Jays draft five Canucks

OF Jonathan Baksh (Mississauga, Ont.), was chosen in the seventh round by Toronto. (Sun Media File...

OF Jonathan Baksh (Mississauga, Ont.), was chosen in the seventh round by Toronto. (Sun Media File Photo)

BOB ELLIOTT -- For SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 4:41 PM ET

As drafts go, it was the best for the Toronto Blue Jays and Canadian content in five years. Under scouting director Jon Lalonde and Kevin Briand, director of Canadian scouting, selected five Canadian players to rank with the Milwaukee Brewers for top teams when it came to selecting the 38 Canucks.

It was the first time that the Jays have shared the lead for the most Canadians selected since 2001 when they chose eight players, led by infielder Lee Delfino (Pickering, Ont.) and catcher David Corrente (Chatham, Ont.)

And when the 50-round draft ended the Jays were still not done. They agree to terms with Leaside left-hander Drew Taylor, of the University of Michigan Wolverines.

Taylor, a Big Blue co-captain, was 6-4 with 4.94 earned run average in 15 games, nine of them starts with Michigan. He walked 10 and struck out 31 in 62 innings.

The other five Canadians drafted by the Jays:

  • OF Jonathan Baksh (Mississauga, Ont.), was chosen in the seventh round from the Florida Tech Panthers. Baksh hit .469, with nine homers and 67 RBIs with 18 steals and had a .723 slugging percentage. In 2005, Baksh won Sunshine State conference player of the year honours hitting .422 with a home run, 45 RBIs, 23 steals and a .555 slugging percentage in 55 games.

  • OF Chris Emanuele (Mississauga, Ont.) was chosen in the 26th round from the Northeastern Huskies. Emanuele hit .313 in 50 games with nine homer and 35 RBIs, while stealing 16 bases.

  • 1B Kevin Denis-Fortier (Quebec City, Que.) of Crowder College Roughriders in the 38th round. He hit .356 with three homers and 47 RBIs.

  • LHP Lee Verweel (Toronto, Ont.) of the Team Toronto Mets in the 45th round. He has committed to the University of Maine.

  • RHP Brad Cuthbertson (Sherwood Park, Alta.) of the Midland Chaparrals. Cuthbertson, one of the highest draft and follow players unsigned from 2005 -- a sixth round pick by the San Francisco Giants --

    Taylor finished his career at Michigan with a 19-10 record. As a sophomore in 2003 he earned All-Big Ten First Team honors and won Geoff Zahn award as Michigan's Most Valuable Pitcher in first season as Wolverine after transferring from Georgia Tech.

    Taylor on the inaugural Ray Fisher scholarship for Baseball for the 2005-06 as well as receiving the Samuel L. Westerman Foundation scholarship for Baseball in 2004-05 and the Marlin H. Pemberton Baseball scholarship for 2003-04.

    He recorded his first college win in 2003 working went 8 1/3 innings to beat Bethune-Cookman at Jackie Robinson Field -- it was the same diamond where his father, Ron Taylor registered his first win in the minors.

    Taylor went on to be a World Series hero for both the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals. He is now the club doctor for the Blue Jays.

    The Brewers, who were Canada's No. 1 team at this age demographic in 2005, drafted five Canucks under scout Jay Lapp:

  • RP Chris Toneguzzi (Thunder Bay, Ont.) of the Purdue Boilermakers in the 13th round. Toneguzzi had a 4-0 record with five saves and a 2.10 ERA as the Purdue closer. He walked nine and struck out 37 in 30 innings.

  • LHP Medhi Djebbar (Montreal, Que.), of the Academie du Baseball Canada, a 20th round selection. Djebbar was a later addition to the Canadian National Youth Team and impressed.

  • INF Terrell Alliman (Waterloo, Ont.), who plays for coach Dannny Tompson's Inter-County Terriers, in the 28th round.

  • C Aaron Johnson (Sussex Corner, N.B.) who went in the 46th round out of the Prairie Baseball Academy.

  • SS Ricky Alvarez (White Rock, BC) who was chosen in the 50th round from the White Rock Tritons.

    For a complete list of all Canadians selected in the 2006 MLB Draft, click here.


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