Blue Jays take Doc's son in symbolic 32nd Rd.

Braden Halladay will keep his commitment to play at Penn State

June 6th, 2019

TORONTO -- A little over a month before Roy Halladay is due to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, the Blue Jays selected his son, Braden, a right-hander from Calvary Christian (Florida) High School, in the 32nd round of the MLB Draft on Wednesday.

With a strong commitment to Penn State, the Blue Jays planned to use the late-round pick as a gesture to the young pitcher and his family, and to ensure the Halladay legacy continued in some way in Toronto.

“We obviously know the family well, know him well, and spent time with them,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. “He’s headed to Penn State, and we’re glad to have drafted him.”

There was a bit of symbolism behind the 32nd-round pick, as Roy wore No. 32 for most of his tenure with the Blue Jays. The club retired the number in 2018 in honor of its longtime ace, who died tragically at the age of 40 in a plane crash off the coast of Florida in November 2017.

“Matt Bishoff, our crosschecker, and Brandon Bishoff, our scout in the area, were able to talk to Braden and the family ... to let them know that we were planning on doing that,” Blue Jays amateur scouting director Steve Sanders said. “It was really a group thing, something we had talked about doing to really signal to them and acknowledge them as part of the Blue Jays family. And specifically Braden, we’re certainly excited to watch him go play in college and then hopefully be in the same situation a few years from now.”

After he was selected, Braden tweeted: "Thank you Blue Jays for drafting me in the 32nd round today! It’s a great honor! It’s with mutual understanding that I’ll still be honoring my commitment to Penn State! I look forward to college and bettering myself as a player and person, thank you to all who have supported me!"

The Blue Jays look forward to watching Braden’s progress at the Division I level and keeping tabs on him down the road.

“He’s a good player,” Sanders said. “He’s got a feel to pitch. We’ve certainly seen him play and we feel like he’s set up to have a lot of success at the next level, and we’re excited to watch him pitch at Penn State. He’s got a good delivery.

“We saw him pitch last year down in Dunedin, [Fla.], against the Jays [as a member of the Canadian Junior National Team]. He competes really well, and as he grows into his frame and grows into his stuff, he’s set up to have a lot of success at Penn State.”

Toronto took the elder Halladay out of high school in the first round (No. 17 overall) of the 1995 MLB Draft, and the righty went on to record 148 wins and a 3.43 ERA in 12 seasons for the team, winning an American League Cy Young Award along the way. He won another Cy Young Award in the National League after he was traded to the Phillies in 2009.

Halladay was posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot this past January, and he will be portrayed without a cap logo on his plaque.