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Jays emphasize pitching
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06/05/2002 7:44 pm ET 
Jays emphasize pitching
Priority now becomes getting prospects signed
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays turned the First-Year Player Draft into an arms race, stockpiling as much pitching as they could get. They didn't get a hurler with their first-round pick -- shortstop Russ Adams was the top selection -- but they turned their attention toward the mound in the later rounds.

2002 First-Year Player Draft
JUNE 4-5 | NEW YORK CITY
Draft order | Rules | FAQ

FULL COVERAGE:
Bullington goes first
Drafttracker
Complete Draft coverage

"We tried to address some needs," said Chris Buckley, Toronto's director of scouting. "We tried to load up on as much pitching as we can get, particularly college pitchers. We tried to touch all the other areas. I think we did the best we could."

In fact, if the right guy were available, they would've taken a pitcher with their top pick, too. Toronto openly coveted Jeff Francis, a Canadian college pitcher who was drafted by Colorado. If he had slipped five more spots, the Jays would've snapped him up.

"If Francis was there, we would definitely have taken him," said J.P. Ricciardi, the team's general manager. "It would've been nice to get Francis, but we got a pretty good player."

They got more than one -- the Jays drafted 11 pitchers on day one, six from four-year colleges. On the second day, they turned their attention to players from smaller schools. Buckley said it was difficult to analyze the haul from Wednesday's action.

"The second day's a lot tougher, because you're a lot deeper in the draft,” he said. Some of those guys are draft-and-control players that we'll follow through junior college next year. We'll be following up on them. It takes longer to tell how the second day turns out."

All in all, the Jays were pleased with the results they got from the draft. Now, they'll try to get the players signed and in their system as soon as possible.

"Like any other business, the sooner you get in, the sooner you get moved up the ladder," Buckley said. "We picked them all -- we think they're all pretty good."

BLUE JAYS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
14 RUSS M ADAMS SS U NORTH CAROLINA
55 DAVID T BUSH RHP WAKE FOREST U
86 JUSTIN M MAUREAU LHP WICHITA ST U
116 ADAM L PETERSON RHP WICHITA ST U
146 CHAD M PLEINESS RHP CENTRAL MICHIGAN U
176 JASON K PERRY LF GEORGIA TECH
206 BRIAN R GRANT RHP SS C B AYCOCK HS
236 CHRISTOPHER E LEONARD LHP MIAMI U
266 RUSSELL D SAVICKAS RHP JOHNSTON HS
296 ERIC D ARNOLD 2B RICE U
326 JASON D WAUGH CF ST MARYS COL
356 MICHAEL F ROGA RHP ARMSTRONG ATLANTIC ST U
386 JOHN P SCHNEIDER C U DELAWARE
416 MICHAEL R GALLOWAY 1B LF MIAMI U
446 DAVID L SMITH OF WEST VIRGINIA ST COL
476 ARIC T VAN GAALEN LHP HARRY AINLAY HS
506 RANDALL L BRAUN RF BELTON HS
536 JORDAN J DE JONG RHP CALIFORNIA ST U
566 BRAD W HASSEY SS U ARIZONA
596 JESUS A CARNEVALE LHP FERNANDO SURIA CHAVEZ HS
626 MELVIN D BURKHALTER 1B SEMINOLE CC
656 ERIC R RICO RF CORNELL U
686 EDWARD D BUZACHERO RHP TENNESSEE TECH U
716 MATTHEW D FARNUM RHP TEXAS A&M U
746 ZEPHANIAH K ZINSMAN 1B LEWIS & CLARK ST COL
776 AMOS D DAY RHP SOUTHERN U A&M
806 JARED D ODOM RHP VERO BEACH SENIOR HS
836 PAUL C RICHMOND C BAYLOR U
866 ERIK F KRATZ C EASTERN MENNONITE U
896 ANGELO J PORFIRIO CF RICE U
926 JEFFREY W TERRELL LHP U TENNESSEE
956 MICHAEL D SEIFERT LHP REND LAKE COLLEGE
986 CARLO I COTA 2B SAN DIEGO ST U
1016 JUSTIN L OWENS OF COASTAL CAROLINA U
1046 ANDRES TORRES RHP LEWIS & CLARK ST COL
1076 SCOTT C DRAGICEVICH SS STANFORD U
1106 ROSS M SWISHER LHP HUDSON'S BAY HS
1136 BRYAN M HANSEN LHP FONTANA HS
1166 NICHOLAS E THOMAS RHP SACRAMENTO CITY CC
1196 DANNY D ANDERSON RF SAN JOAQUIN DELTA COL
1226 ADAM C CARR RHP SAN LORENZO HS
1256 DIRK L KLEINMANN LHP KING COL
1285 CHRISTOPHER R NICOLL RHP ERNEST RIGHETTI HS
1313 BENJAMIN L HARRISON LHP COLEYVILLE HERITAGE HS
1340 BRANDON K BAILEY C OF SACRAMENTO CC
1367 JUSTIN D TORDI C DR PHILLIPS HS
1393 TIMOTHY P MALONEY LF KANSAS ST U
1419 ANDREW E BUTERA C BISHOP MOORE SCHOOL
1445 JAMES E JEWELL CF THEODORE ROOSEVELT HS
1469 JAMES B COX RHP BAY CITY HS

Spencer Fordin covers the Blue Jays for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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