(Photo via YouTube screenshot of 2080 Baseball’s video of Pompey, seen here)
It’s a rarity when more than one Canadian is drafted on the first day of an MLB draft. Come June 4, 2018, two Canadians hope to hear their names in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft.
University of Kentucky outfielder Tristan Pompey and Junior National Team infielder/catcher Noah Naylor, who both hail from Mississauga, Ontario, are coming off stellar 2017 campaigns making them the top Canadian prospects in the 2018 draft. Both players were in the MLB Pipeline’s Top 50 MLB Draft Prospects List and are part of Baseball America’s respective top prospects lists for college and high school players.
After being drafted out of high school by Minnesota Twins in 31st round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Tristan Pompey decided on attending the University of Kentucky. The outfielder experienced a breakout sophomore season hitting 361/.464/.541 and earning Third Team All-America honours followed by a summer with the Wareham Gateman in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
The younger brother of Blue Jays speedy outfielder Dalton Pompey, at 6-foot-4, 200 lbs. Tristan has more tools and is more physically advanced than his brother at the same stage of their careers. As a switch hitter, Tristan has a quick bat, good power, and a patient approach from both sides of the plate. Pompey has plus speed (6.59 60-metre) like his older brother and the five-tool potential of an elite athlete. Pompey is listed by MLB Pipeline as the 29th best prospect in the 2018 draft, while Baseball America has him as the ninth best draft-eligible college prospect.
Unfortunately, a down summer in the Cape Cod League left scouts questioning his ability to hit with wood bats as well as his effort. The Kentucky product has a big personality and will need to channel it correctly in order to thrive in the majors, but as the top Canadian prospect in the 2018 draft, he has done pretty well so far.
Noah Naylor, a senior at St. Joan of Arc high school, is a infielder/catcher with a powerful arm and advanced hitting skills. At 6-foot-1, 195 lbs. Naylor plays for the Ontario Blue Jays and is a part of the Junior National Team. The 17-year-old had a busy and impressive summer on the high school showcase circuit began with a matchup involving top prospect Nolan Gorman in the final round of the MLB High School Home Run Derby before being the only Canadian to participate in both the Under Armour and Perfect Game All-America contests.
Naylor’s performance at third base at the U-18 World Cup in Thunder Bay earned him All-Star honours. Naylor is listed by MLB Pipeline as the 47th best prospect and Baseball America lists him as the 22nd best draft-eligible high school prospect.
The younger brother of Josh Naylor, a first round pick (12th overall) in 2015 and now one of the better prospects in the baseball, Noah has a similar profile to his brother with the added ability to catch. Noah has an advance feel to hit and the ability to hit for average and power and become a five-tool player. Though his defensive game lags behind his bat, he has some speed (6.70 60-metre) and strong arm that can effectively control a running game (1.80-1.88 pop time). Despite committing to Texas A&M, Naylor could join his brother as a first round pick and decide to make his way through the minor leagues.
Both Pompey and Naylor hope to join the exclusive list of Canadians drafted in the first round of an MLB draft. Come June 4, 2018, both will have a chance.
Staff Writer at CBBSN. Oren Weisfeld is a freelance writer based out of Toronto having previously worked for VICE Sports, The Western Gazette, London Lightning Basketball, CHRW Radio, and more. He is passionate about sports, music, comedy, politics, and pop culture. Check out Oren's blog at orenweisfeld.com.