Sam and Kelekin gave us great coverage of the draft this week. Today Kelekin wraps it up with his summary and his opinions on the best of the draft. We will also use this thread as the signings thread. Over to Kelekin.........
With the 2012 draft in the rear-view mirror, it’s time we examine some of the players drafted by the Blue Jays and grade the draft. There is no question that this was a top-tier draft by Toronto, taking many high ceiling players in the first three rounds.
First and foremost, here is the list of draftees. Draftees who have signed will be bolded, with a signing amount beside their name. Draft slot amounts in brackets via Baseball America
Extra cash before losing a draft pick: estimated $5,340
1) Dylan Davis, OF, HS - $1,750,000 ($2,000,000)
1) Marcus Stroman, RHP, Jr - $1,800,000 ($1,800,000)
1s) Matt Smoral, LHP, HS - ~$2,000,000 ($1,000,000)
1s) Mitch Nay, 3B, HS - $1,000,000 ($884,100)
1s) Tyler Gonzales, RHP, HS $750,000 ($857,200)
2) Chase DeJong, RHP, HS $860,000 ($620,300)
3) Anthony Alford, OF, HS $750,000 ($424,400)
4) Tucker Donahue, RHP, Sr - <$10,000 ($308,700)
5) Brad Delatte, LHP, Sr <$5,000 ($231,100)
6) Eric Phillips, 3B, Sr, - $5,000 ($173,200)
7) Ian Parmley, OF, Sr <$5,000 ($145,000)
8) Harrison Frawley, C, 5-Sr <$5,000 ($135,400)
9) Jordan Leyland, 1B, Sr <$5,000 ($126,400)
10) Alex Azor, CF, Sr - $1,000 ($125,000)
11) Grant Heyman, OF, HS
12) Ryan Kellogg, LHP, HS
13) John Silviano, C, HS
14) Zak Wasilewski, LHP, HS
15) Ryan Borucki, LHP, HS $426,000 ($326 over limit)
16) Will Dupont, 2B, HS
17) Shane Dawson, LHP, Juco
18) Alonzo Gonzalez, LHP, Juco
19) Jorge Flores, SS, Juco
20) Dennis Jones, OF, Juco
21) Colton Turner, LHP, Jr
22) Josh Almonte, OF, HS
23) Trey Pascazi, SS, HS
24) Matt Rose, RHP, HS
25) Jason Leblebijian, SS, Jr
26) Nathan Desouza OF, HS
27) Daniel Zamora, LHP, HS
28) Dan Klein, C, Sr
29) Cole Irvin, LHP, HS
30) Devin Pearson, OF, HS
31) Derrick Chung, SS, 5-Sr
32) Jorge Saez, C, Jr
33) Jonathan Harris, RHP, HS
34) Brandon Lopez, SS, HS
35) Devyn Rivera, RHP, Sr
36) Brian Cruz, SS, Juco
37) Daniel Devonshire, 1B, Juco
38) Nick Lovullo, SS, HS
39) Shaun Valeriote, 3B, Jr
40) Jose Cuas, SS, HS
The Seniors' Buffet
With a new CBA comes new draft strategy, and Toronto was one of many teams to employ the tactic of drafting seniors to add money for harder to sign early-round picks. Every pick from the 4th through 10th round was a college senior, some of which would have been unlikely to get drafted under the old system - or at least not until the late rounds. However, this wasn't punting picks. The Jays likely believe they have college seniors who do have some degree of potential, albeit limited.
Of the college seniors drafted - Eric Phillips is easily the most interesting. Phillips has posted great lines year after year, posting a .390/.464/.514 line in 2011 and currently ranked 21st in batting average in all of NCAA Division I ball. While his upside may be limited, if you saw a player with a line like Phillips, you would not assume he would be signing for a $5000 bonus. On top of that, he has some degree of speed, with 55 SBs in the last two seasons and currently ranked 25th. Phillips is a bargain for the price and should have no issues in the low minors.
Of the later-round college crop, Colton Turner holds promise if he signs. This year, he posted a 2.46 ERA in 14 starts, with a 3.49 BB/9, 8.93 K/9 and WHIP of 1.48. I would not be surprised to see him go back to school and improve upon his position for next year, as he was one of the better pitchers in his conference this year. Turner was ranked #484 on the Baseball America Top 500.
