Jays Draft Runs Deep With Pitching

TORONTO — One of the first steps taken by Alex Anthopoulos when he became general manager a year ago was to double the scouting staff.
His philosophy was to rebuild the organization through scouting and player development.

The result in the 2010 draft was a yield of promising young pitching arms, particularly from high school, an area the organization had not scouted closely in recent years.

Andrew Tinnish, appointed director of amateur scouting in the re-organization under Anthopoulos, said the increased staff allowed the organization to see players more often and sometimes to follow players who might not be receiving as much attention as others.

A good example is righthander Noah Syndergaard who went 7-3, 1.42, with 85 strikeouts against 18 walks in 59 innings for Legacy High in Mansfield, Texas. The Blue Jays took him in the supplemental first round with the 38th-overall pick—compensation for not signing lefthander James Paxton in the 2009 draft.
"He was a guy that really wasn't big on the radar," Tinnish said. "Our area scout Steve Miller saw him nine times. I think in total we had probably 15 to 20 reports on the player. I believe our area scout knew him better than anybody else did. And that certainly played to our advantage."

In the fall of 2009 when he was doing evaluations for some scouts, the fastball was in the high-80s, but in his final starts in the 2010 high-school season it was consistently at 91-93. Sometimes it reached 95 or 96.

"As the games went on," he said, "I just kept getting better and better and my arm felt loose."

He has a good curveball and an average changeup, pitches that should improve.
The Blue Jays lured the big righthander away from a Dallas Baptist commitment with a $600,000 signing bonus. Syndergaard, who turned 18 on Aug. 29, made five starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, going 0-1, 2.70 with six strikeouts and four walks over 13 innings.


• Lefthander Marc Rzepczynski allowed one run, six hits and three walks in 78 pitches in six innings in his third start in the Arizona Fall League and has an ERA of 1.29

• Righthander Myles Jaye, a 17th-round pick from Starr's Mill High in Fayetteville, Ga., in the 2010 draft, impressed with a fastball that was clocked from 90 to 96 in the instructional league.