This Pick Adds Up

Chad Jenkins puts aside accounting degree to pitch for Jays

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TORONTO—The accounting degree will have to wait a while for Chad Jenkins. The most important numbers he will be working with for the next few years will involve such things as ERA, wins and losses.
Oh, Canada . . . the Jays took the top two Canucks on the board in lefthanders James Paxton (supplemental first) and Jake Eliopoulos (second), following Chad Jenkins, who's more signable at 20th overall. Toronto also found pitching depth in the likes of RHPs Jake Barrett (third) and Brian Slover (eighth), and one of the draft's better prep athletes in Jake Marisnick (third). SS Ryan Goins (fourth) and 2B Ryan Schmipf (fifth) were solid college-hitter values.

And he'll also have some other numbers to work with, like his signing bonus after the Blue Jays selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound righthander in the first round with the 20th overall pick.

"I look forward to getting a contract done quickly," the 21-year-old junior from Kennesaw State said.

He is a year away from the accounting degree.

"I plan on going back to school and getting my degree when I can," he said.

The native of Canton, Ga., was not surprised to be selected by the Blue Jays. 

"I talked to them a little bit in the time leading up to the draft  and my agent (Hank King) has been talking to them all day so I had a pretty good idea it was going to be them," he said.

 With their second pick in the draft, 37th overall in the supplemental round, the Blue Jays took another college pitcher, Kentucky lefthander James Paxton, a native of Richmond, British Columbia., who is represented by Scott Boras,—who might have been a factor in his availability that late in the draft.

Scouting director Jon Lalonde termed Jenkins's selection with the first pick a "kind of a  no-brainer for us."

 "He's big, he's physical, he's got a big durable body," Lalonde said. "We love the fact that he throws a ton of strikes, he sinks the ball, velocity is consistently (90-94 mph), works comfortably in that range, really locates the ball to both sides of the plate.

 "He kind of embodies everything we look for in a pitcher."

 His out pitch is a slider and he also has a changeup to go with the two-seam and four-seam fastball. The sinking action on his pitches induced ground balls.

 When asked who he might have patterned himself after, Jenkins said he looks at himself as "kind of like a Greg Maddux-type guy."

 " I command the ball pretty well," he said. " I don't like to walk a lot of people so I just go straight after the hitters and just keep going at them."

 Another pitcher he has watched is Roy Halladay.

 He referred to his selection as "honestly a dream come true."

 And it's even better," he said, "because I've grown up watching Halladay for a while now.  Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to play beside him, which would be another dream come true."