High School Hopefuls (11th Round and Later)
Once the 11th round started, teams started picking high-upside players to sign as likely back-up plans due to harder signs not going in their favour. The Jays picked many players that would fit in this category, including Ryan Kellogg, Ryan Borucki, William DuPont, Cole Irvin, Jonathan Harris, and Brandon Lopez.
Some of our other high schoolers may be more poised to sign, although anything is possible. Grant Heyman (11th round) did not make the BA Top 500, but was ranked #9 in New York. According to PerfectGame's New York preview Grant Heyman was listed as the state's "Prospect On The Rise" as well as Best Athlete. Heyman is speedy, having clocked a 6.7 60. He is considered raw but athletic, and there was the possibility of him being taken earlier.
Ryan Kellogg (12th round) would have easily gone in the top 5 rounds under the old CBA, but fell all the way to the 12th. It has been said that he turned down teams early for as high as 350K, which will make him a tough sign in this category. Kellogg is Canada's consensus top prospect this year. He's a big 6'5" 220lb kid, usually sitting between 87-89 mph with a solid downward plane. He is projected to throw harder, with both his curveball and change-up considered solid pitches.
Zak Wasilewski (14th round) was on the map until having Tommy John surgery in 2011, his junior season. Prior to his surgery, he was hitting 91 mph and reports have shown that he managed to hit 91 mph quite early on in the season post-recovery. Online reports have stated Wasilewski has unofficially signed with the Jays, though nothing is official yet. While Zak did not make BA or PG's Top 500, he is an intriguing pick.
Ryan Borucki (15th round) injured himself in March, and suddenly fell off prospect radars. His potential was still known however, as teams called him as early as the 3rd round. It is extremely unlikely the 6'4" lefty will sign without receiving more than 100K, as he himself has stated “I think the fact that the Blue Jays are planning on coming out here says that they have a lot of faith in me and they think they might have enough money leftover (after signing higher picks) to sign me." Borucki has a good breaking ball and has hit 91-92 MPH on the gun.
William DuPont (16th round) is a blazing-fast shortstop, having run a 6.47 60. He has the best speed out of the Missouri crop, but struggled with the bat in his senior season after a tremendous junior season put him on the map. He may be a tough sign, but would be an exciting player to add to our system.
Josh Almonte (22nd round) was a virtual unknown until 2012. He showed good speed, and an impressive arm, clocked as high as 93 mph from the outfield. Almonte struggled with the bat as a senior, but he has plenty of raw tools. He is considered a slightly tough sign, but if he does sign, it's unlikely it'd be too far over the 100K.
Nathan DeSouza (26th round) is a power-hitting OF from Ontario, ranked 7th in Canada by BA. Most of DeSouza's potential stems from his bat, as PerfectGame rated him Best Hitter & Best Power in Canada. Certainly, any time you get a power prospect, especially a Canadian one, you have to hope he signs.
Cole Irvin (29th round) was ranked by both PG and BA in their Top 500 lists. Irvin is a projectable 6'4" who has yet to fill out, weighing in at only 175 lbs. With solid breaking balls and hitting 90-91 MPH, Irvin would be a great signing at this point in the draft. He may be a very tough sign, as it is likely he would have gone mid-way through Day 2 if he was signable at slot.
Brandon Lopez (33rd round) is one of the best defensive shortstops in the 2012 draft, and it will be impossible to sign him without an over-slot deal. Lopez was ranked #154 by BA.
Overall, the Blue Jays' draft was on par with the past two years. Plenty of high upside talent was taken. It may be harder to get some of them under contract this year than previous years, and it is unlikely the Jays will have a draft this fruitful ever again under the new CBA. Starting in 2013, there will be fewer picks given in compensation, and the playing field will even out. If the Jays somehow managed to get both Smoral and Alford under contract, an unlikely feat, they would easily have a top 3 draft. The combination of Smoral and Stroman will be an exciting one to watch, while DeJong has solid pitchability and Nay has raw power. If Alford doesn't sign, there will likely be enough money to land the majority of our other tough signs, such as Irvin, Lopez, Kellogg, Borucki, Dupont, and Almonte.
Here are my picks for the best players in this draft class:
Top Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Top Hitter: Anthony Alford
Sleeper: Eric Phillips
--------------------------- Thanks Kelekin and sam