The Toronto Blue Jays clearly had a plan entering the 2013 Major League Baseball draft; restock the pitching cupboards. Toronto used 22 of their 40 selections on pitchers, including tabbing 11 in their first 12 picks in the draft.
On Thursday, the Blue Jays officially signed the first of those picks, inking fourth round pick Evan Smith, according to Baseball America’s Jim Callis.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisBA) June 13, 2013
According to Callis, the Blue Jays and the left-handed Smith came to an agreement on a $500,000 signing bonus. As the 115th pick, Smith would have been eligible for up to $650,800, which means Toronto was able to come to an agreement with the selection well below the recommended slot.
A mid-season shoulder issue likely drove down his asking price, but the Blue Jays and Smith are convinced that it is behind him.
At 6’5” and 190 lbs, Smith is the prototypical pitcher that the Blue Jays look for. He’s a tall, projectable left-hander with both a two-seam and a four-seam fastball that register in the low-mid 90’s. He also throws in a slider and a change-up that are both works in progress, as he told Ben Thomas at AL.com.
“That is one thing I definitely have to work on,” he said. “I need a third pitch. I have been working on that change-up, but it is not an out pitch right now. It is just something to throw. I feel like my fastball is pretty good and my slider is pretty good, but I need to add to that.”
He’ll have plenty of time to work on it to, as the Blue Jays are notoriously slow in moving their young pitching prospects along. But for Smith, that’s just the next stop on his way to where he wants to be.
“This is what I’ve been waiting on and working on my whole life. I’m just ready to get started with the next step.”