Robson becomes first Canuck selected in MLB Draft

By Adam Morissette, Baseball Canada

OTTAWA- Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) became the first Canadian selected in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft when the Toronto Blue Jays chose him in the 4th round, 139th overall.

“I was pretty excited when I heard my name called,” said an elated Robson, who listened to the draft on-line in the company of some friends. “The Jays are my favourite team so I was really hoping they would draft me.”

Immediately after being selected Robson spoke on the phone with Blue Jays general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, amongst other members of the Jays front office.

“He called to congratulate me and said he hopes to see me in a Blue Jays uniform one day,” explained Robson.

Robson, a member of the Junior National Team (JNT), started against a split-squad version of the Jays in St. Petersburg, Fla., last March and has also faced the Jays Dominican Summer League prospects.

The right-hander is a two-year veteran of the JNT program where he pitched against powerhouse Cuba twice at the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“I’ve become a much better player thanks to the Junior National Team program,” added Robson. “The coaching I received from the program has helped me a great deal.”

In 2008 as a 15 year-old, Robson was invited to the prestigious Mizuno Camp in Toronto and joined the JNT one year later at the team’s annual Fall Instructional League Camp in 2009.

“Tom has been an important part of our Junior National Team program for the past two seasons,” said Greg Hamilton, head coach and director of national teams with Baseball Canada. “This is a very proud moment for our JNT program, but more importantly, a proud moment for Tom and his family.”

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2 thoughts on “Robson becomes first Canuck selected in MLB Draft

  1. This is just an outstanding by-product of the Canadian grass roots baseball system, whose goal is not to produce major leaguers, but rather to service the varying desires of youngsters (not their parents!) who sign up. When players like Robson, and proven pros such as Morneau, Bay, Martin, Votto, etc., emerge, the most credit should go to those players, their dedication, and their families’ support. But absolutely, the coaching they are receiving as youngsters whereby they are taught proper mechanics correctly the first time, is immeasureable. This system is place due to the top-end work by Baseball Canada’s Andre Lachance, filtering down through the various provincial technical staff and volunteers. Then, at the high end, Greg Hamilton has built a proven product and system for Canada’s elite ballplayers that is paying off in spades. Our national teams are ranked in the top ten in the world – a hockey country with a 30 million population and eight months of non-baseball weather! Not that we’re perfect and not that we can’t improve, but let’s once in a while praise and thank a system that is working pretty darn well.

  2. What it must feel like to be eighteen and know you may have a major league baseball career ahead of you. Great post, Kevin, and excellent comment from Tom V.

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