June 27, 2012

Baseball Is Awesome: Youkilis 1st Home Run

As all my readers already know, Kevin Youkilis was recently traded to the White Sox.  I'm not going to discuss the value of the trade, or recap Youks' career and highlights.  That's already been done on plenty of other sites.  Check out my list of Red Sox blogs if you want further reading.  What I want to highlight today is one of my personal most memorable Youkilis moments, and its Canadian connection, in the latest instalment of the Baseball Is Awesome series.

I'll start with the backstory:  Dubbed "The Greek God of Walks" in the bestseller Moneyball, he was much sought after by Billy Beane's A's but the Red Sox beat them to the punch and drafted him in 2001.  He didn't look much like an athlete, but somehow always found a way to get on base.  He rose quickly through the Sox minor league ranks, but in 2004 it didn't look like he'd have much of a chance to crack the Red Sox lineup, as Boston had the league's reigning batting champ, Bill Mueller, playing third base.

June 26, 2012

Alberta draftees:Signing updates

Earlier this month, 4 Albertan baseball players had their dreams realized when they were drafted in the MLB draft.  Players only have until July 15th to sign.  If they don't sign, they may or may not be eligible to be drafted again next year, depending on their circumstances  (If players go to college, they are only eligible after their junior year or 21st birthday, unless it's a community or junior college).

And this year, with MLB's new collective bargaining agreement, it's made it tougher for teams to sign everyone they want.  Teams no longer have an unlimited budget.  There are consequences, some severe, to spending more than an allotted bonus pool.  Anywhere from paying a "luxury tax" on the amount over the bonus they spend, to losing 2 first round draft picks in the future.  The specific details are here.

Fortunately, this has not impacted the Alberta players as they have all been signed already:

June 13, 2012

Sox draft a Canadian

I've previously lamented about the lack of Canadians on the Red Sox.  And last year, a player from a local high school was drafted, but unfortunately did not sign.   But there's hope that another Canadian will play for the hometeam at Fenway Park, as in the 24th round, the Red Sox selected Keaton Briscoe from Vancouver, BC.

Briscoe is a 21 year old left handed hitting 2nd baseman, who just finished up his junior year at the University of British Columbia.

June 06, 2012

4 Albertans taken in MLB Draft

As usual, pitchers led a strong contingent of Alberta players drafted by the MLB.  Last year 5 out of the 7 players selected were hurlers, and this year all but one is a pitcher.

Yesterday, Calgary outfielder Tyler Hollick was the only Albertan player taken, as he was selected by the Giants in the 14th round.  Today he was joined by three pitchers:  Shane Dawson, a lefty from Drayton Valley who went to his home country Blue Jays in the 17h round; righthander Adam Paulencu from Sherwood Park who was taken by Colorado in the 26th round; another righty, Logan Seifrit from Spruce Grove selected by Seattle in the 33rd round.

June 04, 2012

Will Red Sox draft any Canadians?

The draft starts tonight... in a few minutes, actually.   And the Red Sox get  picks in the 1st and supplemental rounds today.  Numbers 24, 31 and 37 overall.  I won't be holding my breath tonight to see if the Red Sox select a Canadian.  We have produced some pretty good ballplayers... the Sox themselves even took one in the 1st round one year, but none of the top Canadians are expected to go in the first couple of rounds this year.   But I will be anxiously watching tomorrow and Wednesday to see if we do draft (and sign!) a Canadian, eh?
Last year, a player who went to high school right here in Alberta was selected by Boston in the 34th round, but elected to go to Eastern Michigan instead of signing.  But there a lot of good Canadian baseball players, including several from our province who are expected to be drafted in the next couple of days.  Hoping the Red Sox select one of them.  Stay tuned.....

June 02, 2012

2012 MLB Draft: Alberta preview

With the MLB draft coming up next week, here is a quick preview of local baseball players to keep an eye on.  

Last year, sevenplayers from our province were drafted.  Stay tuned to this blog as I will post updates as Albertans are selected.  

According to the Canadian Baseball Network’s draft list, Alberta has four players ranked in the top 20 in the country and several more who may be selected.  Many of these are familiar names who have been mentioned on these pages and elsewhere previously.  

The following are among the players expected to be drafted: