Dawg Clayton Keyes drafted by D-Backs

Okotoks Dawgs Academy product and Junior National Team member, Clayton Keyes was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 15th round (442nd pick) of the 2017 MLB draft on Wednesday.

Okotoks Dawgs Academy product and Junior National Team member, Clayton Keyes was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 15th round (442nd pick) of the 2017 MLB draft on Wednesday.

Wednesday June 14, 2017

Clayton Keyes is a Diamondback

By Dustin Saracini

Okotoks, AB - A year after being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 17th round of the MLB draft, Okotoks Dawgs Academy product and Junior National Team member, Clayton Keyes (OF), was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 15th round (442nd pick) of the 2017 draft.

Keyes said this time around, it’s a different feeling.

“Last year, I knew that I wasn’t going to sign,” he explained.

“So, it was cool to have that in my back pocket, but this year is definitely a little more special.”

Finding out he was drafted may have come at an unconventional time for Keyes, but he couldn’t have been happier with their decision.

“I was actually at school,” he said.

“I was in the middle of class and I knew before the draft what teams were interested in me. I really had not heard that much interest from Arizona. But, right before the pick, I received a text me saying ‘Arizona would take me right now’ and my heart dropped, it was pretty cool.”

“It was awesome,” he continued.

“Really any team that is going to take me, I’ll be glad to have them. With Arizona, it’s pretty cool, their Spring Training facility is all brand new, it’s a great facility. It’s beautiful down there, and Arizona heat, why not right?”

Why not, indeed.

Keyes now joins a handful of Canadians drafted by the Diamondbacks organization. In 2016, Arizona selected catcher and Toronto product Andrew Yerzy in the second round before drafting pitcher Curtis Taylor out of the University of British Columbia in the fourth. The D-Backs also selected pitcher Jake Polancic from the Langley Blaze in the 11th round and Luke Van Rycheghem from Kent Bridge, Ontario, in the 23rd round.

The 6’1”, 215-pounder from Calgary originally committed to play for Central Arizona Junior College a year ago but decided to return to Canada for his fifth tour at Bishop Carroll High School. There will still be a decision whether or not to sign with the Diamondbacks or attend school this year, but Keyes is taking his time.

“Definitely going to have to take some time, think about it,” he said.

“There’s pros and cons of going to pro ball out of high school, but, I’m just going to take some time, make a decision, and hopefully it’s the right one.”

Each player has until August 16 to sign and make their choice.

Keyes has been a member of the Dawgs Academy for six years and credits the coaching staff for playing a big part in his career.

“Those coaches out there, they're great,” he said.

“They know what they’re doing, they know how to teach the game the right way, they're special.”

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According to Perfect Game scouting reports: “Keyes' biggest tool is his right-handed power potential. He has a thick and extra strong football upper body with a long and loose swing that generates very good bat speed. He’s also a near-plus runner underway and has solid arm strength in the outfield.”

Baseball America (2016): “His youth and present strength make him an attractive pro prospect, as he runs well. The average runner and right-handed hitter plays center field for Canada’s junior-national team and has shown power potential, even to the opposite field, and some bat speed.”