Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Team Player Position State Bonus
1s 37 Toronto Blue Jays James Paxton LHP Ky.
Paxton was a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder with an 86-87 mph fastball and some feel for a breaking ball when Kentucky recruited him out of a British Columbia high school. Three years, three inches and 30 pounds later, he has shown a 93-94 mph fastball throughout the spring. He has peaked at 97, and his heater also has very good run and sink. He throws with a clean arm action and little effort. Paxton also has transformed his breaking pitch from a slurve into a true curveball. On his best days, he'll show a plus-plus fastball, an above-average curveball and good command. He also has a changeup that has its moments, though he doesn't use it often. He's one of the youngest college juniors in the draft--he won't turn 21 until November--suggesting that he has even more room for improvement. Despite his improved stuff and ability to throw quality strikes (as evidenced by his 115-20 K-BB ratio in 78 innings), Paxton has been hit surprisingly hard this season. His ERA has risen from 2.92 last year to 5.86, with no obvious explanation. He has a history of nagging injuries, including a sore elbow in high school, back problems as a sophomore and some tendinitis in his left knee this spring. But he's never had surgery and scouts don't have serious concerns about his health. Anonymous a year ago, Paxton has pitched himself into first-round consideration.
4 140 Chicago Cubs Chris Rusin LHP Ky. $140,000
Rusin can't reach the mid-90s like Kentucky teammates James Paxton and Alex Meyer (projected first-rounders in 2009 and 2011, respectively) but he pitched both of them this spring. He finished his career ranked second in career wins (23) and strikeouts (274 in 302 innings) in school history, and he should be one of the first college seniors drafted this year. Rusin had a chance to go in the first five rounds in 2008 before coming down with a sore elbow shortly before the draft. He had arthroscopic surgery in the fall to repair a slight tear in a tendon and has been as good as ever this spring. Six-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Rusin primarily works with a lively 87-89 mph fastball and a curveball. He'll need to improve his changeup to succeed as a starter in pro ball. He doesn't have a pretty delivery, but it adds deception to his pitches without impairing his ability to throw strikes. He repeats his mechanics well, though some scouts wonder if they could lead to more arm problems down the line.
11 338 Florida Marlins Chris Wade SS Ky. $150,000
31 931 Colorado Rockies Clint Tilford RHP Ky.