....and the second and the third rounds. After the Jays first pick they pick next at #120.
So what pitchers might the Jays be interested in the middle rounds of the draft? Below are a few names to keep in mind in the 4th through 7th rounds. These are all college pitchers because, one, the Jays have placed a heavy emphasis on college players in the past, and two, there's statistics for college players. Additionally, since the Jays pick in the fourth round at #120 everyone listed is ranked lower than that at Baseball America.
Brad Furnish, LHP, TCU, 6-2, 185
BA Rank - 126
The walks are higher than you might like, but at this point in the draft you're not going to have prospects that do everything well. The strikeout rate obviously jumps out - a nice increase over his previous two years (which seems to be typical of most college juniors). And he's a lefty - the Jays seem to like taking those players the past couple years in the draft.
Eddie Degerman, RHP, Rice, 6-4, 205
BA Rank - 153
I'm not quite sure why he's ranked this low, especially for a pitcher at a top baseball school like Rice, but part of it might be his age. He's a 5th year senior so he'll be 23 at the end of the minor league season this year. But given his strikeout numbers and hit rate - 5.4 per 9 looks like a misprint (it's not) - and the fact that he'll be easy to sign I'd be surprised if he last until the fourth round.
Tim Bascom, RHP, Central Florida, 6-2, 180
BA Rank - 184
The numbers look good to me, but the scouting report says he has a straight fastball between 87-89. Bascom, interestingly, is from Dunedin - I wonder if the Jays have seen him more than they typically would have otherwise?
Keith Weiser, LHP, Miami (OH), 6-2, 195
BA Rank - 185
Weisner's ERA dropped this year, but his rate stats aren't noticably different. Prior to the year he looked like a top 100 pick after going 10-0 in 2005, but it sounds like he's not ranked that high at the moment. And he's a lefty - can't have too many of those.
Steve Holmes, RHP, Rhode Island, 6-2, 205
BA Rank - 187
The numbers look good, particularly the 1.14 ERA this year. However, Rhode Island isn't exactly a baseball powerhouse so they're a bit inflated. BA said he's a competitor with polish that could move fast, but has the upside of a 4 or 5 starter.
Bruce Billings, RHP, San Diego St, 6-0, 200
BA Rank - 188
Like Weiser, Billings pitched a bit better last year. He missed some time this year with an arm injury, but has pitched well lately. San Diego St plays in a lot of hitters park and plays a good schedule so those numbers are probably a little bit better than they look on the surface.
Hector Ambriz, RHP, UCLA, 6-2, 210
BA Rank - 190
The people's choice! UCLA plays the toughest schedule in college baseball and plays in a hitter's park. So these numbers, like Billings, are likely better than they appear. Interestingly, Ambriz pitches the Friday games while David Huff, who's projected to be a first round pick, pitches the Saturday games (the Friday starter is the equivalent of a team's #1 pitcher). Ambriz is also UCLA's cleanup hitter. Ban the DH and draft him!
Next week I'll take a look at some of the hitters that should be available at the Jays picks in the 4th through 7th rounds.