The Jays drafted RHP Drew Hutchison listed at 6’2″ 165 lbs, out of Lakeland Florida High School in the 15th round of the 2009 draft. The Jays signed him August 17th (at the deadline) for $400,000, which caused Drew to sit out the remainder of the season. Drew, currently 19 years old, will be 20 on August 22nd 2010. He was named to the all-county first team in Florida and to the 3rd team All-State team. Interestingly, the Jays also selected his team mate SP Josh Lucas in the 39th round who made the 2nd team All-State team, also for the 6A class, but didn’t sign him. I’m not exactly sure if it was Josh that wanted more than he was getting, but he decided to attend college instead of playing in the minors for the Jays, and as a result and will re-enter the draft at some point in the future. Their school, Lakeland, was ranked 61st in the nation by MaxPreps.
After signing with the Jays, Drew was quoted as saying “It’s one of those things you dream about,” and added “I was lucky enough to get the opportunity and to have everything work out. I’m very thankful and really excited.” Drew had actually Drew had a record of 6-2, 60.2 IP, 106 Ks, 18 BB, 23 HA, 2 saves, and a 1.73 ERA. He spent some time in the instructional league and should begin 2010 in Auburn or the GCL.
BA actually ranked Drew 31st, as part of their bonus ranking, in their 2010 Prospect Handbook edition. They point to the fact that he had a commitment to play at Stetson as a major reason some teams stayed away from him, and also noted the Jays had him ranked at a top 5 round player. Why it took until the 15th round to take him if they truly believe that is beyond me, but it does speak to how highly they think of Drew.
BA compares him to Shaun Marcum due to his ability to play in the infield and pitch, and note that his fastball touches 92 MPH, but operated at 88 to 90 MPH in high school. It’s definitely expected that he could add to this some as he bulks up and adds strength, so expectations of working between 90-92 MPH and touching 94 MPH is not out of the question in Drew’s case. BA also like his poise and mention a very strong change up, one of the key pitches required to be effective at the big league level. The lowest rated pitch (when we read into their analysis of them) seems to be a slider that needs a lot of work.
Let’s say for argument’s sake that Drew does develop a half decent slider or curve and “pounds the strike zone” as expected with his change up and fast ball, chances are he’ll be one of the more effective draft picks the Jays took in 2009. The key will be whether he develops that third pitch and whether he continues to pound the zone or becomes intimidated by pro hitters. The fact that he walked so few hitters in high school is promising and his change up must have really played havoc on those hitters. Drew can expect hitters to get better at hitting his change up as he approaches AA and higher levels.
I decided to take a look at posts of Drew’s performances and his profile as a prospect because he is one of the better SP profiles the Jays have aside from Henderson Alvarez in the lower minors. Daniel Webb is another one who I will feature in my next prospect profile post, but I thought it was important to let Jays fans know that Drew is out there and to take notice of his performance in 2010.