MLB Draft 2015: Blue Jays pick round-up and profiles
Jon Harris. Mandatory Credit: D1Baseball via Twitter.
Name: Jon Harris
School: Missouri State (Junior)
The Blue Jays have themselves a bit of history with right-hander Jon Harris in the MLB Draft. Toronto originally drafted Harris in the 33rd round of the 2012 out of Hazelwood Central High School (Florissant, MO), but it was a reach at the time and the pitcher opted to honor his college commitment rather than sign for the Blue Jays. Originally rated as high as #10 by MLB.com, and the third highest rated pitcher in the draft, the Blue Jays were excited to see him fall to the team at #29.
Cape Cod League: 4-2 (8 starts), 4.36 ERA, 29 K, 15 BB, 33 IP
Missouri State: 8-2 (15 starts), 2.45 ERA, 116 K, 36 BB, 103 IP
At 6-feet 4-inches and 190 lbs., Harris has that tall, projectable frame that the Blue Jays love in a pitching prospect. He generates easy velocity on his fastball, which sits in the low to mid-90’s and looks faster out of his hand due to the downward plane that Harris pitches from. He gets good movement on the pitch, creating good arm-side action and generating lots of natural sink on the ball as well. He compliments that well with evolving off-speed offerings that include a curve ball, slider, and change-up, all of which have been seen as potential plus pitches in the future, and his slider was rated as the fifth best in the Cape Cod League in 2014 by Perfect Game USA.
It’s not hard to fall in love with a top-10 talent that fell to #29, but it is there we need to take the pick with a grain of salt. The Blue Jays obviously want to sign Harris and get him into the fold on the second try, but the team also has a limited bonus pool and given the fact that the right-hander fell out of the top-10, he may ask for a higher than slot bonus ($1,944,800) due to his previous projections. That said, it is rare for a college junior to get drafted and then refuse to sign and go back to school. To that point, Harris is saying all the right things and sounds like he’s ready to sign and get his professional career underway.
"“I had the utmost confidence in [my agent] to do his job and I felt like I did my job this spring with the season that I had at Missouri State. Toronto’s going to be a great fit for me, it’s going to be a new home for me and I’m going to do what I can to wear the Toronto blue proudly.” – (h/t Gregor Chisholm, MLB.com)"
All and all, this is a solid pick for the Blue Jays, especially for a compensation selection.
Next: Pick #56: Brady Singer