San Diego Padres’ Ian Kinsler gets caught in a run down between third and home plate by Toronto Blue Jays’ Rowdy Tellez with the tag and this baseman Vladmir Guerrero in the seventh inning of their Interleague MLB baseball game in Toronto Friday May 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

Owen Caissie first Canadian taken at 2020 MLB Draft, selected 45th by Padres

Outfielder Owen Caissie was the first Canadian to be selected at the 2020 MLB Draft when the San Diego Padres took him in the second round, 45th overall on Thursday.

The 17-year-old Caissie, from Burlington, Ont., played for Notre Dame High School in his hometown as well as the Canadian junior national team. He’s currently committed to the University of Michigan in the fall.

The left-handed hitting Caissie, six-foot-four, 190-pounds, is known for his power at the plate and showed it off in March when he homered against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., in a spring training game, taking 26-year-old Connor Overton deep at TD Ballpark.

That trip to Florida was the last time Canada’s junior squad played before the global pandemic shutdown baseball.

Caissie was the 75th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com.

Meanwhile, Toronto-born shortstop Trei Cruz was taken 73rd by the Detroit Tigers.

He’s the son of former MLB player Jose Cruz Jr., and is hoping to become a third-generation big leaguer.

The 21-year-old was originally drafted out of high school in 2017 by the Houston Astros in the 35th round and again in 2019 by the Washington Nationals in the 37th round. He turned down both, though, to attend at Rice University.

Also, outfielder David Calabrese of Maple, Ont., was taken No. 82 by the L.A. Angels.

The 17-year-old played for St. Elizabeth Catholic School and is a teammate with Caissie on the Canadian junior team. Calabrese is committed to the University of Arkansas.

And Ottawa-born outfielder Jordan Nwogu went to the Chicago Cubs with the 88th pick.

The 21-year-old Nwogu was 15 games into his third year at the University of Michigan before the pandemic halted his NCAA season.

The MLB Draft continued Thursday with two more rounds to wrap up the five-round event.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2020.

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