Jordan Leyland, 1B (9th round, 295th overall) — Azusa Pacific University (California)
Listed at 6’4″ and 235 pounds in his college bio, first baseman Jordan Leyland saw his power numbers explode after transferring to Azusa Pacific University following three seasons at UC Irvine. In addition to belting a team-high 22 home runs to go along with 19 doubles, the California native hit .419 with a team-best 1.311 OPS in 59 games.
With decent speed for his size, Leyland went 8-for-10 in stolen base attempts and can reportedly handle a corner outfield role if he was to be moved off of first base. His brother Joshua was a 16th round pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2009.
With a recommended slot amount of $126,400, the Blue Jays have likely banked around $125,000 by signing Leyland as a ninth round pick. In an interview published today on FutureJays.com, Leyland said he spoke to the Blue Jays yesterday and is ready to begin his career by leaving for Vancouver at the end of the week.
Alex Azor, CF (10th round, 325th overall) — United States Naval Academy (Maryland)
With his selection in the 10th round, outfielder Alex Azor became the highest draft pick in Naval Academy history. In addition to reaching base in 27 consecutive games and being named to the All-Patriot League first team, Azor batted a team-high .322. Having already signed for $1,000 and well below the recommended slot of $125,000, Azor will likely play for one of the Blue Jays’ short season affiliates.
After that, though, he’ll report back to the Navy and be placed on the restricted list, because he cannot play while he is actively serving, according to MLB.com. In the same article, Azor had good things to say about the Blue Jays.
“They asked me if I would like to be a part of the organization,” he said. “They have been so patient with me and understand my situation. My heart goes out to them.”
Grant Heyman, OF (11th round, 355th overall) — Pittsford Sutherland HS (New York)
A three-sport varsity athlete in baseball, football and basketball, high school outfielder Grant Heyman hit .424 with five triples, three home runs and 17 RBI in his senior year at Pittsford Sutherland. A 6-foot-4 left-handed hitter, Heyman was courted by representatives from the Marlins, Red Sox and Diamondbacks prior to the Blue Jays selecting him with their 11th round pick. In an interview with the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Heyman said the the Blue Jays came calling quickly with a pro contract shortly after he was drafted.
“The Blue Jays are coming tonight with gear and a contract,” the 18-year-old said on Tuesday. “The Blue Jays want me to sign real soon, get things going. I haven’t talked to my father, it’s a decision our family will have to make, but right now it’s a very high possibility.”
Heyman was ranked as the best athlete in the state of New York and considered a prospect on the rise by Perfect Game. “Suddenly, teams rushed in to get a better handle on Heyman’s talent, and while most thought there was a significant gap between his athleticism and his developed baseball skills, enough teams expressed enough interest for him to warrant being a surprise draft, possibly as early as the third to fifth rounds,” Perfect Game wrote in their New York state preview.
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (12th round, 385th overall) — Henry Street HS (Ontario, Canada)
Touted as the top Canadian in the draft, left-hander Ryan Kellogg and the Toronto Blue Jays seemed to be a natural fit. However, with a strong commitment to Arizona State University, Kellogg isn’t considered the easiest of signs.
With a changeup for an out pitch and a fastball that ranges consistently between 87 and 91 mph, Kellogg was projected to go somewhere in the first six rounds. In an interview with Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair, Kellogg said that he expected to fall as far down as the 20th round, given the concerns surrounding his signability, and just fulfill his commitment to ASU. A product of Canada’s junior national program, it will be interesting to see if the 6-foot-5, 215-pound southpaw will seriously entertain the Blue Jays’ offer.
From a Perfect Game article: “In one noteworthy outing in March, Kellogg blanked the Toronto Blue Jays for two innings, retiring the likes of Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, J.P. Arencibia and Adam Lind without giving up a hit. … He has an excellent feel for pitching, and few scouts question his competitive approach with the way he has stepped up this spring against pro-level competition.”
John Silviano, C (13th round, 415th overall) — Summit Christian School (Florida)
A 5-foot-11, 190-pound catcher from Hypoluxo, Fla., John Silviano has reportedly told the Palm Beach Post that he will sign with the Blue Jays and not follow through on his commitment to North Florida.
“I had a few teams on me, but the Blue Jays were calling me a lot,” said Silviano.
The son of a former MLB pro scout, Silviano, a left-handed hitter, is more of a defensive catcher, having shown great catch and throw ability with regular pop times of less than two seconds, according to Team One Baseball.
Zakery Wasilewski, LHP (14th round, 445th overall) — Tazewell HS (West Virginia)
It looks like South Carolina commit Zak Wasilewski, who turns 19 next week, will sign a contract with the Blue Jays. In an interview with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Wasilewski’s mother told the paper that her son will not play college baseball and start his pro career instead.
After suffering an ACL injury and undergoing Tommy John surgery in his throwing elbow, Wasilewski became one of the top high school left-handers in his region with a strong senior year that included a no-hitter against the defending Class AAA state champions. Should Wasilewski report to a short season affiliate right away, there’s a chance he could pitch for the Bluefield Blue Jays, a team located just 30 minutes east of where he grew up.
Ryan Borucki, LHP (15th round, 475th overall) — Mundelein HS (Illinois)
A 6-foot-4, projectable left-hander that already reaches 92 mph on his fastball, Ryan Borucki struck out 30 of the 68 batters he faced but pitched just 17 2/3 innings this season. After throwing a no-hitter for his Mundelein high school club in late March, Borucki was sidelined with an elbow injury that he was told by doctors would require Tommy John surgery. After the injury news, Borucki said he was 99 percent sure that he was going to decline an offer from a MLB club if he was drafted, and cash in his scholarship to the University of Iowa instead.
In addition to that, Borucki’s signability might also be an issue when it comes to talking the financial aspect of his contract.
“It all started earlier in the day when several teams contacted me and asked me if I was willing to go down in price as far as the amount I was looking for from a signing bonus, but I wouldn’t,” he said in an interview with the Mundelein Review. “The Blue Jays, New York Mets and Miami Marlins all contacted me (Tuesday morning) trying to get me to come down (on my price).”
Topics: 2012 MLB Draft, 2012 Rule 4 Draft, Alex Azor, Azusa Pacific University, Henry Street HS, John Silviano, Jordan Leyland, Mundelein HS, Pittsford Sutherland HS, Ryan Borucki, Ryan Kellogg, Summit Christian School, Tazewell HS, Toronto Blue Jays, US Naval Academy, Zakery Wasilewski