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‘Pretty pumped’: B.C. teen drafted by childhood favourite Toronto Blue Jays

Victoria’s Sam Shaw grew up a Jays fan, picked by them in annual amateur draft
Sam Shaw poses with Sandy Alomar (left) and Roberto Alomar (right) at a Blue Jays baseball camp in Nanaimo at the age of eight. The now 18-year-old was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays as the 274th overall pick in the MLB Draft. (Photo submitted by Craig Shaw)

Sam Shaw was on the golf course when he found out the Toronto Blue Jays called his name in the ninth round as the 274th overall pick in the MLB draft on Monday (July 10).

“I thought I was going to go earlier in the day, then my name didn’t get called for a few rounds, so I went to a friend’s house to play ping pong, then went golfing,” said Shaw, who grew up in Victoria and played for a Saanich high school.

“Getting that call — I couldn’t believe it.”

The utility player for the Victoria Eagles and Canadian Junior National star is also a lifelong Blue Jays fan, and said being selected by Canada’s “hometown team” was a surreal experience.

“I was pretty pumped,” he said. “Playing for the hometown Canadian team would mean a lot.”

Shaw was one of two Canadians the Blue Jays selected on day two of the draft, with the University of Michigan’s left-handed pitcher Connor O’Halloran from Mississauga, Ont., selected earlier in the day in the fifth round (157th overall).

This year’s draft is also one of the most competitive in recent history. In 2020, the draft was shortened to five rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning many draft-eligible high school players were not selected and instead went to play for NCAA teams.

This cohort completed their junior years this year and became draft-eligible once again, joining all other high school and junior college players in this year’s 20-round draft.

Shaw, who has also committed to play NCAA Division 1 baseball for Xavier University, will now have a decision to make — he can either sign with the Blue Jays and start with their feeder system this summer, or he can play three years with the Musketeers enter the draft again in his junior year in 2026 with more experience under his belt.

“Obviously the dream is to play professional baseball, so I just have to figure out how to best do that,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘Generational talent’: Victoria baseball player eyes MLB draft spot