Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jays Welcome Several Draftees to the Nest

   The Blue Jays announced today that they have signed a total of 16 players from last week's MLB entry draft, including 5 players taken in the first ten rounds.
   The first to sign was Arizona HS righthander Patrick Murphy.  Murphy was one of the state's top-ranked prep pitchers last year, until he underwent Tommy John surgery last April.  Murphy had little leverage heading into the draft because of the surgery, and signed for about $150 000 below slot value.
Murphy fits the Jays' philosophy of drafting high-risk, high-reward players.
   Also signing was Alabama HS leftie Evan Smith, taken in the 4th round.  At 6'5", Smith also fits the organization's preference for tall, lean, projectable pitchers.  Smith signed for about $96 000 below slot value.
   The Jays also signed, but didn't release signing amounts for 5th rounder Daniel Lietz, a rhp out of junior college in Illinois,  7th round pick California HS rhp Conner Greene, or Garrett Custons, a catcher taken in the 10th round out of the Air Force.  If the club holds to last year's form, they will sign some or all of these picks to minimal bonuses, then use the savings to go after their top two picks, high school pitchers Phil Bickford and Clinton Hollon.  The club has about $6.3 million to spend, and with today's signings are almost $250K under slot value budget.
   The assigned value for Bickford, taken with the 10th pick, was $2.9 million, but it is rumoured that Bickford, who has committed to Cal State Fullerton, has an asking price over $1 million higher.
   The club will likely take things very slowly with Murphy, who began throwing again in March, as well as Smith, who will likely make a few appearances in the Gulf Coast League before the summer is over.  It's possible that Lietz and Custons may play in both the GCL and the Appy League this year, because they're a little bit ahead of the high schoolers on the learning curve.

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