Originally, it was thought that the new Aug. 15 signing deadline would hurt Canadians chances of being selected in the June draft.
Maybe the new rule eliminating the draft-and-follow process hurt some players, but the bottom line is impressive. Clubs used to have until classes began in September to sign university students and 50 weeks after the June draft to sign those attending two-year schools.
Of the 33 Canucks drafted this past June, all but four signed, with the 29 players receiving a total of $6.0685 million US in bonuses for an average of $209,258.
Of course, the $1.9-million that right-hander Phillippe Aumont, of Gatineau, Que., garnered from the Seattle Mariners, threw those figures somewhat out of whack.
Still roll these six-figure numbers off your tongue:
Kyle Lotzkar of Tsawwassen, B.C., was given $594,000, from the Reds; Vancouver's Trystan Magnuson, $462,500 Blue Jays; Lars Davis, Grande Prairie, Alta., $337,000, Rockies; Vancouver's Mitch Hodge, $225,000, Royals; Evan Hildenbrandt, of Abbotsford, B.C., $200,000, Reds; Guillaume Leduc, Boucherville, Que., $120,000, Mets; Colin Buckborough, Niagara Falls, $120,000, Mariners; and Tom Boleska, Burlington, $100,000, Pirates. Toronto outfielder Tim Smith was given $98,000 by the Texas Rangers
Scott Diamond of Guelph, Ont., chose to forego his final year at the University of Binghamton to sign with the Atlanta Braves. The former Team Ontario lefty, who pitched for coach Danny Thompson, heads to instructional league play next month.
CANUCK VS. CANUCK
Washington Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill of Georgetown, Ont., faced Colorado Rockies' Jeff Francis, of North Delta, B.C. last night at Coors Field in Denver.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time that two Canadian-born starting pitchers have faced each other in a game since July 1, 2000, when Florida's Ryan Dempster, of Gibsons, B.C. faced the Montreal Expos and starter Mike Johnson, of Sherwood Park, Alta.
Our Canadian minor-league players of the week are outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops, B.C., and Cole Armstrong of Surrey, B.C. Each hit .500, as Gillies was 6-for-12 with four RBIs for the rookie-class Arizona League Mariners, and Armstrong was 5-for-10 with five RBIs for double-A Birmingham (White Sox).
Our runners-up were: Jonathan Malo of Laval, Que., who hit .497 with two homers and nine RBIs for class-A St. Lucie (Mets); Victoria's Mike Saunders, .379 with a homer and six RBIs for double-A West Tennessee (Mariners); Mississauga's Jon Baksh, .375 with two RBIs at class-A Lansing (Jays) and Joey Votto of Etobicoke, .360 with five homers and 12 RBIs at triple-A Louisville (Reds).
Meanwhile, on the mound Victoria reliever Henry Mabee had a pair of wins for the rookie-class Great Falls (White Sox).