Over the past couple of years, Mateos Kekatos reinvented himself as a pitcher with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. He put in hours upon hours of work to refine his delivery, to better understand his repertoire, to hone the quality of his pitches and the results showed on the mound, with a couple of seasons that positioned him to become the second player ever selected in the June draft out of Ontario University Athletics.

On the cusp of achieving a lifelong dream, the 22-year-old is instead among the thousands of young players left in limbo by the COVID-19 pandemic and Major League Baseball’s decision to run a five-round draft next month as a result.

Canadians eligible this year will be hit particularly hard by the fallout, although the country’s top prospects of the 2020 class – outfielders Owen Caissie of Burlington, Ont., David Calabrese of Maple, Ont., and Jordan Nwogu of Ottawa – may avoid the collateral damage.

Those further down the draft lists, though, are going to be adversely impacted, especially someone like Kekatos, who has already overcome extreme odds in emerging from a rarely travelled pathway.