Chipola (Fla.) JC coach Jeff Johnson confirmed via e-mail Wednesday that his program has added two of the top unsigned players from the 2009 draft. Outfielder LeVon Washington and lefthander Jake Eliopoulos will both attend the junior college and be eligible for the 2010 draft.
Washington didn’t sign as the 30th overall selection by the Rays. The Gainesville (Fla.) High product had committed to Florida but didn’t qualify academically. Scouts who like Washington consider him similar to Johnny Damon for his well above-average speed, hitting ability and lack of arm strength. He’s still coming off shoulder surgery to repair a labrum tear that reduced his arm strength considerably during his senior season in high school. Most scouts consider the class of college hitters for the 2010 draft to be fairly uninspiring, and Washington should be able to hit his way back into the first round with a healthy, productive season and improved throwing arm.
An unsigned second-rounder, Eliopoulos follows in the footsteps of many Canadians who have attended Chipola, a group that includes the likes of Adam Loewen, Russell Martin and 2009 Futures Game MVP Rene Tosoni (Twins). The 68th overall selection, Elipoulos is one of three Blue Jays draft picks in the first three rounds who didn’t sign. The lefthander out of Sacred Heart Catholic High in Newmarket, Ontario, has clean, easy throwing mechanics and average present stuff, with good life on his fastball to go with a curveball and changeup.
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