Oct 4, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Brett Cecil (27) looks on in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Aarion Cecil
LHR, 29 years old, 6’3 220 lbs, Drafted TOR in 1st rd of 2007 Draft (38th overall)
The year Cecil was selected, the Jays also had the 16th and 21st overall picks. They selected Kevin Ahrens and J.P. Arencibia respectively with those picks. Needless to say that Cecil has been the most successful of the three, even if it isn’t in the role that was initially intended for him.
Just for extra Jays related information, Josh Donaldson was selected 10 picks after Cecil in 48th spot, by the Cubs, Ben Revere was selected 10 picks earlier by the Phillies in the 28th spot, and finally Travis d’Arnaud was selected 1 pick earlier by the Phillies and was apparently the pick the Jays would have made had he been available.
The only other reason Cecil is a Blue Jays RP at this point is because of fellow RP Justin Speier who was acquired in 2003 from the Rockies. They received Joe Kennedy from the Rays and a PTBNL (Sandy Nin) from the Jays, the Rays got Mark Hendrickson. When the Jays allowed Speier to walk as a free agent in 2006, they were compensated with the 38th overall pick after he signed with the Angels.
Once he was drafted, he was able to climb up to New Hampshire pretty quickly and goes through a couple of items in this interview while in AA, including the first thing he spent his bonus money on and how he became a starter after being a reliever for so long (funny how things turn out sometimes):
Cecil kicked off his career with an outstanding Win of the Cleveland Indians on May 5th, 2009. He pitched 6 strong innings with only 1 ER, 6 HA, no walks, and 6 Ks. He wound up making 74 starts for the Jays before finally settling into the pen full time. The issue was never his ability to miss bat or to get outs, it was his lack of overall control and walks which sent him to the pen.
Instead of writing more about Cecil, we’ll let him do the talking with the more up-to-date Essential Get to Know Brett Cecil Interview:
And finally, it wouldn’t be prudent to go through extension talks without an array of nastiness to set things up:
With all of these things in mind, we kick off the debate and set up what’s sure to be an interesting back-and-forth battle.
Next: Blue Jays' Brett Cecil Extension: Statistically