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Jays' draft pick Knecht chosen top Canadian in college

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The Canadian Press
12/29/2010 9:08:42 PM
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TORONTO - Toronto Blue Jays draft pick Marcus Knecht has been chosen the Canadian college baseball player of the year in a poll conducted by the CanadianBaseballNetwork.com.

The hard-hitting outfielder from Toronto received first-place votes on 49 of 51 ballots.

Knecht transferred from Oklahoma State University to Connors State College due to a lack of playing time and went on to capture two portions of the triple crown among the more than 700 Canadians playing college baseball in the U.S., with 23 homers and 87 RBIs.

Outfielder Sean Bignall of Toronto had the highest average, batting .458 for Northern Oklahoma-Enid Jets.

Chosen in the third round by the Blue Jays, Knecht batted .268 with five homers and 34 RBIs in 61 games for single-A Auburn after signing.

Knecht also heads the CanadianBaseballNetwork.com's 11th annual All-Canadian team, which also features 2009 player of the year South Dakota State third baseman Jesse Sawyer of Calgary.

The rest of the All-Canadian first team includes Cumberland lefty Shawn Schaefer of Pitt Meadows, B.C., Ottawa's Matt McGovern of North Carolina-Pembroke, Burlington reliever Nathan Lewis of Tarleton State, and Mississauga, Ont., catcher Peter Bako, from Connors State.

The infield consists of Canisius first baseman Brian Burton of Kitchener, Ont., Iowa Western second baseman Ivan Hartle of North Vancouver, B.C., Sawyer, and Laval, Que., shortstop Carl Moniz from Georgia State.

Joining Knecht and Bignall in the outfield is Greg Wallace from Nanaimo, B.C. of Evansville Purple Aces.

Paul LaMantia of Tecumseh, Ont., and the Wayne State Warriors won the DH spot.

Toronto Blue Jays (Photo: MLB)

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