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Blue Jays take son of Roy Halladay on Day 3 of MLB draft

June 6, 2019 GMT
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announces Adley Rutschman, a catcher from Oregon State University, as the No. 1 selection by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Secaucus, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announces Adley Rutschman, a catcher from Oregon State University, as the No. 1 selection by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Secaucus, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK (AP) — This one was for Doc.

Toronto selected Florida high school pitcher Braden Halladay , a son of the late Roy Halladay, in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft Wednesday — the round matching his father’s Blue Jays uniform number.

The younger Halladay is a right-hander like his famous father, who will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame next month.

Braden Halladay tweeted a thank you to the Blue Jays, saying “it’s a great honor!” He added in his post that there was a mutual understanding between him and the team that he will be honoring his commitment to attend Penn State.

“It was really a group thing, something we had talked about doing to really just signal to them and acknowledge them as part of the Blue Jay family and specifically Braden,” said Steve Sanders, Toronto’s director of amateur scouting. “We’re certainly excited to watch him go play in college and hopefully be in the same situation a few years from now.”

Roy Halladay won 203 games and two Cy Young Awards over 16 big league seasons with the Blue Jays from 1998-2009 and Philadelphia Phillies from 2010-13. He died in November 2017 at age 40 when the private plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

Toronto retired his No. 32 on opening day in 2018.

The younger Halladay went 3-1 with a 4.06 ERA and 37 strikeouts with 17 walks in 31 innings over 11 games as a senior at Calvary Christian High School.

“He’s got a good delivery,” Sanders said of the 6-foot-3, 150-pound Halladay. “We saw him pitch last year down in Dunedin against the Jays (with the Canadian junior team). He competes really well and as he grows into his frame and grows into his stuff, he’s certainly set up to have a lot of success at Penn State.”

There were plenty of other players with famous bloodlines to hear their names called as the three-day draft concluded with rounds 11 through 40.

New Jersey high school right-hander Jack Leiter, son of former big league lefty Al Leiter, was a 20th-round pick of the Yankees.

The younger Leiter was considered a possible early round prospect, but made it clear he had a strong commitment to attend Vanderbilt. He’ll be eligible again for the draft in two years because he’ll be 21.

The Yankees drafted Leiter’s teammate at Delbarton School, shortstop Anthony Volpe, with their first-round pick.

The Diamondbacks took Arizona high school righty Luke Bell in the 34th round, and he could be on his way to giving his family four generations of big leaguers. Luke is the son of former major league third baseman Mike Bell, who’s currently the Diamondbacks’ vice president of player development. Luke’s uncle is David Bell, his grandfather Buddy Bell and great-grandfather Gus Bell.

Arizona also drafted Texas high school second baseman Mason Greer, son of former outfielder Rusty Greer. The younger Greer starred at Colleyville Heritage High School where he was teammates with Bobby Witt Jr., the son of Bobby Witt who was the No. 2 overall pick Monday night.

Boston also went with some familiar bloodlines in the 34th round, taking Bentley University first baseman Ryan Berardino — the grandson of former Red Sox great Dwight Evans.

San Diego selected Cal right-hander Jonah Dipoto, son of Mariners general manager and former big league pitcher Jerry Dipoto, in the 35th round. The Padres also took California high school shortstop Cole Roberts — son of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts — three rounds later. In the 39th round, San Diego drafted Waldorf College righty Dylan Hoffman — son of former infielder Glenn Hoffman and nephew of Padres Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman.

Washington drafted four sons of former big leaguers: Northwest Florida State Junior College outfielder Jake Randa (13th round, son of Joe Randa); Texas State outfielder Jaylen Hubbard (27th round, son of Trenidad Hubbard); Rice shortstop Trei Cruz (37th round, son of Jose Cruz Jr and grandson of Jose Cruz); and Texas high school catcher Tyler LaRue (38th round, son of Jason LaRue).

Among other familiar names taken: Loyola Marymount shortstop Nick Sogard (Rays, 12th round, brother of Blue Jays infielder Eric Sogard); Texas third baseman Ryan Reynolds (Cubs, 14th, son of Shane Reynolds); Minnesota catcher Eli Wilson (Pirates, 16th, son of Dan Wilson); University of Tampa outfielder Yorvis Torrealba (Rockies, 20th, son of Yorvit Torrealba); Samford shortstop Brandon Fryman (Mets, 21st, son of Travis Fryman); Air Force third baseman Nic Ready (Marlins, 23rd, son of Randy Ready); and Clemson third baseman Grayson Byrd (Cubs, 24th, son of Paul Byrd).

The Astros selected Lamar shortstop J.C. Correa in the 38th round. He’s the brother of current Houston shortstop Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012.

The final player drafted — No. 1,217 — was Riverside Community College left-hander Garrett Irvin, who went to the Red Sox.

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AP freelance writer Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed.

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