The annual draft of high schoolers and collegians -- or Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft, as guys wearing suits call it -- begins tonight in Secaucus, N.J.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are on the clock and select first from inside the MLB Network studios. Teams will make their first-round and compensation picks tonight.
Where will Canadians be selected? How high will RHP Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) go? How many Canadians will be selected?
Check back here for info on our live blog.
Day II goes Tuesday starting at noon and covers 2nd to 30th rounds.
And Day III begins Wednesday at noon as they move from rounds 31st to 50th.
But first Day 1 ...
2 PM: OK, for a draft primer who was the first Canadian ever drafted? He was a good pick ... made the majors and is still involved in the game? Do you have a guess ... let us know at email@example.com and you'll win ... ah, you'll win ... bragging rights as Canada's Mel Kiper, Jr.
2:10 PM: RHP Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) is ranked 106th over-all in North America (which translates to the second round) by Allan Simpson of Perfect Game USA in his final rankings of the top 200 prospects. Baseball America does not have Robson listed amongst its top 200 prospects.
3:01 PM: Both Baseball America and Perfect Game have the Jays selecting North Carolina Tar Heel Levi Michael, as scouts say "hey it's still early."
3:10 PM: When did RHP Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) arrive on the national scene? The 2008 Mizuno camp at the Rogers Centre. For a bit of flashback, which also includes the likes of LHP Brian Bardis (St. Constant, Que.), C Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC), RHP Mike Ellis (Surrey, BC), C Justin Marra (Toronto, Ont.), RHP Steve McKinnon (Duncan, BC), RHP Johnathan Paquet (Quebec City, Que..) and OF Shane Zimmer (St. Albert, Alta.) check out our 2008 Mizuno camp coverage.
4:12 PM: We have RHP Zak Miller (Surrey, BC), Yavapai College Roughriders; RHP Ryan Thompson (Fort McMurray, Alta.) Franklin Pierce Ravens and RHP Cory Hall (Regina, Sask.) as our top three collegians who will go in the draft. Allan Simpson has RHP Leslie Williams (Scarborough, Ont.) Northeastern Huskies as the top man. A scout emails to say that RHP Adam Paulencu (Spruce Gruve, Alta.) of the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute will go first.
4:51 PM: ESPN's Keith Law says Levi Michael is headed to the Jays as well, although he hears Kent State Golden Flashes LHP Andrew Chafin.
5:27 PM: We have Tom Robson (Ladner, BC),Dustin Houle (Pentiction, BC), Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Montreal), Que.), Skylar Janisse (Maidsone, Ont.) and RHP Vaughn Covington (Vancouver, BC) as our top five. A scout texts: "I'm going to go Robson, Therrien, Houle. Then I have no clue. Cory Scammell (Edmonton, Alta.) could be the big winner."
6:05 PM: A year ago tonight Canadian citizen Jamison Taillon, of The Woodlands Tex., 2nd over-all to the Pittssbugh Pirates and C Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) 22nd to the Texas Rangers went in the first round of the 2010 draft.
6:34 PM: Dustin Houle (Pentiction, BC) ranked 202nd in Perfect Game's final list of top 331 picks (the first 10 rounds)over-all in North America. Vaughan Covington (Vancouver, BC) 293rd. RHP Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) is ranked 106th. They are the only three Canadians on the list ... another banner year for BC? We all know BC stands for Best in Baseball.
6:57 PM: Draft Primer quiz hint ... he pitched six seasons, reaching post-season play once and still works in the game. Who was the first Canadian ever drafted? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for bragging rights.
7:12 PM: Al Oliver and Davey Cash, two former Montreal Expos representing the Pittsburgh Pirates. If Oliver told me he had more career hits than Iron Horse Lou Gehrig once, he told us that 1,000 times.
7:20 PM: Things to read when teams are on the clock ...
7:30 PM: Nice touch by Dylan Bundy, Oklahoma HSer selected fourth over-all by the Baltimore Orioles ... wearing University of Texas Longhorn colours, where he has signed a letter of intent.
