Toronto Blue Jays

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 20 Chad Jenkins RHP Kennesaw State Ga. $1,359,000
While Kyle Heckathorn entered the year as the top prospect in the A-Sun, Jenkins and Brothers weren't far behind. A mid-80s guy in high school, Jenkins had a soft body but his arm worked well, and he has improved significantly in college. He had a strong sophomore season, first with Kennesaw State (5-5, 3.96), then in the Great Lakes League. Jenkins has firmed up his still soft body, and his velocity has caught up with his ability to throw strikes. He now has two or three plus pitches at times with good command, giving him serious helium. Jenkins has a great feel for pitching and now sits at 90-93 mph with his hard sinker and reaches back for 96 mph with a four-seamer at times. His sinker has boring action in on righthanded hitters when it's going well. His slider gives him a second plus pitch. His changeup is average. Jenkins repeats his delivery, and scouts see his big 6-foot-4, 225-pound body as a durable asset, particularly if he keeps getting in better shape. He resembles Phillies righthander Joe Blanton, with better command, and should go in the first 20 picks.
1s 37 James Paxton LHP Kentucky 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.
2 68 Jake Eliopoulos LHP Sacred Heart Catholic HS, Newmarket, Ont. Ontario
It's a down year in general for Canada. Unlike the past two years, there won't be a first-rounder from the Great White North, but Eliopoulos will likely be the highest-drafted player from Ontario since Scott Thorman was a first-round pick in 2000. Jim Eliopoulos, a catcher on the 1984 Canadian Olympic team, adopted Jake from Ukraine as a baby. At 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds, Eliopoulos is long and lean with room for projection. He's also young in a lot of regards, which scouts like. He looks young in the face, leading them to believe he'll fill out and add velocity and, being from Canada, he doesn't have the mileage on his arm that a similar pitcher in California or Florida might have. Eliopoulos' fastball currently sits in the 88-91 mph range with good life and movement. His mechanics are easy and clean and he also throws a curveball with some late depth and a changeup that is above-average for a high school pitcher. While nothing really jumps out about Eliopoulos, he's a complete package.
3 99 Jake Barrett RHP Desert Ridge HS, Mesa, Ariz. Ariz.
A horse at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Barrett made the showcase rounds last summer and fall, first with Team USA, then to the Area Code Games and then down to Jupiter, Fla. for the World Wood Bat Tournament with the Rays scout team. Despite pitching nearly year-round, he hasn't showed signs of slowing up this spring. The Arizona State recruit has pitched at 90-92 mph with his fastball and can dial it up to 94, leading his team to a 5-A-II state championship. It's a heavy fastball and Barrett is aggressive on the mound. He has tightened up his curveball that he throws in the upper 70s, and he can throw it for strikes. He hasn't needed a changeup much as an amateur, but it has the potential to be an average pitch as it continues to develop. Barrett is a hard worker who has gotten into better shape this spring.
3 104 Jake Marisnick OF Poly HS, Riverside, Calif. Calif. $1,000,000
A tall, lanky and projectable 6-foot-4 outfielder, Marisnick's build and raw tools remind scouts of Jeff Francoeur and Dale Murphy. He's one of the best athletes in this draft class and has run a 6.7-second 60-yard dash with a vertical jump of nearly 36 inches (best among those tested at the Area Code Games). He also has a powerful throwing arm, which he shows off in pregame warm-ups. A center fielder in high school, Marisnick projects as a corner outfielder as he fills out. Scouts are split on his future hitting ability. Some are confident he will produce, while others point to mechanical concerns. He's well balanced throughout his swing, and his stride is short and closed. However, a weak beginning hand position sabotaged Marisnick early in the season, keeping him from driving the ball with authority. His frame and athletic skills make him one of the most appealing outfield prospects in the nation, but any club selecting him early will have to be convinced of his hitting potential.
4 130 Ryan Goins SS Dallas Baptist Texas $216,000
Ryan Goins smashed 22 homers for Dallas Baptist this spring, but his best tool is actually his plus-plus arm. A lefthanded hitter, he projects to have more gap power than home run pop with wood bats. The 5-foot-11, 183-pounder draws a lot of walks and should be able to hit in pro ball. His well-below-average speed will force him to move from shortstop to second base, where his arm strength will be less of an asset.
