BASEBALL CANADA: MLB Draft Preview

PREVIEW: 2020 Major League Baseball Draft

There have been no regular season Major League Baseball games in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the annual MLB Draft will take place on June 10 and 11 in a scaled-down version that will see just five rounds take place instead of the usual 40.

The Detroit Tigers hold the first overall selection with the Toronto Blue Jays holding the fifth overall pick.

Baseball Canada will be provide live updates each time a Canadian-born player gets selected on our Twitter (@baseballcanada), Instagram (baseballcanada) and Facebook pages with a recap of the day’s action on baseball.ca.

WHAT: The annual Major League Baseball Draft (or Rule 4 Draft) gets underway on Wednesday (7pm ET MLB Network/MLB.com) with the first 37 selections (First Round, Competitive Balance Round A) and continues Thursday with the second through fifth rounds. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MLB has reduced the 2020 Draft to five rounds, down from the usual 40 rounds.

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.

HOW TO FOLLOW: MLB Network/TSN 3/MLB.com will carry the first 37 selections live Wednesday from their studio in Secaucus, New Jersey beginning at 7pm ET…MLB Network/TSN 2/MLB.com will carry rounds two through five on Thursday beginning at 5PM ET…Live coverage of all five rounds along with a Draft Tracker will be available at MLB.com…Baseball Canada will be provide live updates each time a Canadian-born player gets selected on our Twitter (@baseballcanada), Instagram (baseballcanada) and Facebook pages with a recap of the day’s action on baseball.ca.

USEFUL LINKS:

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 when 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 2010, there were 31 Canadians selected in the MLB Draft headlined by Kellin Deglan, a catcher from Langley, BC who went in the first round (22nd overall) to the Texas Rangers, current New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton, who was a fourth round selection of the Seattle Mariners and former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey who was taken in the 16th round.
  • In 2019, 20 Canadians were selected in the MLB draft led by Junior National Team outfielder Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) who was the first Canadian chose when the Toronto Blue Jays used their third round selection on him, 88th overall.
  • Since 1999, players that have played with the Junior National Team program have accounted for 368 draft selections.

NAMES TO WATCH:

Canadians on Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects list:

#67 OF David Calabrese (Maple, ON) Junior National Team
#140 SS Trei Cruz (Toronto, ON) Rice University*
#180 OF Owen Caissie (Burlington, ON) Junior National Team
#197 OF Jordan Nwogu (Ottawa, ON) University of Michigan*
#248 RHP Noah Skirrow (Stoney Creek, ON) Liberty University
#402 RHP Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) Junior National Team
#413 OF Jason Willow (Victoria, BC) UC Santa Barbara
#414 OF Cooper Davis (Mississauga, ON) Vanderbilt University
#417 RHP Calvin Ziegler (Heidelberg, ON) Junior National Team
#454 RHP Jack Seward (Coquitlam, BC) Junior National Team
#466 RHP Carter Loewen (Abbotsford, BC) University of Hawaii
#478 RHP Logan Hofmann (Muenster, SK) Northwestern State

*Canadian born but resides outside of Canada

Canadians on MLBPipeline.com Top 200 draft prospects list:

#75 Owen Caissie
#97 David Calabrese
#108 Jordan Nwogu
#126 Trei Cruz

Canadian Baseball Network Top 5 Canadians:

#1 Owen Caissie
#2 Jordan Nwogu
#3 David Calabrese
#4 Noah Skirrow
#5 Calvin Ziegler

Keith Law’s (The Athletic) Top 100 Draft Prospects

#19 David Calabrese
#68 Jordan Nwogu

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