who he hugged first upon hearing his name called, Lawrie couldn’t really say.
“It was a little bit of everybody I guess. Everyone came at me so it was a little bit of everyone, it was funny. It was a really great moment in my life and I’ll cherish it forever.”
Only Adam Loewen (4th – 2002), Jeff Francis (9th – 2002) and Phillippe Aumont (11th – 2007) were selected higher than Lawrie in the first round as he now joins an exclusive group of Canadians.
“That part hasn’t really sunk in yet,” says Lawrie. “It’s definitely a great accomplishment and it’s been fun and all I can say is that I enjoy playing for Canada and I hope to make it with the Brewers in the big leagues someday.”
Lawrie’s stock skyrocketed this spring with his on-field performance. Just over the last few months he has been tearing the cover off the ball. He hit .700 (21-for-30) at the Junior National Team’s Spring Training camp this past April and was even better in the Dominican Summer League camp just last week where he hit .500 (17-for-34) with eight home runs (five in a doubleheader) with 24 RBI in only eight games.
“We are extremely happy for Brett and his family. It’s a deserving accomplishment for an exceptional talent and he’s earned everything he got today,” says Greg Hamilton, Director of National Teams for Baseball Canada.
Lawrie now goes to a Brewers organization with strong Canadian ties, starting from the very top with a Canadian General Manager, Doug Melvin and a Canadian Assistant GM, Gord Ash.
The draft will continue until tomorrow after a maximum of 50 rounds. Canadians have been eligible for the MLB Draft since 1985 and last season, 33 Canadians were drafted by 15 MLB clubs.