I thought that this was an interesting piece of information about the ongoing draft. The Jays selected Aaron Nola in the 22nd round of the draft. He had mentioned to reporters this year that he was excited about having signed to pitch for LSU next year after going 7-1 in 51 innings with a 1.85 ERA, 82 Ks, and 15 BB in his last season of HS. The reason for his excitement? His brother, Austin (who used to be team mates with Jays prospect Ryan Schimpf on that squad), already plays for LSU and also spoke about his excitement of playing with his brother.
So, what do the Jays do? They select Austin in the 31st round, allowing for a chance for both fo their dreams to come true – as pros!!
According to Baseball America’s Teddy Cahill:
“Aaron wowed scouts at the East Coast Professional Showcase with his low-90s fastball and changeup, which is regarded as among the best in this year’s high school class. He has continued to dominate hitters, putting together a 21-1, 1.35 career record with 208 strikeouts in 151 innings.”
Aaron was also listed as the 163rd best undrafted prospect by Baseball America going into the draft, so th eJays have good reason to want Aaron to sign. Therefore, the Jays may have accomodated his wishes simply to heighten the chances he would sign with them and forego an LSU term. It’s a shrewd move, but you have to applaud the fact that they’re willing to do it.
Austin is also highly thought of, but mostly for his glove, not his bat. He had a big 2010 season, when he was named to the Second-Team All-SEC, the SEC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and made the SEC All-Tournament Team. This season, however, he has taken a step back. He was previously drafted in the 48th round by the Colorado Rockies in 2008. You can read a lot of glowing remarks about him here, at his LSU profile page.
To me, this is just another indication that the Jays are pulling out all of the stops to get as much talent as possible into the franchise. It’s a refreshing change to say the least.
We’ll find out if the strategy works soon enough, as the Jays have until mid-August to get the Nola brothers, and all other 2011 drafted players, under contract. If they sign quickly, both could be working out together in Dunedin in no-time and could wind up playing SS ball together!
Either way, it’s an interesting story to watch develop.
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