11/22/2006 12:56 PM ET
Loewen: Canadian pride
By Adam Loewen / MLBPLAYERS.com
I take pride in being the fourth Canadian to have been taken in the first round of the draft, especially with all the good Canadian players that have come before me. To be the highest one ever drafted is quite an honor and a privilege.
Adam Loewen's favorite player growing up was Larry Walker. (Winslow Townson/AP)
I didn't know I was the highest-drafted Canadian until it happened and there was some talk of it during the draft. It was going to be me or Jeff Francis and it just happened to be me. I was told I would probably go in the top 10 or so, but I was just so excited to be mentioned at all in that space.
Since then, I've played with Francis on a couple of teams, including on the World Baseball Classic team this year. He's three years older than me.
I don't feel any added pressure knowing that the other Canadians drafted in the first round haven't really panned out. After the draft, everyone is just trying to make the club and prove it on the field. Right now, I'm just trying to help the Orioles become a successful team.
As an amateur, I got the most attention from scouts when I was playing with the Canadian National Team and some junior teams. We traveled a lot, especially in the U.S., and I was in position to be seen. Those tournaments really help get a lot of players from Canada on the map.
We don't have high school ball where I'm from in British Columbia, but we have year-round legion ball, so we play about 80-90 games a year, including lots of double-headers on the weekends and two games during the week.
Between the Blue Jays and the Expos, I'm a Blue Jays fan. I had the opportunity to go to the Sky Dome when I was with the national team. I got to see Pat Borders hit a walk-off home run in his comeback debut. I have a lot of good memories watching baseball games there.
My favorite Blue Jays player growing up was Ed Sprague, the third baseman. He was a power guy, a prototypical third baseman. I always liked to watch Ken Griffey, Jr. too. But Larry Walker was my favorite player. He's from about 20 minutes from where I lived. Everyone looked up to him.
Selected by the Orioles fourth overall in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Adam Loewen signed a five-year Major League contract in 2003 and made his debut for Baltimore in late May. The 6-foot-5 left-hander made his debut for the Oroiles out of the bullpen on May 23 and finished his rookie season with a 6-6 record and a 5.37 ERA.