WHAT:The annual Major League Baseball Draft (or Rule 4 Draft) gets underway tonight (7pm ET MLB Network/MLB.com) with the first 78 selections (First Round, First Round Compensation, Competitive Balance Round A, Second Round, Completive Balance Round B, Second Round Compensation), continues Tuesday with rounds three through ten and concludes on Wednesday with rounds 11-40.
WHO:There are generally three groups of players that are eligible for the MLB Draft:
- High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college;
- College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old; and
- Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed
Countries eligible for the draft include Canada, Puerto Rico, the United States and US territories. Players from other countries are considered international free agents and must adhere to MLB’s international signing rules.
WHEN: June 4 - Round 1 gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. ET with the first 78 selections; June 5 - Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1pm ET; June 6 - Rounds 11-40 begins at Noon ET
HOW TO FOLLOW: MLB Network/MLB.com will carry the first 78 selections live tonight from their studio in Secaucus, New Jersey beginning at 7pm ET with a preview show beginning at 6pm ET…Live coverage of all 40 rounds along with a Draft Tracker will be available at MLB.com…Baseball Canada will be providing live updates for drafted Canadians on Twitter (@baseballcanada) as they happen, along with a daily recap on baseball.ca.
MLB.com Draft Tracker
Canadian Baseball Network
Baseball America Top 500 Draft Prospects
MLBPipeline Top 200
CANADIAN MLB DRAFT FACTS:
- Canada has been a “draft region” since 1991. Prior to that, Canadians playing in Canada were Free Agents, while Canadians playing at US Colleges or Universities were eligible for the draft.
- The first player drafted out of Canada was Jason Wuersch from Leamington, Ontario as the New York Yankees used their 11th round selection (282nd overall) to take the outfielder in 1991.
- A record 48 Canadians were selected in the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft, marking the highest total since Canadians became eligible for the draft in 1991.
- The 2002 draft produced the highest ever selection for a Canadian born player as the Baltimore Orioles selected Surrey, BC native Adam Loewen with the fourth overall selection. The 2002 draft also produced the highest number of Canadians who went on to play in the big leagues including Jeff Francis (Rockies), Joey Votto (Reds), Jesse Crain (Twins), Chris Leroux (Devil Rays), David Davidson (Pirates), Luke Carlin (Tigers), Scott Mathieson (Phillies), Russell Martin (Dodgers), George Kottaras (Padres) and Chris Robinson (Mets).
- Ten years ago, in 2008, there were 32 Canadians selected including Langley, BC native Brett Lawrie who went 16thoverall to the Milwaukee Brewers, which until 2015 when Josh Naylor went 12thoverall to the Miami Marlins, was the highest a Canadian position player had ever been drafted. North Battleford, Saskatchewan’s Andrew Albers was taken in the 10thround in 2008 by the San Diego Padres and reached the big leagues with the Minnesota Twins in 2013 before stints with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.
- In 2017, 20 Canadians were selected in the MLB draft led by RHP Landon Leach (Pickering, ON) who went 37thoverall to the Minnesota Twins and SS Adam Hall (London, ON) who went 60thoverall to the Baltimore Orioles. Leach and Hall are graduates of the Junior National Team program.
- Since 1999, players that have played with the Junior National Team program have accounted for 340 draft selections.
NAMES TO WATCH
Canadians on Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects list:
#20 C/3B Noah Naylor (Mississauga, ON) Jr. National Team
#51 OF Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, ON) University of Kentucky
#242 RHP RJ Freure (Burlington, ON) University of Pittsburgh
#323 RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, ON) Jr. National Team
#350 RHP Nick Trogerlic-Iverson (Oakville, ON) Central Arizona College
#359 RHP Michael Brettell (Fonthill, ON) Central Michigan University
#384 OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, ON) Jr. National Team
#440 RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, ON) Jr. National Team
Canadians on MLBPipeline.com Top 200 draft prospects list:
#27 Noah Naylor
#51 Tristan Pompey
#189 Eric Cerantola
Canadian Baseball Network Top 5 Canadians:
#1 Noah Naylor
#2 Tristan Pompey
#3 Eric Cerantola
#4 RJ Freure
#5 Nick Trogerlic-Iverson
(Photo: Amanda Fewer)