The Blue Jays have signed third-round pick John Stilson, who projected as a likely first-rounder until injuring his shoulder in May, for $500,000. MLB's guideline for his No. 108 draft slot was $289,800.
The initial diagnosis was that Stilson had a torn labrum that would require surgery. Subsequent examinations led to a more optimistic view that the injury isn't as severe as first feared and perhaps can be healed through rehabilitation.
Stilson ranked No. 23 on Baseball America's Top 200 Prospects list before the injury. After spending his freshman season at Texarkana (Texas) JC in 2009, he led NCAA Division I in ERA (0.80) as a reliever in his first season with the Aggies. He moved into the rotation this spring and went 5-2, 1.68 with 92 strikeouts in 91 innings. When healthy, he threw a 91-94 mph fastball, a dynamic changeup and a hard breaking ball.
“Even when others were trying to figure things out [with the injury], I knew I would be fine and that this injury would be just a bump in the road," Stilson said in a statement released by his advisors at ICON Sports Management. "I needed a team to step up and give me the chance to get started, and I appreciate the Blue Jays providing me with this opportunity."
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