By Ashley Taylor
Canadian Baseball Network
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Bringing home the 2017 Northwest League Championship to the Vancouver Canadians meant a little bit more for Vancouver native Brayden Bouchey.
The right-handed Toronto Blue Jays prospect was drafted in 2016, and has since played for the West Coast team on his way up into the big league organization.
“Obviously I grew up watching the Jays a lot so to get drafted by them was a pretty cool experience,” said Bouchey, who last year was 1-1 in 24 appearances with a 4.20 ERA with the Short-Season class-A Canadians. “Actually, getting to play in Vancouver this past year was pretty incredible.
“Winning the championship is definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Being from Vancouver meant he knew numerous people in the crowd during games.
“I had quite a few family members and friends out to most of the games,” Bouchey said, while sitting in the sun at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. “It’s definitely cool getting all of my friends from the organization to experience where I’m from and what my life is like when I’m back home.
“So that was pretty cool, to get to show everyone around.”
Playing in his city did not mean he was able to stay in his childhood home.
“I actually stayed with a host family just because I live about an hour away,” he said. “With traffic and everything it would have been a bit of a hassle getting down there every day.
“I had a great host family that lived very close to the field.”
Getting drafted was Bouchey’s first big goal, but he is certain about the next one.
“I think that is really my goal as a pitcher and an athlete, to get to the big leagues, hopefully with the Blue Jays, and bring the World Series back to Canada because that would be awesome.”