5 160 Ryan Schimpf 2B Louisiana State La. $155,700
No one is projecting Schimpf as a future American League MVP, but his game is reminiscent of Dustin Pedroia's. Schimpf is a diminutive (listed at 5-foot-9, 181 pounds) second baseman who's a force at the plate. Schimpf would have led the Valley League in batting (.392) and slugging (.763) last summer if he hadn't fell short of qualifying because he arrived late from the College World Series, and he led Louisiana State with 19 homers entering this year's CWS. Schimpf hits lefthanded and has a shorter stroke than Pedroia's, and uses excellent pitch recognition and quick wrists to repeatedly square up balls on the barrel of his bat. He's an aggressive hitter yet has walked as much as he has struck out this spring. Schimpf has average speed and good instincts on the bases. He's a versatile defender who began this season at second base before shifting to the outfield so the Tigers could get freshman shortstop Austin Nola's glove into the lineup. Schimpf's bat profiles much better at second base and will be able to play there in pro ball. He's an adequate defender there, reliable if not spectacular. He has fringy arm strength and needs to work on his double-play pivot. Schimpf figures to get drafted between the fourth and seventh round.
6 190 K.C. Hobson OF Stockdale HS, Bakersfield, Calif. Calif. $500,000
KC Hobson is the son of Butch Hobson, well known to baseball fans as the former third baseman and later manager of the Boston Red Sox. Unlike his dad, KC bats and throws left handed. The younger Hobson is 6'2" tall and 210 pounds, with a mature and powerful build. A pitcher and first baseman, Hobson is the type of player who shows ability at both spots, but perhaps not quite enough to warrant first three round attention. On the mound, Hobson has an impressive but not overwhelming arm. His fastball sits from 87 to 90, peaking at 91. Hobson's 72 to 74 curve will show some sharp break occasionally, but he has poor command and exhibits difficulty controlling both pitches. Undoubtedly, Hobson's arm is sufficient for one of the corner outfield spots, however, he doesn't run well enough to play beyond the infield. That leaves first base as his probable defensive home. Hobson displays interesting potential as a hitter. Fundamentally sound and blessed with outstanding power, Hobson can put on eye opening batting practice spectacles Unfortunately, his performances at the plate in game situations can be uneven, and he has shown difficulties in making consistent hard contact. Hobson's big league lineage will unquestionably assist him in the draft. His value is perhaps highest as a power hitting lefthanded first baseman.
7 220 Egan Smith LHP JC of Southern Nevada Nev. $110,000
The College of Southern Nevada has two interesting arms in Egan Smith and Gabe Weidenaar. As a 6-foot-4, 205-pound lefthander, Smith is the better prospect of the two and pitches at 87-90 mph with his fastball. He scrapped his curveball and moved down to a three-quarters arm slot to focus on a slider instead. Smith, whose brother Jordan pitches in the Reds system, is committed to Arkansas if he doesn't go pro.
8 250 Brian Slover RHP Cal State Northridge Calif. $150,000
A physically imposing 6-foot-3, 230-pounder, Slover pounds the strike zone with a low- to mid-90s fastball and hard slider. He led the Big West with a 1.39 ERA, saving nine games while striking out 48 in 45 innings.
9 280 Aaron Loup LHP Tulane La. $100,000
Aaron Loup is a study in contradictions. He's a 6-foot, 175-pound lefthander who throws from a low-three-quarters slot, yet he has a solid-average fastball and can touch 93 mph. Despite that heater, a sweeping slider and fine control (a 61-9 K-BB ratio in 59 innings this spring), he gets hit harder than he should (5.93 ERA, .284 opponent average, nine homers). His ERA has gotten progressively worse in three seasons at Tulane, but he has the stuff and strike-throwing ability to be a successful reliever in pro ball.
