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The Atlanta Braves went in an unexpected direction with their second pick Monday evening, grabbing Canadian preparatory right-hander Mike Soroka with the 28th overall pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
A pair of Canadian position players - Josh Naylor and Demi Orimoloye - stole the headlines heading into Monday's draft, but Soroka opened eyes while working with pitching coach Chris Reitsma of the Canadian Junior National Team. Blessed with an ideal pitcher's frame - he stands about 6-foot-4 - and a fastball that can touch 94 miles per hour, Soroka is the first high school pitcher from Canada to be chosen this early since the Toronto Blue Jays selected Jake Eliopoulos in the second round of the 2009 draft.
Earlier in the evening, the Braves selected left-hander Kolby Allard, a California high school product, with the 14th overall pick in the draft. The club was awarded the 28th overall pick, a compensatory selection, after veteran right-hander Ervin Santana signed with the Minnesota Twins this winter.