2011 MLB Draft: Toronto Blue Jays Draft Report

Since Alex Anthopoulos took over as GM of the Toronto Blue Jays, they have been among the most proactive spenders in both the draft and the international market. They were perhaps even more aggressive in 2011 than they were in 2010. This is a phenomenal draft class loaded with guys that are going to be difficult signs.

Al Skorupa has some excellent video of Toronto's first round pick, Tyler Beede:

Tyler Beede (BB&N @ Lawrence Academy 05-25-11) (via alskor)

Pick Player School Pos B/T Ht Wt DOB Class
21 Beede, Tyler Lawrence Academy (MA) RHP R/R 6'04" 200 5/23/1993 HS
Strongly committed to Vanderbilt, even to the point of sending one of the now infamous "Do Not Draft Me" notes to teams, Tyler Beede was a candidate to slide down the draft. Toronto had other machinations. It was rumored that they would opt for college hitters early before spending on prep talent later in the draft... I guess that proves how much we can really trust rumors.

Beede is a cold weather pitcher with an ideal frame and smooth mechanics who already works with a fairly advanced repertoire. The fastball sits in the high80s to low 90s with life and is complimented by a 1-7 curve ball with good depth and a promising change-up - advanced for his age and experience. Beede also shows solid command and pitchability. The entire package inevitably leads evaluators to dream on what he can become once he enters pro ball. Selfishly, I'm a bit disheartened that I won't have a chance to watch him pitch in the SEC.
35 Anderson, Jacob Chino HS (CA) OF R/R 6'04" 190 11/22/1992 HS
Jacob Anderson was a slightly off the board pick, and, given his Pepperdine commitment, it wasn't made simply because he would come cheaply. Anderson has good raw power which he put on display by winning the home run derby at Wrigley Field at the Under Armour All-America game last August. He played first base for his high school team, but Anderson is a good enough athlete where he shouldn't have much trouble handling an outfield corner. If his pitch recognition takes a step forward, this could be a really nice pick.
46 Musgrove, Joe Grossmont HS (CA) RHP R/R 6'05" 230 12/4/1992 HS
Joe Musgrove was one of the more signable early picks that Toronto made. In fact, he made his debut this week for the GCL Blue Jays. Despite being signable and a slight overdraft, Musgrove is quite interesting. He has a big, solid frame that looks ideal to eat innings. The fastball has good sink and has ticked up over the spring  - from high 80s to the low 90s. The curve and change both show promise as well, and he's a strike thrower. This one of my favorite signability conscious picks.
53 Smith, Dwight McIntosh HS (GA) OF L/R 5'11" 180 10/26/1992 HS
Son of the major leaguer with the same name, Dwight Smith Jr. profiles as a solid corner outfielder. He has been on the showcase scene longer than most, and his polished bat is what really stands out. Despite a fairly high leg lift, he does a good job making consistent contact, and he generates good bat speed. However, the power potential is unremarkable for a corner spot, limiting his upside.
57 Comer, Kevin Seneca HS (NJ) RHP R/R 6'03" 205 8/1/1992 HS
Toronto went back to the well by taking another strong Vanderbilt commitment. Comer is a more typical northern arm in that he has plenty of upside but is more of an unknown than Beede. As a result of poor northern weather and a school trip, scouts were limited in their looks at Comer, leading many to think he was Nashville bound. His stuff was inconsistent, but Comer has an easy delivery in which the ball seems to jump out of his hand. The curve gets high marks as well.
74 Norris, Daniel Science Hill HS (TN) LHP L/L 6'02" 180 4/25/1993 HS
For those that thought Beede and Comer were big splashes, Toronto raised the bar with their 2nd round selection. Daniel Norris was a top 10 draft talent who dropped as a result of a very strong Clemson commitment - reportedly asking for $4M to forgo school. He has been considered the top left handed prep pitcher in this class for years, and you wouldn't get a strong argument from me if you were to call him the 2nd best prep arm regardless of orientation.

Norris is a long tosser with a fairly low effort delivery. Athletic with some projection still left, Norris's fastball velocity can get a bit inconsistent, ranging anywhere from the upper 80s to mid 90s. The big curve ball is a tad slow but generates swings and misses, and he shows feel for an advanced change-up. All three pitches project to be plus offerings, and he also mixes in a slider that has the chance to be average. Norris has top of the rotation upside; while it would still be good otherwise, inking him is essential for Toronto.
78 Gabryszwski, Jeremy Crosby HS (TX) RHP R/R 6'04" 195 3/16/1993 HS
I had very little on Gabryszwski pre-draft. He is a late pop up guy who had elbow surgery back in 2008. Under Anthopoulos's regime, Toronto has done a great job at identifying high school talent so we'll how this one turns out.
108 Stilson, John Texas A&M University RHP R/R 6'03" 200 7/28/1990 JR
I love this pick. In fact, I took Stilson while drafting for Toronto in John Sickels's annual mock draft. There is some risk in the maneuver, but I think the reward definitely justifies it. Stilson was seen as a potential first round arm before suffering a partial tear of his labrum late in the season. After being checked out by Dr. Andrews, they believe that he can avoid surgery. That is a MAJOR plus in my book. Anytime you can avoid the knife, you do it.

