Badgers Valeriote drafted by Toronto Blue Jays
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Brock University baseball player Shaun Valeriote (Guelph, Ont.) has been selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball (MLB) First Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays with their 39th round pick, 1195 overall.
Valeriote makes history becoming the first player to be drafted out of the OUA.
"I can't even describe how this feels," said Valeriote. "This is one of the best day's of my life. I am so proud to be part of the Brock Badgers baseball program and I am honoured to be the first player drafted to the major leagues from Brock and the OUA. I hope this opens up more opportunities for players in the OUA and is a stepping stone to bigger things. I am just ready to get things started and take it as far as I can in a career I always wanted."
The Badgers have had a long list of great players come through the program since its inception in 1995, but this is a special day in Brock Baseball history.
"We are so proud of him, said Brock baseball head coach Jeff Lounsbury. "It goes to show you that no matter where you play hard work and dedication pays off. For the past two years at Brock, Shaun has been a team leader both on and off the field. He is one of the all-time best players to ever wear a Brock uniform. We wish him all the best as he begins his professional career."
"We would like to congratulate Shaun on being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays," said Brock Director of Athletics Robert Hilson. "This is a great day for the Brock baseball program as Shaun becomes the first ever player drafted from Brock and the OUA. For the past two years he has excelled in Canadian University baseball and we wish him the best of luck at the next level."
During the 2011 OUA regular season, Valeriote played in all 21 regular season games, winning the OUA Triple Crown, as he led the league in home runs (5), RBI (20), and batting average (.460) 29-for-63. He also led the league in runs scored (27) and stolen bases (14). He recorded a hit in 17 of 21 games including 10 multiple hit performances.
"This is a perfect example of hard work paying off," said Toronto Blue Jays Director of Scouting Andrew Tinnish. "Shaun is a young man with ability on the field and tremendous makeup. He's the type of person that we're proud to add to our organization."
In two seasons with the Badgers, Valeriote has become one of the OUA's all-time top hitters with a .480 career OUA average going 59-for-123, with 34 RBI, 41 runs scored, nine doubles, five home runs and 23 stolen bases.
Overall in two seasons at Brock, Valeriote batted .485 going 98-for-202 with 17 doubles, one triple, nine homeruns, 61 RBI and 48 stolen bases. He was a two-time OUA top hitter, OUA All-Star, CIBA All-Canadian and Brock Most Valuable Player. He was also a two-time finalist for Brock Male Athlete of the Year.
In 2011 with the Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty Baseball League, Valeriote received the Brian Kerr Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie. He finished seventh in the IBL in hitting with a .385 mark while hitting four home runs and adding 18 RBI.
This summer with the IBL's Guelph Royals, Valeriote is currently batting .265 (9-for-34) with five RBI, 11 runs scored, 10 walks and five stolen bases in nine games.