WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari: “The WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup is one of the most prestigious youth world championships in all of sports, and this record number of players drafted in the first round is a reflection of this — and it also reaffirms that the national teams are being filled with the best players in their respective countries.”
SECAUCUS, New Jersey (U.S.) – A record 12 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup® players were selected last night (4 June) in the first round of the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, topping the previous record of 7 set in 2016.
Ten players who were on the U.S. National Team that won the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017 in Thunder Bay, Canada, were taken in the first round, including 2017 WBSC Player of the Year Triston Casas. USA’s Ryan Rolison (U-18 Baseball World Cup 2015) and Canada’s Noah Naylor (U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017) were also selected by MLB clubs in the first round.
Outfielder Jarred Kelenic was the highest drafted player, No. 6 overall, from the 2017 USA Baseball U-18 World Championship roster:
- No. 6 – New York Mets: Jarred Kelenic
- No. 7 – San Diego Padres: Ryan Weathers
- No. 16 – Tampa Bay Rays: Matthew Liberatore
- No. 19 – St. Louis Cardinals: Nolan Gorman
- No. 21 – Milwaukee Brewers: Brice Turang
- No. 23 – New York Yankees: Anthony Siegler
- No. 26 – Boston Red Sox: Triston Casas
- No. 27 – Washington Nationals: Mason Denaburg
- No. 30 – Los Angeles Dodgers: J.T. Ginn
- No. 35 – Cleveland Indians: Ethan Hankins
Slick-fielding shortstop Turang was also the top hitter at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2014 in Sinaloa, Mexico.
— ⚾ WBSC (@WBSC) September 10, 2017
With the 22nd overall pick, the Colorado Rockies selected left-handed pitcher Ryan Rolison, who was on the USA Baseball squad that won the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2015 in Osaka, Japan.
Noah Naylor, who helped boost the U-18 Canadian National Team to a fourth-place finish in Thunder Bay, was taken by the Cleveland Indians with the 29th pick. Naylor’s brother, Josh, was a three-time WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup player with Baseball Canada (2012, 2013 and 2015) and was drafted in the first round by the Miami Marlins in 2015.
— ⚾ WBSC (@WBSC) September 8, 2017
Contract (signing) bonuses for MLB first-round draft picks are expected to be in the range of US$ 2 to 8 million, according to MLB. The 2018 MLB Draft will span 40 rounds and end on 6 June.
Following the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Samurai Japan had three stars — Kotaro Kiyomiya, Shoshei Nakamura and Hisanori Yasuda — from its roster selected in the first round of the 2017 Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Draft, while in the 2017 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Draft, Kang Baek-ho was the first player selected.
— ⚾ WBSC (@WBSC) September 13, 2017
The WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, along with its continental qualifiers, have featured players who have gone on to become some of the biggest names in the sport, including Canada’s Brett Lawrie, Japan’s Yu Darvish and Shohei Ohtani, Korea’s Shin-soo Choo, Cuba’s Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman, and USA’s Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Andrew McCutchen, among countless others.