OTTAWA- The San Diego Padres made Junior National Team outfielder Owen Caissie the top Canadian chosen in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft when they selected the Burlington, Ontario native with their second round pick, 45th overall.
Caissie, 17, participated in the Junior National Team’s spring training camp in March and homered against the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin during the annual contest exhibition between Canada’s top 18-and-under talent and Canada’s only MLB club.
Caissie joins a long list of Junior National Team alumni to have the honour of being the first Canadian selected in the MLB Draft including current and former big leaguers Justin Morneau (1999), Adam Loewen (2002), Phillippe Aumont (2007), Brett Lawrie (2008), James Paxton (2009) and Josh Naylor (2015).
In the third round, Caissie’s Junior National Team teammate and fellow outfielder David Calabrese (Maple, ON) was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels with the 82nd overall pick.
Calabrese, 17, attended Junior National Team spring training in Florida in March and had a home run in five games played against professional competition.
In the fifth round, the Pittsburgh Pirates used their selection on Muenster, Saskatchewan’s Logan Hofmann out of Northwestern State in Louisiana. Hofmann, a right-handed pitcher, helped Saskatchewan win the gold medal at the Canada Games in Winnipeg in 2017.
A pair of Canadian-born athletes who grew up in the United States also heard their names called in Toronto-born Trei Cruz who went to the Detroit Tigers in the third round out of Rice University, while Ottawa-born Jordan Nwogu went later in the third round to the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Michigan.
The draft was scaled down to just five rounds, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the usual 40 rounds which led to just five Canadians being selected.
Canadians selected in 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft
1. OF Owen Caissie (Burlington, ON) – San Diego Padres – 2nd Round (45th overall) Junior National Team/Fieldhouse Pirates
2. SS Trei Cruz (Toronto, ON) – Detroit Tigers - 3rd Round (73rd overall) Rice University
3. OF David Calabrese (Maple, ON) – Los Angeles Angels - 3rd Round (82nd overall) Junior National Team/Ontario Blue Jays
4. OF Jordan Nwogu (Ottawa, ON) – Chicago Cubs - 3rd Round (88th overall) University of Michigan
5. RHP Logan Hofmann (Muenster, SK) – Pittsburgh Pirates - 5th Round (138th overall) Northwestern State (LA)
*Bold indicates current member of the Junior National Team program