2012 Draft Report Cards: Toronto Blue Jays




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See also: Draft Report Card Index
POSITION PLAYERS


QUICK TAKE
With five picks before the second round and an aggressive approach, the Blue Jays had an extremely productive draft. There's risk involved with many of the picks, but no team acquired more upside.
Bonus spending: $10.5 million
Best Pure Hitter: OF D.J. Davis (1) draws attention because of his supreme athleticism, but he has the tools to hit as well. He has strong hands, a fast bat and a sound lefthanded swing. OF Anthony Alford (3) is another elite athlete with a chance to hit for average. Best power hitter: 3B Mitch Nay (1s), whose pro debut was curtailed by a broken foot, generates easy power to all fields. Alford has plus raw power as well. Fastest runner:Davis was the fastest player in the entire draft, running 6.4-second 60-yard dashes and consistently getting from home to first in less than four seconds. His speed is in the same class as that of minor league stolen base king Billy Hamilton, a fellow Mississippi high school prospect. Davis grades as an 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale, while Alford is a 70. Best defensive player: SS Jorge Flores (19) made the short-season Northwest League all-star team in large part because of his glove. Just 5-foot-5, he has plus range and hands along with solid arm strength.

PITCHERS

Best Fastball: LHP Matt Smoral (1s) has the best fastball package as a lefthander with 92-96 mph heat from a difficult angle. The Blue Jays, who gave him $2 million, are easing him back into action after he broke a bone in his right foot in March. RHPs Marcus Stroman (1) and Tyler Gonzales (1s) both top out higher than Smoral, reaching 98 mph. Best secondary pitch:Stroman had the best slider in the draft, a nasty mid-80s pitch with nice depth. Toronto's draftees have a number of quality secondary offerings, including Smoral's slider, Gonzales' slider, RHP Chase DeJong's (2) curveball and changeup, and LHP Ryan Borucki's (15) changeup.

ODDS AND ENDS

Best Pro Debut: Stroman struck out 23 in 19 innings and reached Double-A before getting hit with a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a stimulant. Best athlete:Alford gets the nod over Davis because of his superior strength. Alford informed teams in April that he wanted to play quarterback at Southern Mississippi rather than professional baseball, but the Blue Jays signed him for $750,000 while letting him play football at Southern Miss as well. Most intriguing background: Unsigned SS Nick Lovullo's (38) father played in the majors and is Toronto's first-base coach. Nay's grandfather Lou Klimchock also played in the big leagues. Gonzales' uncle Jimmy crosschecks for the Nationals. Closest to the majors: Though his suspension will carry over into May, Stroman could pitch for the Blue Jays in the second half of 2013. They still haven't ruled out developing him as a starter. Best late-round pick: Borucki's $426,000 bonus was the largest after the 10th round in the entire draft. He slid after injuring his elbow in the spring, but avoided surgery and threw 90-94 mph during instructional league. The one who got away: OF Grant Heyman (11), who went to Miami, has intriguing strength and speed.