The San Diego Padres selected Cal Quantrill eighth overall Thursday, making the right-handed pitching prospect the top Canadian chosen in the 2016 draft.
Quantrill, the son of former Toronto Blue Jays reliever Paul Quantrill, missed the 2016 season as the result of a UCL tear that required Tommy John surgery on March 20, 2015.
Adam Loewen, who was selected fourth overall by the Baltimore Orioles in 2002, is the only Canadian ever picked higher than Quantrill.
The New York Yankees initially selected Quantrill out of high school in the 26th round of the 2013 draft, but he declined to sign, choosing to attend Stanford, where he built strength, gained velocity and improved his draft stock dramatically.
The Port Hope, Ont., native posted a 2.68 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 110.2 innings as a freshman in 2014 then posted a 1.93 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 18.2 innings during his injury-abbreviated sophomore season.
Despite the injury, Baseball America ranked Quantrill 29th among all prospects earlier this spring. MLB teams showed continued interest, holding private workouts for Quantrill to assess his stuff in advance of the draft. While teams once shied away from pitchers recovering from injury, that’s changed in recent years with the likes of Jeff Hoffman, Brady Aiken and Lucas Giolito going early in the draft despite known injury issues.