Blue Jays draft son of late, great pitcher Roy Halladay
Pitcher Braden Halladay selected in 32nd round of MLB draft
The Toronto Blue Jays wanted to draft another Halladay at this year's MLB draft, even if they knew their chances of signing him to a professional contract would be pretty slim.
Toronto selected Braden Halladay, the son of Roy Halladay, in the 32nd round of the 40-round draft on Wednesday.
The younger Halladay is committed to Penn State and announced on Twitter shortly after being drafted that he would forego a professional career to play in the NCAA.
"We obviously know the family well, we know him well, we spent time with him," Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins said of drafting the 17-year-old pitcher.
"He's headed to Penn State and we're glad to have drafted him."
The Blue Jays drafted Roy Halladay in the first round, 17th overall, in 1995.
Halladay, who died in a plane crash at age 40 in November 2017, spent 12 of his 16-season MLB career in Toronto, winning an American League Cy Young with the Blue Jays in 2003. Toronto retired his No. 32 jersey on Opening Day in 2018 and he was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Braden Halladay, who was born in Toronto while his father etched his career as a Blue Jay, spent a one-week stint with Canada's national junior team last year.
"Thank you ΓåòBlueJays for drafting me in the 32nd round today! It's a great honor!," Halladay tweeted. "It's with mutual understanding that I'll still be honoring my commitment to Penn State! I look forward to college and bettering myself as a player and person, thank you to all who have supported me!"
Halladay, a six-foot-three, 150-pound right-hander, spent his high school career with Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater, Fla.
Toronto also selected Canadians Dasan Brown (third round), Jean-Christophe Masson (26th), Owen Diodati (29th) and Noah Myers (30th) over the three-day selection process.
Brown, a centre-fielder and high school senior from Oakville, Ont., was picked on Tuesday, the second day of the draft. Atkins called the 17-year-old, who also played on the junior national team, a "plus athlete."
"(He has) a chance to be an above-average defender, a chance to be really a — dare I say — five-tool player and that's really exciting for us," Atkins said. "Players like Dasan that are competing at 17 with 21 year olds in professional baseball atmospheres is a very good indicator of future success and certainly it's an indicator of a lot of development opportunities."
Diodati is a 17-year-old catcher from Niagara Falls, Ont., while Myers, 19, is a junior college outfielder from Wyoming, Ont., who spent the last two seasons at Wabash Valley College in Illinois.
Masson is a 16-year-old outfielder and high school senior at Cardinal Roy Secondary School in Quebec City.
A total of 25 Canadians were selected over the three-day draft.