The first round of the 2010 MLB Draft has just ended and Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos decided that his minor leagues weren't playing with a full Deck.
Last name pun, I swear.
The Blue Jays had four picks in the first round and selected four pitchers. Two were big upside high school hurlers who will take time but project very high. While the other two were top ranked college pitchers who could play on the big club as early as next season.
Here's how the picks break down (scouting reports provided by mlb.com).
#11. Deck McGuire RHP. Georgia Tech. DOB 6/23/89. 6'6" 218 lbs.
Pro Comparison: John Lackey
McGuire throws his fastball in the 91-93 mph range with little movement. His best pitch is a power slider, up to 86 mph, and it has the chance to be an above-average to plus pitch.
McGuire is big and broad shouldered and is a fair athlete with a good feel for his changeup and his command is excellent. In addition, he has plus makeup and excellent mound presence.
Strengths: Outstanding command, three good pitches, quick to big leagues. Excellent competitor.
Weaknesses: Limited ceiling, lack of life on his fastball.
Summary: McGuire may not have the highest ceiling of the pitchers in this draft class as he profiles as a No. 3 type starter. However, he might be the safest college arm to choose from.
He's got a good three-pitch mix and excellent command that comes in a big, durable body. He's always been successful and has shown the ability to compete and win even without his best stuff.
While he's not an ace in the making some teams might look for, he should be the type of advanced arm that can get to the big leagues in a hurry and be a very important innings-eater in the middle of a rotation.
Scouting Video: go here
#34. Aaron Sanchez RHP. Barstow HS (CA). DOB 7/1/92. 6'3" 170 lbs.
Pro Comparison: Orel Hershiser
Sanchez is a tall, projectable right-hander who is starting to fill into his body. He has three pitches and his fastball runs up to 93-95 mph with some natural run and sink to his ball.
He showed a straight curve and in the past he's used it as a go-to pitch to get the count back in his favor. As of now its just an average pitch, as is his change up.
He's a little inconsistent with his delivery, which can lead to command issues. However, he shows very good poise on the mound.
Strengths: Projectable frame, upside with fastball velocity.
Weaknesses: He's had a history of command issues and he's far from a finished product.
Summary: While not considered to be at the top of the high school pitching crop, Sanchez is one of those tall, projectable right-handers that do get some attention.
He's already got plenty of fastball and as he continues to fill out his frame, there's likely to be more there.
He's got a curve ball that's average now and has shown some feel for a changeup. With command issues the biggest problem, he's not very polished.
Scouting Video: go here
#38. Noah Syndergaard RHP. Legacy HS (TX). DOB 8/29/92. 6'6" 215 lbs.
Limited information as he wasn't ranked in the top 100. However, according to a report from a June 2010 start, he threw a 94 mph fastball with a decent change up and curve.
Quote from (unnamed) high school pitching coach:
“His physical ability has always been there… He is so tall that his fastball has a steep angle headed to the plate. He has also been able to add and develop a curveball, which makes his fastball that much tougher to hit.”
Take from that what you will. This was clearly a projection pick and it seems that Anthopoulos' scouts saw something in this kid if they selected him this high.
#41. Asher Wojciechowsky RHP. The Citadel. DOB 12/21/88. 6'4" 235 lbs.
Pro Comparison: Jonathan Papelbon
Wojciechowski is big all over with a strong, durable frame.
He's dialed his fastball up to 94 mph and has the chance to add another tick or two on the radar. However, the pitch has below-average life.
Wojciechowsky throws an above average slider at 83 mph and his change up is decent but inconsistent.
He's had command issues but he counters that with good mound presence and goes right after hitters.
Strengths: Strong, durable frame, above-average fastball to go along with an improving slider.
Weaknesses: While he has the body and durability to start, the command might not get to where it needs to be for him to fill that role long-term. He doesn't have the cleanest delivery in the world, though it's not the worst scouts have seen.
Summary: Wojciechowski is a big, strong right-hander with plenty of arm strength. He's got plenty of fastball and an improved slider to go along with it.
He's durable enough to start, but the concern is that his command isn't where it needs to be to fit into a rotation long-term. The good news is he could gain a few ticks on that fastball in a short relief role. He could be the type of college arm that shoots through a system and one day sets up or closes at the big league level.
Scouting Video: go here
Deck McGuire: A-
He most likely will not contend for any Cy Young awards but his value to the Jays will be consistent performance for the next decade. If McGuire can win 14-17 games a season then this ends up a great pick.
Aaron Sanchez: B+
I would have liked to see a position player taken here. Nick Castellanos, Bryce Brentz and Yordi Cabrera were still on the board. