This year’s MLB Draft is being touted for its strong class of Canadian talent, and among that talent is a pitcher by the name of Jeff Degano.
Jeff Degano first came on to the baseball scene in 2005 as Whalley represented Canada at the Little League World Series. Degano pitched in one game in the tournament, a 5-0 loss to Mangilo. However, people don’t so much remember the loss from that game. What people remember is Degano throwing 101 pitches, one of only nine pitchers to do so in the tournament to do so, and only allowing eight hits in the process.
After graduating high school, Degano attended Marshalltown Community College in Iowa for two years. After two years, Degano enrolled at Indiana State University in 2013. Degano pitched in three games for Indiana State before requiring Tommy John surgery to repair his UCL. The injury meant Degano would have to miss the remainder of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season. Degano would have been draft eligible last year, but decided to return to Indiana State to show the scouts how good he really is.
Obviously, the New York Yankees liked what they saw from Degano this year. The 6’4 200lb pitcher had an ERA of 2.62 and averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings and his pitches have been consistently hitting around 90-94 MPH. A major concern for the Yankees will be his injury history, but he successfully bounced back this year. If Degano can stay healthy, he projects to be at least a reliever at the MLB level with strong potential to become a closer. If he doesn’t stay healthy, he could have a career path similar to that of another Surrey-born pitcher named Adam Loewen.