Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Looking back at the top draft picks under Alex Anthopoulos

Jun 5, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Phil Bickford (52) follows through on a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Phil Bickford (52) follows through on a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 23, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Phil Bickford (52) looks for the sign during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /


2012 – D.J. Davis

17th overall

Anthopoulos decided to go back to high school for the first pick in the 2012 draft, selecting outfielder D.J. Davis out of Stone County High School in Wiggins, Mississippi.

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Davis would spend seven years in the Blue Jays minor league system, beginning in the Rookie League and advancing to Advanced-A ball in Dunedin, never reaching AA or beyond. Through 599 games, Davis slashed .242/.315/.348 with 32 triples, 31 home runs, 207 RBI, and 134 walks to the tune of a .663 OPS.

The outfielder would be released in mid-2018 and never made an appearance at the major league level. He is currently a free agent but has not formerly retired nor played anywhere else at this time.

2013 – Phil Bickford

10th overall

Drafted 10th overall, pitcher Phil Bickford was A.A’s third year of selecting a high school player with the first pick in the draft.

Although he was apparently offered above the slot value of $2.92 million, the Blue Jays could not sway the 17-year-old to forego his commitment to Cal State Fullerton and he was the second top pick in three years to not sign with the organization. The San Francisco Giants would later select the pitcher in 2015 with the 18th selection, signing for approximately $2 million. Bickford would be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017 with catcher Andrew Susac in exchange for pitcher Will Smith.

He would spend five years in the minor leagues before making his major league debut last season with the Milwaukee Brewers. He would be designated for assignment earlier this season and would be picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he currently pitches. Through 10 games, Bickford sports a 6.00 ERA with one save through 9.0 innings pitched with two walks and 12 strikes.

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