Historic day for Canadians at 2015 MLB Draft

Feature photo: Baseball Canada

Three Canadians heard their names called on Day 1 of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft, including the highest position player ever selected from the great white north.

First baseman Josh Naylor of Mississauga, Ontario was chosen 12th overall by the Miami Marlins and 16 picks later, pitcher Mike Soroka (Calgary, AB) was taken at 28th by the Atlanta Braves. Both Naylor and Soroka were members of Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team program. The final Canadian selected on Day 1 was pitcher Jeff Degano (Surrey, B.C.), who went 57th overall to the New York Yankees.

Mike Soroka for web

Mike Soroka throws a pitch as part of the Canadian Junior National Team. (Photo: Baseball Canada)

Naylor’s selection at 12th is the highest that any Canadian position player has ever been drafted. Prior to last night Brett Lawrie held the record, after being drafted 16th by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.

Naylor is now the fourth-highest Canadian-born player ever drafted into the majors. He sits behind pitchers Adam Loewen (fourth to the Baltimore Orioles in 2002), Jeff Francis (ninth to the Colorado Rockies in 2002), and Phillippe Aumont (11th overall to the Seattle Mariners in 2007) on the all-time list.

Naylor was proud to hear his name called, telling Baseball Canada “the moment that I heard my name was a moment that I’ll never forget.”

Soroka was also extremely happy to have been drafted. “It’s very special to be one of the top Canadians taken in the draft,” Soroka said. “I have worked very hard throughout my career and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

UPDATE (June 10, 2015)

A total of 30 Canadian baseball players were selected in the 2015 MLB Draft