7:52: PM: That should of the Milwaukee Brewers war room was not of assistant GM Gord Ash (Toronto, Ont.), but scouting director Bruce Seid. As Ash says they sport "the same look."
8:19 PM: Amazing how MLB panel seams to get each pick right isn't it? It couldn't be like the Arizona Diamondbacks-Colorado Rockies expansion draft when the names of the player about to be selected would pop up on the ESPN monitors first.
8:21 PM: How 'bout the New York Mets pick? Scouting director J.P. Ricciardi -- anti-high school with the Blue Jays -- drafts Brandon Nimmo from Chyenne East, Wyoming. Wyoming doesn't have HS ball either. Nimmo was scouted from his American Legion team.
8:43 PM: Another scout checks in ...
Saw your latest 2011 draft list and here are my thoughts about the players I have seen.
Tom Robson -- best pitcher but does not K as many batters as he should. Has a lot left in his arm but I have not seen it yet. Everything works but he needs to extend himself and pitch with more natural feel and instinct.
Justin Atkinson -- good player who plays hard and is coachable, probably maxed out physically but that is ok. he is strong. where does he play . not in the infield. doubt if he can provide enough offense to play in the outfield.
Corey Scammell -- He will be the best of the lot. Very raw but coachable . Pro body now with projection. Arm is below average now but will be a plus in pros. Has loft in swing and power to all fields but is very raw. All he needs is playing time. He will go faster and further than anyone in draft.
Jalen Harris - He can play pro at 3B right now on defence. Good hands and feet and arm. Have personally worked with him and will again. Only thing that is lacking is fundamental approach at plate. Good hand quickness, natural loft and bat speed. Once he masters weight transfer look out. Better prospect than Michael Crouse and Michael was a very good prospect.
My top 4: 1. Scammell 2, Harris 3. Robson 4. Atkinson
11:21 PM: As expected Canada had its string of first rounders came to an end. There have been five in the previous four years: Canadian citizen RHP Jameson Taillon of The Woodlands, Tex. to the Pittsburgh Pirates and C Kellin Deglan of Langley, B.C. to the Texas Rangers a year ago; James Paxton of Ladner, B.C. to the Jays in 2009, Langley’s Brett Lawrie to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 and Phillippe Aumont of Gatineau, Que. to the Seattle Mariners in 2007.
11:45 PM: Jays first five picks were all high schoolers:
21st overall RHP Tyler Beede, Auburn, Mass. HS 6’ 4” 200 lbs. Committed to Vanderbilt, 92-93 mph, touches 94-96, Ranked 33rd in NA by Perfect Game
35th (compensation for loss of Scott Downs) 1B Jacob Anderson Chino, Calif. HS 6’ 4” 185 lbs. Signed to attend Pepperdine, which means he’ll sign, Ranked 129th by PG, 9th HSer in California
46th (John Buck) RHP Joe Musgrove, El Cajon, Calif. HS 6’5 230 lbs. Committed to San Diego State, Ranked 100th, 8th HSer in California
53rd (Kevin Gregg) OF Dwight Smith, Jr. Peachtree City, Ga. HS 5’ 11” 180 lbs. Son of ex-Cub, OF Dwight Smith, Ranked 162nd in NA Headed to Georgia Tech
57th (Miguel Olivo) RHP Kevin Comer, Tabernacle, N.J. HS 6’4” 200 lbs. Also committed to Vanderbilt, Ranked 176th
12:41 AM: Trivia answer ... LHP Steve Wilson (Victoria, BC) was the first Canadian ever drafted when he was selected in the fourth round from the University of Portland in the 1985 draft by the Texas Rangers. Wilson pitched six seasons in the majors, breaking in with the Rangers Sept. 16, 1989. He went on to pitch for the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers appearing in 205 games. He started 42 and was 13-15 lifetime with a 4.40 ERA striking out 252 and walking 130 in 345 1/5 innings. From 1985-to-1990 Canadians could only be drafted if they were attending school south of the border.
12:52 AM: Trivia winner ... Ruben Lipszyc (Calgary, Alta.).