The list of players scout Jay Lapp has drafted for the Milwaukee Brewers over the years outnumbers most scouts.
Alexandre Periard, Mark James, Mehdi Djebbar, Chris Dennis, Cam Robulack. Adam Arnold, Nicholas Bucci, Marcus Knecht, Nick Fogarty, James Kottaras and Chandler McLaren.
Some signed with Milwaukee. Some went back to school only to re-surface, as Knecht did Tuesday with the Blue Jays, and others were released. But thanks to Lapp, the Brewers have been the most active club when it comes to drafting Canadians and with the most in the minors.
So, who did Lapp land in this year’s draft, which wrapped up on Wednesday?
Windsor right-hander Joel Pierce in the ninth round and North Vancouver outfielder Rowan Wick in the 18th.
A bad year? Not really.
How many Canadian scouts signed a pitcher currently closing games for a major-league club. Lapp, 48, drove from London in the midst of a storm to sign John Axford of Port Dover at an indoor workout inside The Baseball Zone in Mississauga before the 2008 season. Now, Axford has completed all four save opportunities for the Brewers.
That’s why Lapp, 48, is the winner of the Jim Ridley Award in memory of the late Jays scout as we hand out our 17th annual scout-of-the-year honours.
Periard has a 2-4 record with a 4.71 ERA at double A- Huntsville Stars, Dennis of Amherstburg, has six homers and 29 RBIs at class-A Wisconsin while teammate Nick Bucci of Sarnia is 3-2 with a 1.74 ERA, earning Midwest League all-star honours.
A total of 32 Canadians went in the 2010 draft, 10 fewer than a year ago. But the total of seven in the first 10 rounds was the second best since 2002.
Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish and new Canadian head scout Jamie Lehman drafted seven homebrews to lead all teams.
NO WAY FOR JAYS
Catcher Kellin Deglan, who went 22nd overall to the Texas Rangers, the seventh highest Canadian ever selected, wanted to play for his favourite team, the Jays, according to his agent Joshua Kusnick of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“I spoke to the Jays on Sunday but, once the draft started, I couldn’t get them to call back, which was surprising,” Kusnick said from Vancouver. “Maybe we could have worked something out at the same price with one of their supplemental picks (34th, 38th and 41st).”
Deglan agreed to a $1-million US bonus with Texas with a $100,000 school package.
“Canada is in good hands with Jamie Lehman in charge,” Kusnick said. “He did a phenomenal job.”
Whitby outfielder Ryan Fleming of the Georgia State Panthers was one of 15 Canadians on rosters of the NCAA field of 64 teams vying for one of eight slots in the U.S. college World Series in Omaha. Fleming was hitting .359 with 13 homers and 59 RBIs
The Stoney Brook Sea Wolves and Georgia State each had three Canucks. Chad Marshall of Paris, Ont., hit .305 with seven homers and 32 RBIs in 51 games for Stoney Brook, while Toronto’s Maxx Tisenbaum batted .341 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 52 games. Brampton reliever Jasvir Rakkar had a 13.80 ERA in 15 innings.
Besides Fleming, Georgia State received production from Laval’s Carl Moniz, who hit .369 with 10 homers and 63 RBIs and Mississauga’s Bryan Condotta, who hit .233 with a homer and seven RBIs.
Brampton’s Arthur Mazierski, the other Ontario player, batted .293 with a homer and 36 RBIs for the Grambling State Tigers.