Blue Jays draft Toronto native Knecht
The Toronto Blue Jays selected some homegrown talent on Day 2 of the Major League Baseball draft.
The Jays took outfielder Marcus Knecht with the No. 113 overall pick Tuesday. The Toronto native, who will turn 20 this month, has played college ball at Oklahoma State and Connors State.
"I can't put it into words," Knecht said on a conference call. "It's everything I could have hoped for. It's a perfect way to start my pro career, with my favourite team."
Knecht was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 but didn't sign. The six-foot-one 200-pounder also played for Canada at the junior world championships in 2008.
He said he has followed the Jays since his mother let him stay up until the wee hours to watch Toronto play in the World Series back in the early 1990s.
"I stayed up until about 12:30 when I was three years old," Knecht said on a conference call. "I've been a fan ever since, my whole life."
The Jays went with a southpaw with their opening pick of the day, taking Griffin Murphy at No. 61. Toronto made over 20 picks in all, including left-hander Justin Nicolino at No. 80 and shortstop Christopher Hawkins at No. 93.
The Jays also selected high-school shortstop Dickie Thon Jr., at No. 156. The son of former all-star Dickie Thon has committed to play at Rice University.
On Monday, the Jays selected Georgia Tech pitcher Deck McGuire with their top pick at No. 11 overall. They also took right-handers with their next three picks: high-schoolers Aaron Sanchez (No. 34) and Noah Syndergaard (No. 38) along with college pitcher Asher Wojciechowski (No. 41).
The Seattle Mariners picked left-hander James Paxton of Ladner, B.C., with the No. 132 selection on Tuesday. He returned to the draft after being chosen 37th overall by the Jays last year but failing to reach agreement on a contract.
Left-hander Jake Eliopoulos of Newmarket, Ont., was taken at No. 472 by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was chosen 68th overall by the Blue Jays last year and also failed to sign.