10 310 Yan Gomes C Barry (Fla.) Fla. $85,000
Gomes, a south Florida prep product, was a highly-regarded recruit to Tennessee who started in the Southeastern Conference for two seasons. While he was relatively productive there, he wound up transferring to Division II Barry after coach Rod Delmonico was fired and after spending one season under new Vols coach Todd Raleigh. As a junior, Gomes predictably dominated, batting .405 with 21 home runs. His bat is ahead of his defense, though, and his below-average speed limits him to corner spots or catching. He profiles best behind the plate, and he threw out 14 of 29 basestealers at the D-II level this spring. However scouts generally consider his catching skills to be below-average, though he has the tools to be a fringe-average defender there.
11 340 Sean Ochinko C Louisiana State La.
12 370 Bryson Namba 3B Pearl City (Hawaii) HS Hawaii
Third baseman Bryson Namba has been on the prospect radar in Hawaii for a long time. He was the star player for Hawaii's Little League World Series team in 2003, but changed high schools this season and then got kicked off of his new team, losing his chance to play at Hawaii next year in the process. He is also slated to attend Yavapai next year.
13 400 Matt Morgal RHP Southern Nazarene (Okla.) Okla.
14 430 Lance Durham 1B Cincinnati Ohio
Another juco transfer broke another of Youkilis' records this spring. First baseman Lance Durham, whose father Leon was a big league all-star with the Cubs, surpassed Youkilis' single-season mark with 99 hits and set another school record with a .427 average. A lefthanded hitter who hooks a lot of balls but keeps more than his share in fair territory, Durham crushes fastballs and has trouble with offspeed pitches. He has a good approach and a discerning eye, though he can get too patient at times. Durham doesn't always turn his raw power loose, but when he does, he can drive the ball. He hit the longest ball in the history of Cincinnati's Marge Schott Stadium, an April 29 shot against Xavier that traveled an estimated 500 feet and landed on top of the school's basketball arena. Durham doesn't exactly have a pro body at 5-foot-10 and 233 pounds, and his speed, arm and range are all below average. But his bat and his bloodlines should get him drafted in the first 10-15 rounds. A 45th-round pick by the Tigers out of high school in 2006, Durham went undrafted in two seasons at Kaskaskia (Ill.) JC.
15 460 Drew Hutchison RHP Lakeland (Fla.) HS Fla. $400,000
16 490 Dave Sever RHP Saint Louis Mo.
17 520 Steve Turnbull RHP Iowa Iowa
18 550 Daniel Webb RHP Northwest Florida State JC Fla. $450,000
Pitching is scarce in Florida in both the four-year colleges and prep ranks, but not at the junior college level. There's real depth, with the biggest name being righthander Daniel Webb. He performed well in showcases and entered 2008 as one of the nation's top prep arms, but he hasn't been able to build on that in the last two years. He hasn't shown he can consistently get hitters out, either at the Kentucky high school level or in Florida's juco ranks. He looked ordinary at Northwest Florida State JC (formerly Okaloosa-Walton) despite having a big-time arm. He doesn't repeat his delivery and doesn't throw enough strikes with his 88-92 mph fastball, which touches 94. The pitch shows less movement than it did on the showcase circuit in 2007. He improved the movement on his slurvy breaking ball and throws his changeup more often than he did in high school, so he has made some progress. He struggles with his command and rarely throws the breaker for strikes. An unsigned 12th-rounder last year, Webb may go in about the same range this year. No one expects him back at Northwest Florida State, but scouts didn't have a good read on his signability. If he doesn't sign, he's likely to look for a different junior college.
19 580 Ryan Tepera RHP Sam Houston State Texas
20 610 Kevin Nolan SS Winthrop S.C.
21 640 Kurt Giller RHP Manhattan (Kan.) HS Kan.
Scouts didn't pay much attention to righthander Kurt Giller when he threw 85-86 mph last summer, but they came to see him this spring when his fastball started to touch 92. The Nebraska recruit has a strong 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame and the makings of an effective breaking ball.
22 670 Matt Fields RHP Gonzaga Wash.
Senior righthander Matt Fields is 89-91 and shows good pitchability, though he's already 23.
23 700 Brad Glenn OF Arizona Ariz.
Third baseman Brad Glenn is lucky to be alive after he severed an artery in his right wrist when he fell through a glass coffee table playing video games in the offseason. He recovered and hit .256 with 12 doubles and nine home runs this year, so he could be a senior sign.
