By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
The hits keep coming for Canadian prospects as, after the Miami Marlins chose Ontario’s Josh Naylor as their first pick (12th overall) in the 2015 June Amateur Draft on Monday, Saskatchewan’s Cole Bauml was selected by the Tigers in the 10th round (310th overall) a day later.
Bauml, a 22 year-old outfielder from Marysburg, represented the tenth Canadian picked in this years festivities, and his selection equalled a new high for Canucks scooped up within the 10 ten rounds of the MLB Draft.
For Bauml and his family, all of which may seem to have a unique tie to the game both at an amateur and semi-pro level, the selection comes after years of tireless hours spent cutting his teeth on the backfields of the burg and nearby Munester, Sask.
Although having been selected by the Tigers now reigns supreme for the Bauml clan, the wave of positive results truly began to surface following a pair of outstanding seasons with Trinidad State Junior College (Colorado) that help earn the then 20 year-old outfielder a scholarship to NCAA D-1 Northern Kentucky prior to the 2014 season.
During his first season at NK, Bauml established himself as a hard hitting offensive threat and in 2015, the left handed swinging Canadian led the Norse in nearly all offensive categories including batting average (.350), on base percentage (.445), slugging percentage (.663), doubles (25), home runs (8) and runs scored with 34.
If the dominant offensive numbers weren’t enough to impress the ever growing legion of big league scouts who made the trip to Highland Heights, Ky. this spring, Bauml’s .991 fielding percentage in center, complimented nicely by 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts, truly made the six-foot-three product of Lake Lenore High (Sask.) a can’t miss prospect and one Detroit’s scout, Harold Zonder, couldn’t pass up.
In an age dominated by internet feeds cell phones and heavy TV coverage, news of Bauml’s drafting was quick to spread back to Saskatchewan, where his (now) former local team, the Marysburg Royals, were quick to gather their picturesque ballpark prior to heading up to the family farm in order to celebrate.
Joining an impressive list of fellow Canucks including Naylor, Alberta’s Mike Soroka, Ontario’s Demi Orimoloye and B.C.’s Jeff Degano in the first 10 rounds, Bauml also becomes the first Saskatchewan native to be drafted since the San Diego Padres enlisted the services of left handed pitcher, Andrew Albers in 2008, snapping a five year drought for the “Land of the Living Skies”.
Albers, like Bauml, was also drafted in the 10th round.
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