NEWS

Josh Naylor, Canadian 1B, drafted 12th overall by Miami Marlins

06/08/2015 08:47 EDT | Updated 06/08/2016 05:59 EDT
Josh Naylor now has two favourite major league teams.

A lifelong fan of fellow first baseman David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox, the 17-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., was drafted 12th overall by the Miami Marlins on Monday night, becoming the highest selection for a Canadian position player.

Former Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was the previous highest Canadian selection at No. 16 in 2008.

Current Blue Jays outfield prospect Dalton Pompey, who also hails from Mississauga, chimed in after Naylor was drafted.

The Marlins, who have some great young talent on the major league roster including Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, obviously believe in the power potential of the six-foot-one, 225-pound Naylor, a left-handed hitter.

During the Canadian junior national team's recent tour of Dominican Summer Leagues, Naylor led the club with five home runs.

Last year, the high school senior from St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga gained some fame during the Major League Baseball all-star game in Minnesota, where he hit four homers in the Junior Home Run Derby in a two-round loss to Luken Baker, a catcher/right-handed pitcher from Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Tex.

"When you're looking for a hitter, you'd  be hard-pressed to find a better one on the planet in high school," Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada's director of national teams, told Sportsnet.

Naylor was a 2014 Under Armour and Perfect Game All-American.

"It's my 20th year coaching and he's the best power hitter I've ever seen in Canada … period," Dan Bleiwas, who formerly ran the amateur Ontario Blue Jays program, told The Toronto Sun recently.

A year ago, the Seattle Mariners selected ex-Ontario Blue Jays outfielder Gareth Morgan in the second round (74th overall) and gave him a $2 million US signing bonus.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks had the first pick and selected slugging Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Swanson, who helped lead the Commodores to the College World Series earlier in the day, is the first college shortstop to be chosen with the top selection in the draft since Brown University's Bill Almon in 1974.

MORE:cbcNews