Canadian hurler selected No. 28 by Braves

Right-hander Soroka impressed scouts during extended spring games

Canadian hurler selected No. 28 by Braves

ATLANTA -- As the Braves stuck to their commitment to target high-upside high school pitchers during the early stages of the 2015 Draft, they extended their search north of the border and took Canadian right-hander Mike Soroka with their second first-round selection (28th overall) on Monday night.

"This kid has a hockey background," Braves scouting director Brian Bridges said. "His dad played hockey. He's a tough kid. That's kind of the way I want to go."

Along with attempting to find mentally-strong athletes, the Braves have proven they want to get back to the days when they coveted young arms in the Draft. Both of their first two selections -- Soroka and Kolby Allard -- are 17-year-old high school pitchers.

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

• Braves select prep lefty Kolby Allard at No. 14

Power-packed Austin Riley taken at No. 41

• Catcher Lucas Herbert, Allard's teammate, picked up at No. 54

• Braves close Day 1 of Draft with Texas A&M lefty A.J. Minter

You can never have enough pitching," Bridges said after taking Soroka, who attended Bishop Carroll High School in Alberta, Canada.

After being selected by the Braves, Soroka tweeted: "So honored to be selected 28th by the @Braves in the #MLBdraft it is truly a dream come true."

Soroka captured the attention of scouts with his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and a lively fastball that has been clocked between 92-94 mph. While pitching for the Canadian Junior National Team, he had the opportunity to work with former Braves reliever Chris Reitsma, who serves as the team's pitching coach.

"He's not really a late bloomer, he's a young bloomer," Bridges said. "I think he's going to grow into his own. This is what they look like. This is a guy that has a high ceiling and has a chance to be a No. 1 or 2 starter. We look forward to getting him in the fold."

While facing the Blue Jays big league lineup during Spring Training this year, Soroka completed a hitless first inning and then began to unravel in the second inning. The young hurler then further impressed scouts as he recorded 11 strikeouts over 10 innings in two starts against extended spring clubs in April.

Bridges was present when Soroka experienced little trouble against the Braves' extended spring club.

"The sky is the limit with this child," Bridges said. "Guys that don't throw the ball straight, you have a tendency to like those guys."

Along with possessing a smooth delivery, Soroka has a relatively fresh arm because of the limited innings he pitched while growing up in a northern climate.

"When you see that kind of ease in a delivery, there's less stress on the body," Bridges said. "This guy is a mold of clay. You can't be scared of northern arms. They come from all over, and the more we attack these type of players, the better we'll be as an organization."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.