Blue Jays prospect Jaden Rudd part of historical World Baseball Classic win by Great Britain

World Baseball Classic Pool C: Colombia v Great Britain
World Baseball Classic Pool C: Colombia v Great Britain / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Toronto Blue Jays prospect Jaden Rudd was a big part of Great Britain’s historical, 7-5 win over Columbia on Monday at the World Baseball Classic. 

It was the nation’s first-ever victory at the tournament and came just one day after they lost 18-8 to Canada in a mercy-rule, seven-inning game.

Rudd came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning with the score tied 3-3 and delivered a two-run double to left field, giving the Brits a 5-3 lead.  That moment inspired belief in the upstart squad that they could not only hang with the other teams in the tournament, but on this day, they could beat them too. 

The 20-year-old Rudd spent last season in the Florida Complex League in the lower levels of the Jays system and hit .203 with nine extra-base hits, 16 RBI, and eight steals over 46 games. The youngster has flashed his speed on the basepaths with gap power and the ability to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. 

He’ll likely start the year in Low-A ball with the Dunedin Blue Jays. 

After Great Britain took the lead, Manager Drew Spencer handed the ball to former Blue Jays prospect Graham Spraker. With pressure to get back into the dugout with the lead, Spraker recorded a clean inning and fired up his teammates to finish the job. 

Spraker recorded outs on eight of the nine batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts and earned the momentous win. Spraker was released by the Jays four weeks ago and signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to training camp by the Tampa Bay Rays. The 27-year-old had reached as high as the Triple-A level and had a strong performance at the Arizona Fall League in 2021. 

As for Rudd, he’ll be an exciting, developing prospect to watch over the next few years. Great Britain will get one more chance to shock the world at the WBC, on Tuesday evening when they take on Mexico.  

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