Brock Badgers' Shaun Valeriote was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday (Brock University photo)Apparently the award for breaking a school batting record that was held by Toronto Blue Jays director of scouting Andrew Tinnish is, wait for it, getting drafted by the Blue Jays.
Yes, there is collegiate baseball in Canada and as of Wednesday afternoon, it can now say it has produced a honest-to-goodness Major League Baseball draft choice. Shaun Valeriote, a first baseman for both the Brock Badgers and the Guelph Royals of the amateur Inter-County League, became Ontario University Athletics' first MLB draft pick when the Jays selected him in the 39th round, 1,195th overall. So it was pretty big day for Brock University all-around between having a student-athlete drafted by the Jays, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes showing up to convocation and, of course, their football team being undefeated since 1964.
This does not appear to be one of those late-round courtesy choices MLB teams are known to make as the draft drags along. Valeriote told his hometown Guelph Mercury that the plan is for him to sign with the Jays and start out in organized baseball with their single-A farm team in Dunedin, Fla.
The Brock connection speaks for itself. Last fall, Valeriote won the OUA triple crown with a .460 batting average, five home runs and 20 RBI in just 63 at-bats for the St. Catharines, Ont., school. (Yes, the OUA ball season is short and the competition might be a little uneven.) In 2010, he lit up OUA hurlers for a .519 average, which broke a 12-year-old school hard mark held by (drumroll) Andrew Tinnish.Read More »from Toronto Blue Jays make Shaun Valeriote first MLB draft choice from Ontario University Athletics