As for Stilson as a prospect, the big knock against him is the delivery. He has a short arm action with violence and effort, making it easy to cast him as a reliever even before the shoulder injury. After the revelation, I'm not sure he'll even get a chance to start, but that doesn't mean the raw stuff isn't good enough to. When healthy, Stilson works with four pitches and good command. The fastball is big and is delivered on a downward plane with late arm side run; the curve ball is a hard 12-6 offering that can be used effectively as a chase pitch; the change is his best off speed with arm side fade and tumble, generating plenty of empty swings; finally, the slider has some late horizontal movement away from right handers but is his least refined offering.

You bring him in as the deadline approaches and see how he looks. If he's back to where he was early in the season, you offer him an overslot deal. If not, you offer him slot (which he'll likely turn down) and gain a compensation pick next year. Again, I love this pick.
139 Robson, Thomas Delta SS RHP R/R 6'04" 210 6/27/1993 HS
It was a bad year for Canadian draft prospects, but Tom Robson was among the most interesting. He has a good frame with an easy arm action that already produces low 90s heat. He is lauded for his ability to pitch and he also shows promise with his two off speed pitches: a curve ball and a change-up.
169 Chin, Andrew Buckingham Browne & Nichols (MA) LHP L/L 6'01" 180 9/22/1992 HS
Andrew Chin is a good buy low option if Toronto can sign him away from Boston College. The lefty was expected to make some noise this spring, but ultimately went down to Tommy John Surgery. As a northern arm there is reason to dream on his high 80s fastball and developing secondaries.
199 DeSclafani, Anthony University of Florida RHP R/R 6'02" 195 4/18/1990 JR
Anthony DeSclafani would likely have been a starter on any team other than Florida (well, OK, and Vanderbilt). He lives off of his fastball which played up out of the pen, resulting in mid 90s heat often. He has two breaking balls that show promise with the slider being the better of the two. His role in pro ball is likely out of the bullpen, but it wouldn't be surprising if he was given a shot at starting first.
229 Lopes, Christian Edison HS (CA) SS R/R 6'00" 185 10/1/1992 HS
Christian Lopes is another guy who has been on the showcase scene seemingly forever. He generated plenty of excitement as an underclassman but some of the gleam has worn off. He now looks like a future second baseman with average tools across the board, rather than a short stop with a potent bat. He has a strong commitment to USC and may end up there, hoping that he proves to be as good as the guy he often gets compared to, Christian Colon.
259 Biggs, Mark Warren East HS (KY) RHP R/R 6'03" 185 5/10/1993 HS
Biggs is a Louisville recruit who missed most of the season due to an injury resulting from lifting weights. He showed good arm strength prior, and, paired with his athleticism, certainly gives Toronto another interesting prep arm to negotiate with.
289 Suarez, Andrew Christopher Columbus HS (FL) LHP L/L 6'02" 185 9/11/1992 HS
Add Suarez to the group of well known prepsters who have been on the radar for some time. He is strongly committed to Miami and has had an inconsistent spring. The fastball can touch the low 90s and he compliments it with a good curve ball and promising change.
319 Garza, Aaron Galveston Ball HS (TX) RHP R/R 6'04" 160 9/28/1992 HS
349 Burns, Andrew University of Arizona SS R/R 6'02" 190 8/7/1990 JR
379 Norwood, John Seton Hall Prep School (NJ) CF R/R 6'01" 180 9/24/1992 HS
Norwood is a speedy centerfielder with a Vanderbilt commitment. He has a chance to hit for average, but he's almost certainly going to Nashville.
409 Dean, Matt The Colony HS (TX) 3B R/R 6'03" 190 12/22/1992 HS
Matt Dean is a guy that I really liked pre-draft. He had a mediocre summer but rebuilt his value throughout the spring. The bat speed is impressive and he should hit for plus power. A short stop in high school, his future is as a third baseman with a chance to be above-average defensively at the position. He fell this far thanks to a strong commitment to the University of Texas. There's a good chance he ends up on campus and adds some fire power to a lineup sorely lacking it, but Toronto will make a run at him.
439 Wiper, Nicholas Newport HS (WA) RHP R/R 6'04" 185 6/3/1992 HS
