OTTAWA- Junior National Team alumnus Mike Soroka will be on the mound as the starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves when they open their Major League Baseball season in New York against the Mets on July 24th, the club confirmed yesterday.
The Calgary native is set to become the youngest Opening Day starter in Braves’ history at 22 years, 355 days.
He is also set to join an exclusive list of Canadian-born players to be their respective clubs Opening Day starter that includes the likes of Baseball Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins who held the honour as a member of the Chicago Cubs on seven occasions (1967, 1969-73, 1983) and twice as a member of the Texas Rangers (1975, 1979), Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Ryan Dempster who did so two times as a member of both the Marlins (2001, 2002) and Cubs (2011, 2012), while Érik Bédard started on opening day for the Orioles (2007) and Mariners (2008).
Soroka is coming off a sensational rookie season in 2019 that included a trip to the MLB All Star Game as a member of the National League squad while finishing second in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
A graduate of Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team program, Soroka helped Canada to a bronze medal win at the 2014 COPABE U18 Pan Am Championships.