Duke has had plenty of first-round picks in basketball, but 5-foot-9 righthander Marcus Stroman became the school's first first-rounder in the June MLB draft. The Blue Jays made it happen with the No. 22 overall selection—their second first-round selection, following prep outfielder D.J. Davis at No. 17 overall.
Stroman jumped into first-round consideration last summer when he struck out 17 of the 25 batters he faced with USA Baseball's college national team as the closer. Then he performed consistently all spring for a poor Duke team, ranking second in the nation in strikeouts (136, behind Andrew Heaney's 140) and third in strikeouts per nine innings.
Stroman gets strikeouts both with his fastball, which sits 92-94 mph, and he has added a changeup and cutter in the last year as he evolved from an infielder/closer into a starter. He always has had his wipeout slider that can make hitters look silly. He should be one of the fastest players to the majors in this year's class, and some scouts think he can start. But they all know he can be a big league reliever in short order.
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