Cole Wiper has a four pitch mix and a commitment to Oregon. His fastball can be inconsistent but tops out in the low 90s. The curve ball, slider and change-up are all advanced for his age. He should immediately assume an important role should he reach campus.
469 Glenn, Cody Westbury Christian School (TX) LHP L/L 6'03" 185 7/8/1992 HS
499 Prigatano, Richard St Francis HS (CA) 1B R/R 6'03" 195 9/24/1992 HS
529 Dragmire, Brady Bradshaw Christian HS (CA) RHP R/R 6'00" 185 2/5/1993 HS
559 Berti, Jonathon Bowling Green State University 2B R/R 5'10" 175 1/22/1990 JR
589 Weaver, Luke Deland HS (FL) RHP R/R 6'01" 154 8/21/1993 HS
619 Seddon, Joel St Clair HS (MI) RHP R/R 6'01" 165 7/13/1992 HS
649 Mooney, Peter University of South Carolina SS L/R 5'06" 155 8/19/1990 JR
679 Nola, Aaron Catholic HS (LA) RHP R/R 6'02" 170 6/4/1993 HS
Aaron Nola is a projectable right hander with a good feel for pitching. On pure talent, he would have been selected much earlier, but his strong commitment to LSU - where his brother Austin currently plays - caused him to plummet. Toronto may land a lot of difficult signs, this will not likely be one of them.
709 Smith, K'Shawn Indian River State College SS R/R 5'10" 165 7/31/1992 J1
739 Rollins, David San Jacinto College North LHP L/L 6'01" 195 12/21/1989 J3
769 Arce, Eric No School 1B L/R 5'09" 204 11/29/1991 NS
Eric Arce was a promising prep catching prospect in 2010 with a strong commitment to Florida State. He started the year with a starting spot, but was ultimately suspended from the team. He has already signed and playing pro ball; he cost himself a good bit of money.
799 Atkinson, Justin North Surrey SS SS R/R 6'01" 205 7/24/1993 HS
829 Loveless, Derrick Solon Sr HS (IA) LF L/R 6'01" 200 3/7/1993 HS
859 Vega-Rosado, Jorge Miami Dade CC South SS R/R 5'09" 180 12/5/1991 J1
889 Cole, Taylor Brigham Young University RHP R/R 6'01" 185 8/20/1989 SO
Cole is one of the more interesting draftees in this class. He has good athleticism and a history of good stuff, but lost two years thanks to a Mormon mission. He signed quickly with Toronto and is one of the better late picks in this draft.
919 Patterson, Kevin Auburn University 1B L/R 6'04" 220 9/28/1988 SR
949 Nola, Austin Louisiana State University SS R/R 6'00" 180 12/28/1989 JR
Like his younger brother Aaron, Austin is unlikely to sign. He is a good defensive short stop for LSU with a questionable bat. He reportedly wants to play with his brother so the only way I see him forgoing his senior season would be if Toronto can get a package deal.
979 Pillar, Kevin Cal St Dominguez Hills CF R/R 6'00" 200 1/4/1989 SR
1009 Champlin, Kramer Arizona State University RHP R/R 6'06" 178 3/8/1990 JR
1039 Munoz, Luis Northwestern St U C R/R 5'09" 185 12/24/1988 SR
1069 Suiter, Jerrick Valparaiso HS (IN) RHP R/R 6'03" 195 3/4/1993 HS
1099 Sikula, Andrew Marshall University RHP R/R 6'01" 195 12/21/1988 SR
1129 Williams, Leslie Northeastern University RHP R/R 6'02" 220 3/2/1989 SR
1159 Taylor, Nico Northwood University RF R/R 6'04" 215 2/9/1990 JR
1189 Cox, Chris Canisius College RHP R/R 6'01" 210 10/3/1988 5S
1219 Baligod, Nick Oral Roberts University OF L/R 5'11" 190 9/28/1987 5S
1249 Bartlett, Cody Washington St University SS R/R 6'05" 180 7/22/1988 SR
1279 Davis, Shane Canisius College LHP L/L 6'02" 189 4/19/1988 SR
1309 Eliopoulos, Jake No School LHP L/L 6'03" 185 5/25/1991 NS
This is the third time Elopoulos's name has been called, and he is still only 20 years old. He was a highly regarded 2009 draft prospect who showed good arm strength and feel for his secondaries. Things have not gone smoothly since. 
1339 Broussard, Colby Faulkner University RHP R/R 6'04" 220 5/8/1989 JR
1369 Coy, John Wichita St University 1B R/R 6'08" 225 7/5/1989 JR
1399 Farrell, Shane Marshall University RHP R/R 6'04" 225 5/28/1989 JR
1429 Davis, Austin Central Columbia HS (PA) 3B L/R 5'10" 170 4/26/1993 HS
1459 Wakamatsu, Jacob Keller HS (TX) CF L/R 6'00" 180 5/18/1992 HS
1489 LaMar, Charlie Clearwater Central Catholic HS (FL) LHP L/L 6'00" 170 8/23/1992 HS
1519 Brown, Eric University of British Columbia RHP L/R 6'01" 185 2/23/1989
SR

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Jeff Reese is a member of Bullpen Banter. He can be reached at JReese@BullpenBanter.com or via twitter. An index of his College Baseball Notes series can be accessed here.

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