Wojciechowski rounds out Day 1 picks
Right-handed pitcher from The Citadel is fourth pitcher Jays take
TORONTO -- One area in which the Blue Jays are not lacking is pitching. At the big league level and throughout the farm system, Toronto has a long list of talented arms that provide hope for the organization's future.
That will never stop Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos from adding more.
"You can never have enough," Anthopoulos said recently.
On Monday, the Blue Jays used their fourth and final selection on Day 1 of the First-Year Player Draft on right-hander Asher Wojciechowski out of The Citadel. Wojciechowski -- added with the 41st overall pick -- represented the fourth right-handed pitcher taken by Toronto.
Entering the Draft, Anthopoulos and amateur scouting director Andrew Tinnish emphasized that the Blue Jays were going to take the best player available when the club's turn came around. By taking four pitchers, Toronto showed that it stuck to that approach over drafting by position.
"We're not going to be impacted by what positions we have at the big league level," Anthopoulos said. "We're not going to be impacted by what positions we have at the Minor League level. At the end of the day, the best player available is the best player available."
When the 41st pick came up, Toronto felt Wojciechowski was the best player left on the board. The 21-year-old righty was projected to be picked higher in various mock drafts, and was ranked 22nd overall by Baseball America entering Monday's event.
Wojciechowski pitched for the USA College National Team and had a strong showing for The Citadel as the reigning Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year. Over 17 starts, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound right-hander went 12-3, tying a school record for wins in a season, leading Division I with 155 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings.
Wojciechowski's fastball registers at around 94 mph with slight movement, and he features a slider that typically averages around 83 mph. He will throw an occasional changeup and he is believed to be durable enough to be used as a starter for now, with a possible future as a reliever.
Toronto's selection of Wojciechowski concluded a day that saw the Blue Jays pick Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire (11th overall), as well as high school right-handers Aaron Sanchez (34th) and Noah Syndergaard (38th). If they all sign -- the signing date for all draftees is Aug. 16 -- that adds four more pitching prospects to an already pitching rich system.
As much quality pitching as they have, though, the Jays will not hesitate to try to acquire more.
"With the division we play in," Tinnish said, "and the philosophy of our general manager, we're in a position where we want to try to be aggressive with guys with upside."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.