Chase DeJong, RHP (2nd round, 81st overall) — Woodrow Wilson HS (California)
At 6’4″ and 185 pounds, projectable right-hander Chase DeJong is the kind of pitcher the Blue Jays love to draft. Ranked 58th by ESPN’s Keith Law, 78th by MLB.com and 86th by Baseball America on pre-draft top 100 lists, DeJong features an 88-92 mph fastball, a good curve with plus potential and a very good feel for a changeup, according to MLB.com. The young right-hander compiled a 1.80 ERA and 240 strikeouts in 199 innings over three high school seasons, capped off with his senior year that saw him allow just 35 hits in 76 2/3 innings.
DeJong already has a lucrative scholarship to USC, but in a recent article on BlueJays.com, he feels he’s “95 percent sure” that he’s going to sign.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” said DeJong in a post-draft interview with Gazettes.com. “I’m so excited. [The Blue Jays] did their homework on me, and if feels good to be wanted and selected by a team that really likes me.”
Anthony Alford, CF (3rd round, 112th overall) — Petal HS (Mississippi)
Ranked 36th by Baseball America, 47th by ESPN, 56th by MLB.com on pre-draft lists, 17-year-old center fielder Anthony Alford has the skill set of a first round pick. A two-sport star with a strong commitment to Southern Mississippi to be their quarterback, Alford reportedly told MLB clubs not to waste their time drafting him because he was going to play football. With signability being such a concern in this year’s draft given the new Collective Bargaining Aggreement, it’s no surprise that Alford was passed on and did not go in the first round. It is, however, quite a surprise that the Blue Jays aggressively took Alford with the 112th overall pick, a selection that has a recommended slot amount of just $424,400 — less than half the amount of a compensation-round pick. Andrew Stoeten over at Drunk Jays Fans did a great job yesterday amalgamating a lot of the formalities concerning Alford, so make sure to check that out.
Skill-wise, Alford has the potential to be a 30/30 player in the majors given his combination of power and speed. He has tremendous strength and hits to all fields, and although he played center field for high school team, he could translate into a prototypical right fielder if he decides to play professional baseball.
“He is very advanced right now, very coachable, and can hit to all fields,” said Alford’s high-school coach Larry Watkins in an article on BlueJays.com. “He has alley-to-alley power and he can run. He’s a triples guy who will steal bases. A very explosive runner. Very aggressive running the bases. Very instinctive, and reacts very well to what is going on on the field. He plays the game hard and he’s very talented and a great kid. Add those three together and you got something special right there.”
According to his player profile and scouting report at Perfect Game, Alford hits from an open stance with a short, aggressive swing that generates plus raw bat speed, and the article also added an interesting nugget from mid-May about his signability:
“Perfect Game was told this week by a cross checker from a National League team that Alford is ‘back on the market’ amidst talk that the person who issued the ‘no interest in professional baseball at this time’ statement wasn’t authorized to do so and that Alford is now telling scouts he is open to discussions.”
Tucker Donahue, RHP (4th round, 145th overall) — Stetson University (Florida)
Outside of nine starts in his junior year, Tucker Donahue, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound pitcher, came out of the bullpen in his entire playing career with Stetson University. The right-hander went 2-1 with a 5.20 ERA in 28 relief appearances this season for the Hatters, with 27 strikeouts and 19 walks in 27 2/3 innings.The 22-year-old college senior from Coral Springs, Fla. has a fastball that has been clocked up to 97 mph.
Donahue, who lists himself as a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays in his Twitter bio, is surely an easy sign by the Blue Jays, one that will likely be for below the recommended slot amount of $308,700 in an effort to save cash to sign other, higher-profile picks like Alford and 50th overall selection Matt Smoral.
Brad Delatte, LHP (5th round, 175th overall) — Nicholls State University (Louisiana)
A 6-foot, 175-pound relief pitcher out of Baton Rouge, La., Brad Delatte is another pick that the Blue Jays will look to save some slot money on to apply to other selections. With a recommended slot amount of $231,100 and as another college senior, the Jays should certainly be able to do that.
In 31 appearances (all in relief) for the Nicholls State University Colonels this season, Delatte went 0-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 34 2/3 innings. He allowed 24 hits, issued 18 walks and racked up 35 strikeouts while limiting opposing hitters to a .198 average, second best among Colonel relievers. The 22-year-old also had a stint with the Thunder Bay Border Cats of the Northwoods League in 2010, where he went 1-1 with a 2.43 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 28 walks in 40 2/3 innings.
Eric Phillips, 3B (6th round, 205th overall) — Georgia Southern (Georgia)
Right-handed hitter Eric Phillips, a standout with Georgia Southern University, seems like a more honest/appropriate pick by the Blue Jays in this spot, which has a recommended slot amount of $173,200. This past season, the third baseman appeared in a team-high 60 games, hitting .391 (best among starters) with a .459 on-base percentage and .563 slugging percentage.
His 93 hits, which included 24 doubles and five home runs, were easily a team-high, and he set a new school record for career hits. On top of drawing 25 walks, Phillips went 29-for-33 (88%) in stolen base attempts. He played on the same team as Victor Roache, the 30th overall pick this year by the Milwaukee Brewers. In an interview with times-georgian.com, Phillips had a couple of interesting things to say.
““I had about five or six teams ready to take me in the sixth or seventh round and [the Blue Jays] were the first one to me. … They were very excited. They think I’m a valuable ballplayer.”
Ian Parmley, OF (7th round, 235th overall) — Liberty University (Virginia)
After being named a JUCO All-American Pacific Division outfielder at Monroe Community College, Ian Parmley transferred to Liberty University in Virginia, where he hit .312 in 60 games with 10 doubles and a .405 on-base percentage, according to his college bio. After also pitching at Monroe, Parmley was exclusively a position player with the Liberty Flames.
With a .368 slugging percentage against non-elite competition that was second-worst among Liberty regulars this past season, Parmley doesn’t fit the mold of a seventh round pick, which implies that the Blue Jays are looking to sign him for below the $145,000 recommended slot amount for this selection.
Harrison Frawley, C (8th round, 265th overall) — Coastal Carolina University (South Carolina)
A senior at Coastal Carolina University, 6-foot catcher Harrison Frawley hit .296 in 60 games with eight doubles, 33 walks, and a .411 on-base percentage. He caught 503 of CCU’s 560 innings (90%), and reached base in 52 of his 60 games. A defensively-gifted catcher, Frawley threw out 49 percent of basestealers (25-of-51) this season while adding seven pickoffs, according to his college bio. The recommended slot amount for this pick is $135,400.
From a post-draft article on CCU’s website:
“Frawley had an impressive senior year, both on and off the field. He was named first team All-Big South and was one of 12 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, which annually goes to the nation’s top catcher. Off the field, Frawley was a first team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America and 2012 Big South Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He graduated summa cum laude with a 3.94 GPA in physics.”