On the fast track to the
baseball big leagues
Canham started out the 2008 season, his first full season in professional baseball, with the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League (High A ball).
In 2007, after winning his second consecutive NCAA Baseball National Championship at Oregon State University, Canham was selected as the 57th overall pick in the draft and headed on a short drive down I-5 to Eugene to start his professional career.
Canham had a very solid Northwest League short season with the Eugene Emeralds hitting .293 in 28 games with two home runs and 18 RBI’s, before being called up briefly to Lake Elsinore to finish out the season.
As one of the Padres top catching prospects, Canham is projected by Baseball America to be in the starting lineup by the 2011 season.
One of the biggest adjustments Canham had to make in the transition from college ball to professional ball is the amount of time spent at the facility working out.
He moved to Arizona after the 2007 season ended and began working out at the Padres facility five days a week. Once players reported for spring training, time at the facility increased from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week.
Although he had to deal with the tragic death of his brother Dustin in late March, Canham has still been able to focus on baseball.
Lake Stevens High School graduate and one of the San Diego Padres top prospects takes time during spring training to sign an autograph and pose for a photo with Lake Stevens resident and Padres fan Andrew Carlson.
He continues to make great improvements in his catching and impress the Padre brass. The Padres are very optimistic about Canhams abilities as a baseball player, his bat and his leadership skills and what he brings to the clubhouse.
“I consider myself a tough player who puts it all on the field. I am not afraid to throw, to hit or to run,” Canham said.
The Padres organization is very thin behind the plate at the major league level.
The two catchers currently on the major league roster have no major league experience before July of this year, and both of the regular major league catchers are currently on the disabled list.
The organization also lacks overall in production at the plate from their catchers, with a combined .206 average.
At the same time, there are no catchers in the organization hitting over .260 for the 2008 season, with the exception of Canham. Since most of them are struggling to stay above the Mendoza Line (.200), it seems like a major league call up could be in the very near future and Canham’s road to the big leagues could be a short one.