Blue Jays Draft Report Card

We analyze Toronto's 2009 draft class




QUICK TAKE
There's a big hole at the top of the draft, a shame for an organization that has a strong track record of late for developing pitchers. The firing of J.P. Ricciardi pushed Jon Lalonde to a pro scouting position in October, making this his last Toronto draft.
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: The Jays didn't draft a pure bat, but believe former Louisiana State teammates 2B Ryan Schimpf (5) and C/1B Sean Ochinko (11) have good swings and the strength to hit immediately. Both got off to good starts at short-season Auburn, with Ochinko hitting .324 and Schimpf .287. >> BEST POWER HITTER: 1B K.C. Hobson (6) signed for $500,000, and the Jays were paying for his plus raw power. He has an advanced idea at the plate and good hitting fundamentals. >> FASTEST RUNNER: OF Jake Marisnick (3) has five-tool potential, though his bat is raw. He's a plus runner. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Goins lacks classic shortstop range, but his arm is plus and his instincts help him make plenty of plays. He has the hands and actions to stay at short in the short-term.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: RHP Chad Jenkins (1) sits in the 91-94 mph range and can run it up to 96, and he pounds the strike zone regularly. RHP Daniel Webb (18) has arm strength and has touched 96 since signing. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Jenkins' slider can be a plus power pitch when it's on; the Jays have seen it scrape 87 mph. RHP Drew Hutchison (15) impressed the Jays with his changeup, which he throws with good arm speed and which features a little fade.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: Ochinko ranked second in the New York-Penn League in batting. Fellow C Yan Gomes (10) led the NY-P with 44 RBIs and 23 doubles while batting .296/.363/.444. RHP Shawn Griffith (37) dominated as a college senior should in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, going 2-2, 0.66 with a 43-6 strikeout-walk ratio in 27 innings. >> BEST ATHLETE: Marisnick got a $1 million bonus thanks to his power-speed combination and physicality that earns comparisons to Dale Murphy and Jeff Francoeur. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Hobson is the son of ex-Red Sox infielder and manager Butch; 1B Lance Durham (14) is the son of former Cubs all-star Leon "Bull" Durham. SS Jonathan Fernandez (34) is the son of former Jays all-star Tony Fernandez. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Jenkins has the command and makeup to move very quickly. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: A two-way Stetson recruit, Hutchinson signed for $400,000 and reminds some Jays officials of Shawn Marcum, who also was a shortstop/pitcher when Toronto drafted him. Webb had a poor year in junior college, but his raw ability made him a Top 50 prospect out of a Kentucky high school in 2008. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: Toronto had an epic failure at the top of its draft, failing to sign its second, third and fourth picks in LHPs James Paxton (1s) and Jake Eliopoulos (2) and RHP Jake Barrett (3). Paxton returned to Kentucky; Eliopoulos is at Chipola (Fla.) JC while Barrett is attending Arizona State.