24 730 Matt Nuzzo SS Brown R.I.
25 760 Sam Strickland LHP Texas A&M-Kingsville Texas
26 790 Lance Loftin RHP Texas State Texas
27 820 Brian Justice RHP St. Mary's Calif.
28 850 Zach Outman RHP Saint Louis Mo.
29 880 Zach Anderson RHP Buffalo N.Y.
30 910 Tim McDonald OF Edison HS, Fresno Calif.
31 940 Jack Murphy C Princeton N.J.
Princeton catcher Jack Murphy is likely to go in the top 10 rounds based solely on his size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and power potential. A switch-hitter, he shows above-average power from both sides of the plate in batting practice, but it doesn't translate into games, as he hit just .291/.394/.455 with four homers in 134 at-bats this spring. His swing is stiff from both sides, and he needs to clean up his offensive approach, particularly from the left side. Murphy does have soft hands and an average arm behind the plate, though he lacks mobility.
32 970 Ryan Shopshire RHP San Jose State Calif.
33 1000 Robert Benincasa RHP Armwood HS, Seffner, Fla. Fla.
34 1030 Jonathan Fernandez SS Guilford Tech (N.C.) CC N.C.
35 1060 Evan Teague LHP Western Kentucky Ky.
36 1090 Alex Pepe LHP Florida Atlantic Fla.
37 1120 Shawn Griffith RHP George Mason Va.
38 1150 Yudelmis Hernandez 1B Barry (Fla.) Fla.
39 1180 Josh Lucas RHP Lakeland (Fla.) HS Fla.
40 1210 Jonathan Gilbert OF Ahuntsic (Quebec) JC Quebec
41 1240 Zach Kirksey OF Louisiana State-Eunice JC La.
42 1270 Michael Reeves C St. Peter's SS, Peterborough, Ont. Ontario
43 1300 Maxx Tissenbaum SS York Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto Ontario
44 1330 Nick Wagner OF Santa Margarita HS, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. Calif.
45 1360 Brandon Kaye RHP Douglas (B.C.) British Columbia
Righthander Brandon Kaye is a raw 6-foot-4 215-pounder in his first full year of pitching. That's surprising, considering his half-brother is Blue Jays righthander Scott Richmond. He threw just 11 innings during his high school career, and as a junior-college freshman last year spent most of his time at first base. So the team that drafts him will be getting a fresh arm. His delivery is a little slow, but he has sound mechanics and pounds the strike zone. His fastball is 88-91 mph with room to grow, and he mixes in a slider that needs work. He still needs to develop a changeup.
46 1390 Carlos Castro 3B Lon Morris (Texas) JC Texas
47 1420 John Rigg OF St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC Fla.
48 1450 Jeff Gibbs RHP Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute, Toronto Ontario
Righthander Jeff Gibbs has an athletic, 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame, with room to fill out. The Toronto native has good arm speed, but his breaking ball is a little loopy and his secondary stuff needs work. If he doesn't sign, he's headed to Maine next year.
49 1480 Tommy Collier RHP San Jacinto (Texas) JC Texas
Righthander Tommy Collier pitched Cypress-Fairbanks High to the state 5-A title in 2007, when he was also the 5-A player of the year. The Brewers thought they could sign him for $75,000 after taking him in the 29th round last June, but he opted to attend San Jacinto JC instead. Collier was the leading winner on the Gators this spring, going 12-1, 2.81 with 115 strikeouts in 83 innings. He capped his season with a 13-strikeout win over Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) in the opening round of the Junior College World Series. Collier pitched at 86-91 mph with his two-seam fastball for most of the spring, keeping the ball down in the zone with good sink. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder showed move velocity and touched 94 in the fall. His hard slider is his out pitch and he also throws a curveball, but he relies on his breaking stuff too often. Collier has committed to Texas for his sophomore season, but the Longhorns are loaded with pitchers and scouts wouldn't be surprised if Collier returned to San Jacinto if he doesn't turn pro.
50 1510 Burke Seifrit RHP Semiahmoo SS, Surrey, B.C British Columbia