06/08/10 10:51 PM ET
Jays collect plenty of talent on Draft Day 2
By James Hall / MLB.com
They landed some prize high school pitching talent in Griffin Murphy and Justin Nicolino on Tuesday -- both of whom could have been taken Monday night -- as well as some polished college players, like starting pitcher Sean Nolin. As always, the Blue Jays took some homegrown talent in outfielders Marcus Knecht and Dalton Pompey. The Jays also put emphasis on the family tree, drafting infielders Dickie Thon (son of former Major Leaguer Dickie Thon) and Kellen Sweeney (younger brother of the A's Ryan Sweeney).
The steal of Day 2 for the Blue Jays could have come in the 18th round, when they selected powerhouse third baseman Kris Bryant, from Bonanza (Nev.) High School. Many Draft experts suggested Bryant was a top-five-round talent, with a real good head on his shoulders. Although his defense needs some fine-tuning, the youngster hit 22 home runs this season, the third most in Nevada history. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder, was also named Nevada's Gatorade Baseball Player of the year for the 2009-10 season -- he had a .484 batting average with 22 home runs, 51 RBIs and a 1.312 slugging percentage.
Day 2 shook out as follows:
Round 2, Griffin Murphy, LHP, Redlands East Valley HS, California: A tall left-hander with a fastball that touches 93 mph, with a hard-breaking curve and a solid changeup. Command has been an issue in the past, but the 18-year-old's three average-to-above-average pitches made him too difficult to pass on. Has a delivery reminiscent to that of the Angels' Scott Kazmir.
Round 2, Kellen Sweeney, 3B, Jefferson HS, Iowa: Brother of A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney, Kellen figures to be a solid gap-to-gap hitter with above average plate discipline. While he played primarily at shortstop at Jefferson HS, the Jays have listed Sweeney as a third baseman. Toronto hopes Sweeney, who is not an above average defender, can polish his defensive skills and remain in the infield. Sweeney underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009.
Round 2, Justin Nicolino, LHP, University HS, Florida: The 6-foot-3 southpaw has an average fastball that sits between 89-92 mph, coupled with an average curveball and an above-average changeup. The RivalsHigh prospect ranking ranked Nicolino 84th among the top 100 high school baseball prospects. The left-hander has committed to play baseball at Virginia this fall. This pick was obtained due to the departure of current Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro.
Round 3, Christopher Hawkins, 3B, North Gwinnett HS, Georgia: Much like Sweeney, Hawkins played primarily at shortstop in HS, but will be listed as a 3B in the Jays organization. Hawkins has plus speed, with a little bit of pop, and should hit for a high average, as he hits the ball with conviction to all parts of the diamond. He has the upside to be a solid Major League player.
Compensation Round B, Marcus Knecht, LF, Connors State: Knecht is a homegrown talent, born and raised in Toronto. The 6-foot-1 left fielder, who grew up playing triple-A hockey against current National Hockey League stars John Tavares and Steven Stamkos, was drafted by the Brewers in the 23rd round in 2008, but opted not to sign. Knecht, projected as the 50th best prospect by the Perfect Game scouting service, could have gone Monday night, but slipped to the Blue Jays at the 113th selection. The pick was a product of the Jays being unable to sign right-handed pitcher Jake Barrett in 2009.
Round 4, Sam Dyson, RHP, South Carolina: Dyson, who has already been drafted twice, in the 19th round out of high school, then again in the 10th round in 2009, boasts a 92-95 mph heater, with a solid slider and changeup. Dyson has a poor medical history, which was likely a major reason he fell in this year's Draft. The right-hander missed his freshman season with labrum surgery, but has middle-of-the-rotation type stuff if he can remain healthy. Dyson, who is now a senior, should be a relatively easy sign for the Blue Jays.
Round 5, Dickie Thon, SS, Academia Perpetuo Socorro HS, Puerto Rico: Many thought Thon would be selected earlier in the Draft, due to his strong showing in the Puerto Rico Skills Showcase this spring. To go along with his baseball bloodlines, Thon is also an outstanding athlete with a smooth swing and slick glove. The high schooler has committed to play baseball at Rice University this fall.
Round 6, Sean Nolin, LHP, San Jacinto College North, Texas: The massive 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-hander was originally drafted in the 48th round in 2009 by the Mariners. As a sophomore, Nolin went 11-0 with a 2.02 ERA over 80 1/3 innings, with 85 strikeouts.
Round 7, Mitchell Taylor, LHP, Spring HS, Texas: The undersized southpaw, standing at 6 foot, 155 pounds, has a below average fastball that sits at 87-89 mph, but Taylor makes up for his lack of velocity with outstanding control and a bulldog mentality. He complements his fastball with a solid-average curveball and an advanced changeup, for a prep arm. He is likely to evolve into a solid No. 4 starter.
Round 8, Logan Ehlers, LHP, Nebraska City HS, Nebraska: Ehlers, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-hander, has an average 87-89 mph fastball and a smooth delivery. He pounds the strike zone consistently and, aside from the modest velocity, he needs to put more emphasis on changing speeds to be effective at the big league level.
Round 9, Brandon Mims, 2B, Newman Smith HS, Texas: The 5-foot-10, 160-pound infielder boasts decent speed with a solid glove. Will hit for average, but not for power.
