June 11, 2015

Great week for Alberta Baseball!

It started Monday night when Calgary’s own Mike Soroka was drafted in the first round.  He was the second Canadian taken, with Mississauga’s Josh Naylor taken at pick #12.  Soroka was the 28th pick, selected by the Braves.  Everyone knew he was going to be drafted high, being in the consensus top 100 in all the major projections, but he really opened some eyes in the Dominican just a couple ofweeks ago, and his stock soared all the way to where he made it in the first round.  Ironically, he was the first Albertan pitcher selected in the first round since Chris Reitsma, who has been one of his pitching coaches locally.

On the same day, the South Atlantic League announced its all-star selections, and Calgary’s Jordan Procyshen who was the only player from Alberta selected in the 2014 draft was named the starting catcher.  The Greenville backstop has had a good year, after having been quickly promoted from low A ball Lowell last year.

As the draft continued, more Albertans were selected. On Wednesday,  Reign Letkeman, another RHP who throws in the low 90s and has always had a plus slider was taken in the 23rdround by the Rays.  A native of Red Deer, Letkeman had been playing for Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington after spending his high school years with the Red Deer Braves and the Edmonton Prospects.

A few short rounds later, St. Albert’s Jackson Wark, the 3rd RHP drafted by Alberta this year, and a product of the Prospects High School Basball Academy in St. Albert, was picked by Oakland.  

As well, Chris Shaw, who is from Winnipeg, but played locally for the Okotoks Dawgs, was drafted
in the 15th round by the Orioles. He had previously been selected in 2012 by Milwaukee, and again last year by the Cardinals, but chose to play baseball at Midland College (Texas) and then Oklahoma instead.

Meanwhile, the WMBL season got under way the previous weekend.  The Lethbridge Bulls so far look like the class of the league, jumping out to an 8-2 start, and teams from Alberta are a combined 6-1 against other teams.

In news I should have reported a few weeks ago, the Canadian Women's National Team roster was named, and several Albertans are on it.  This includes Nicole Luchanski from Edmonton,  and Heidi Northcott from Rocky Mountain House, who have been mentioned here previously, as well as outfielder Kelsey Lalor from Red Deer.  Among the coaching staff is Edmonton's Sheen Bromley.  Good luck this summer!

Also, Grande Prarie's Lars Davis, who hung them up to try his hand at coaching with the University of Florida last fall, has helped lead the Gators to the College World Series.  Good luck Lars!

No, baseball is not dead in Alberta. In fact, it's thriving!

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