2012 Draft Class – The College Seniors


Welcome to edition seven of the 2012 Draft Class retrospective, a regular installment this off-season, looking, in descending order, at the Jays 2012 draft class and how they fared this season.  This being the first draft under the new agreement whereby teams were penalized for going over their allotted bonus pool, most picks who signed, did so early, and therefore were able to make their pro debuts much quicker than in years past.  For the previous editions, check out 40-36 , 35-31 , 30-26 , 25-21 , 20-16 , and 15-11

I won’t be trying to rank these prospects in any particular order.  Am sure we’ll see numerous efforts at prospect rankings over the winter.  These pieces will simply be a quick breakdown of where the player played, how they did, where they may land in 2013, etc.

The Jays had a very clear, defined strategy this past draft.  They drafted some very tough signs in the first three rounds.  To ensure they had ample bonus pool money to pay these upper round talents over slot, the Jays drafted nothing but college seniors in rounds four through ten.  With zero leverage as seniors, the five picks below signed for a grand total of 21 thousand between them, saving the Blue Jays 705 thousand based on the allocated slot values.  As an aside, and I didn’t listen to the draft so this is hearsay, but apparently listening to the pundits covering the draft was quite humourous as Anthopoulos, Andrew Tinnish, and co. implemented their strategy.  For the first couple of picks, they scrambled to come up with scouting reports on the picks, explaining that maybe Toronto’s scouting department had seen something they missed.  It wasn’t until the 7th round or so before they started to clue in, leaving them somewhat red-faced.

Alex Azor – 10th Round – 325 Overall – Signed June 7th – Owner of the famous ‘I would have signed for a hotdog’ quote, Azor ended up signing for a thousand bucks, which will buy him a few hot dogs at least.  A captain of the Naval Academy baseball team, Alex was a two time member of the All-Patriot League first team.  That will probably be the highlight of his baseball career as after getting into fourteen games for Bluefield, Azor will return to the Navy to complete his service.  He could apply for a release in 2015 but at 26 it may not be worth his while in baseball terms.  This pick was simply to save some money and therefore was used on a high character kid who dreamed of playing pro ball.  When he got there, his plate discipline was ok, with a BB/K ratio of 0.60, but not much else went well.  Especially the power numbers which were virtually non-existent.  It’s a nice story and hopefully Azor has a safe naval career.

Jordan Leyland – 9th Round – 295 Overall – Signed June 11th – After transferring from UC Irvine to Azusa Pacific University, Leyland saw his power numbers spike.  I read a blog somewhere (am going cross-eyed trying to find it again) saying that the transfer was with this in mind as Azusa provides a better hitting environment.  Unfortunately this didn’t translate to pro ball as Leyland hit two home runs over two levels in 2012.  Starting the short season in Vancouver where a better than average 13.7% walk rate made for some reasonable peripherals, Jordan was demoted to Bluefield in July to make room for Art Charles.   Things didn’t go well from there, as the plate discipline fell off a cliff, dropping the BB rate to 1.9% with a K rate of 22.6%.  Everything else being equal, it made for some pretty ugly numbers.  At twenty three another season in rookie ball isn’t ideal but I can’t see another alternative based on the 2012 stats.  Vancouver should be his first destination.

Tucker Frawley– 8th Round – 265 Overall – Signed June 11th – I’m a positive person, but it’s getting hard to find positive stuff

June 4, 2011; Clemson, SC, USA; Coastal Carolina Chanticleers catcher Tucker Frawley (8) awaits the throw as Connecticut Huskies center fielder George Springer (4) comes to the plate during the NCAA Division 1 Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

about the pro debuts of these five picks (understandable, given the nature of how they were picked).  Frawley’s college career was highlighted by strong defensive play, throwing out over 50% of his previous 71 base runners.  This translated fairly well to the pro ranks as Frawley gunned down 32% of potential thiefs.  Offensively, things didn’t go quite as well.  In 94 regular season plate appearances the catcher had ZERO extra base hits.  Let’s leave it at that.  He did, however, take over the starting catcher role during Vancouver’s Northwest League finals series, hitting .500 with a home run!  I’m guessing Tucker will be back with the Canadians in 2013 as they look for a third straight Northwest League title.

Ian Parmley – 7th Round – 235 Overall – Signed June 11th – Another member of the champion Vancouver Canadians, Parmley took over the starting center field role when Dalton Pompey went down with a long term injury.  I actually saw quite a bit of Parmley at the Nat.  He has a very patient approach at the plate which translated into an excellent 1.18 BB/K ratio.  In the field, he is quick, taking good routes to the ball.  Unfortunately for Ian, Lansing’s outfield will be quite crowded in 2013, leaving him back in Vancouver.

Eric Phillips – 6th Round – 205 Overall – Signed June 6th – Primarily a third basemen in college but with the ability to play all around the infield, Phillips knocked out 93 hits, including 24 doubles in his senior year at Georgia Southern University.  But, and this has become somewhat of a theme here, video game numbers in high-school/college don’t really translate to pro ball.  In eight games for the Vancouver Canadians Eric posted a .182/.280/.182 slash line.  As his season ended on the third of July, I am going to assume he went down with an injury, although please don’t hate me for assuming, it’s just that getting information on minor league injuries is like cracking the enigma code.  Too small of a sample size to make any more judgements, but let’s just say Phillips is the fourth member of this edition to play for Vancouver in 2012 and return to the Canadians in 2013.