Round 10, Tyler Shreve, RHP, Phelps County HS, California: Shreve was an Aflac All-American on the mound in 2009, and also played in the Area Code Games. Shreve committed to the University of Utah, where he wants to play baseball and football.
Round 11, Shane Opitz, SS, Heritage HS, Colorado: Opitz is a 6 foot, 185-pound shortstop, known for having a tremendous work ethic. Optiz, an outstanding defender with a cannon arm, has committed to the University of Nebraska. Heritage coach Scott Horman has been quoted as saying that he believes Optiz to be one of the best positional players in the state of Colorado.
Round 12, Omar Cotto, CF, Bonneville School, Puerto Rico: Cotto, a switch-hitting outfielder, has blazing speed, being timed at 6.2 seconds in the 60 meter dash at a Major League Scouting Bureau workout. Many scouts had Cotto pegged in the first four or five rounds because of his high-level athleticism, but Cotto fell to the Blue Jays with the 366th selection.
Round 13, Tyler Painton, LHP, Centennial HS, California: Another big lefty selected by Toronto, Painton stands at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds and wields mid-90s heat. Painton went 11-1 with a 2.55 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 71 7/3 innings as a senior. Surprisingly, the left-handed pitcher also hit .440 with 11 doubles and six home runs.
Round 14, Dayton Marze, RHP, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana: Marze, the 6-foot-2 right-handed sophomore, pitched 50 1/3 innings, primarily in relief for the Ragin Cajuns, compiling a 3.22 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 2010.
Round 15, Zak Adams, LHP, Flower Mound HS, Texas: Adams was a two-year varsity letter winner at Flower Mound High School, threw a no-hitter against Coppell (Tex.) High School in 2009. Adams stands at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, and boasts a live arm and a good breaking ball. Adams has made a commitment to Tulane University in New Orleans.
Round 16, Dalton Pompey, CF, John Fraser Secondary School, Ontario: This is the second Canadian-born player that the Blue Jays have selected in 2010, and once again he is a local kid, residing just outside Toronto. Pompey has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of St. Francis in Indiana.
Round 17, Myles Jaye, RHP, Starrs Mill HS, Georgia: The Blue Jays will attempt to see if the 6-foot-3 Jaye, a former switch-hitting infielder, can be fully converted into a pitcher. Jaye has agreed to play for Kennesaw State University next season.
Round 18, Kris Bryant, 3B, Bonanza HS, Nevada: Bryant has tremendous raw power, which was evidenced during the Summer Showcase Tour, and throughout this tremendous spring -- 22 home runs this season, the third most in Nevada history. That being said, he's below average defensively, so a move to first could be in his future. Bryant, who has committed to Oregon University, was projected by many scouts to go as early as the fifth round.
Round 19, Travis Garrett, RHP, Cypress College, California: Made a team high 21 appearances for the Chargers in 2009, finishing 4-3 with a 5.93 ERA over 30 1/3 frames. He finished with 32 strikeouts, but also with 28 walks -- control is evidently an issue for Garrett.
Round 20, Arthur Charles, LHP, Bakersfield College, California: The massive 6-foot-6, 220-pound sophomore, went 4-2 with a 5.59 ERA over 38 2/3 innings for Bakersfield.
Round 21, Christopher Marlowe, RHP, Navarro College, Texas
Round 22, Aaron Westlake, LF, Vanderbilt, California: Westlake was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2009. Now a sophomore, Westlake hit .308 with 14 home runs and 14 doubles in 247 at-bats. An outfielder, listed at 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, he can hit for average, with power numbers slowly developing.
Round 23, Angel Gomez, RF, Maria Cruz Buitrago HS
Round 24, Ronald Melendez, CF, Cowley County Community College, Florida: Hit .361 with 33 RBIs and 65 runs over 48 games at Cowley. The speedy outfielder stole 21 bases in 22 attempts.
Round 25, Brando Tessar, RHP, Chaminade Prep HS, California: A multi-sport athlete, Tessar was widely touted in both football and baseball, but decided to pursue the latter. He has a repeatable delivery, but little-to-no action on his fastball. He finishes well to the plate, with a two-plane break on his slider.
Round 26, Jay Johnson, LHP, Texas Tech, Texas: Another Canadian, Johnson was born in New Brunswick. He was also previously drafted in the 25th round in 2009 by the Baltimore Orioles.
Round 27, Eric Arce, C, Lakeland Senior HS, Florida: The 6-foot-2 high school senior hit .424 with a .627 on-base percentage and did not make a single error in his final season with Lakeland.
Round 28, Adaric Kelly, RHP, Trinity Christian Academy HS: Kelly came over to the United States from Aruba to play baseball. The shortstop/pitcher was Trinity Christian's best player, batting .516 with five home runs and 33 RBIs, going 6-1 on the mound.
Round 29, Jonathan Jones, RF, Cal State - Long Beach, California: Hit .307, going 15-for-19 in stolen base attempts during the year. He tied for the team's longest hitting streak at 12 games, from March 15 to April 5.
Round 30, Stephen McQuail, 2B, Canisius College, New York: Led the country in home runs during summer baseball with 16 homers. Named the No. 2 prospect in the Valley Baseball League, and No. 19 in all summer leagues by Perfect Game. In 2009 he hit .314, while starting 25 games at shortstop, 16 at designated hitter, three at second base and one at third base.
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.