Black Dawg catches on with Brewers

Baseball: Midget catcher Chris Shaw drafted by Milwaukee

By: By Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 09:38 pm

Okotoks Academy Black catcher Chris Shaw was drafted in the 38th round of the MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Okotoks Academy Black catcher Chris Shaw was drafted in the 38th round of the MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Remy Greer/OWW

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Highly touted baseball prospects don't need any distractions on the day of the Major League Baseball draft.

Just ask Okotoks Dawgs Academy Black catcher Chris Shaw.

“I was getting texts all day,” said Shaw. “Because there was a Chris Shaw drafted by the Mets, a different guy, but everyone back home was texting me and I had to tell them yeah it wasn't me and so I finally got the call.”

A phone call from Milwaukee Brewers Western Canada scout Marty Lehn put the scuttlebutt to rest. Shaw got word he was the Brewers' 38th round pick on June 6.

That the word came from the Brewers was not a shock to Shaw, who had conversations with Milwaukee as well as the Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox prior to the draft.

“I was riding with one of my teammates down to the (Duvernay) fieldhouse and I got the call and I was surprised because I didn't think I was going to go that late,” said Shaw. “I was really excited and had to call everyone back home.”

Shaw might have rung up some long distance bills contacting his friends and family in Winnipeg. The 2010 Manitoba player of the year and top catcher at the 2011 Canada Cup said he's excited to hear more news in the coming weeks.

“He said they'd keep in contact and (Lehn) is going to come out and watch me play in the next month or so and get a contract offer from there,” Shaw said.

Shaw will have some choices to make going forward.

The 18-year-old power hitter has committed to attend Midland Junior College in Texas.

“That's my number one (plan) because I haven't got a contract offer yet, but either way I have great options for next year,” he said.

Shaw said he hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Dawgs hurler Jim Henderson.

“Texas is a nice place to go on the field every day,” said Shaw. “Jim Henderson, an alumni with the Dawgs, plays with the AAA Brewers and he went to (Midland) for his Junior college option and really liked it and was telling me all about it.”

Shaw joined the Dawgs Academy last summer and has since ripped up the Midget baseball scene in Alberta. Hitting third on a stacked Midget Dawgs team, Shaw has posted a .524 batting average with 13 runs batted in through seven games this spring.

The Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity Academy is in his second year with the Canadian Junior National team, an honour which has sent the catcher around the world. He was part of Canada's silver medal in Columbia in a qualification tournament for the world championships and just came back from a trip to the Dominican Republic.

The Junior National squad goes to Italy on June 17 and Seoul, Korea for the 2012 World Junior Baseball Championships from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8.

Shaw said the Dawgs' coaching staff, including director of baseball Brandon Newell and Dawgs Academy head coach Brett Thomas, has been a boon to his development.

“They definitely helped me with just playing every day,” he said. “Brett has his catching experience playing with Cal-Berkeley so he's helped me receive better, throw better and we've got great coaches here with Allen Cox and Brandon Newell on the hitting side.”

Newell was a Northwest scout for Milwaukee and actually hired Lehn, the two of whom have enjoyed a longstanding friendship.

“I've known Marty for probably close to 20 years,” Newell said. “Marty has been up here a few times, for our college showcase and I give my opinion when it's asked, but Marty is a good scout and has been good giving our kids a lot of credit.”

“I think Chris getting drafted has a lot to do with Chris being a very good baseball player.”

For more information on Shaw and the Dawgs Academy go to www.jdawgsbaseball.ca.


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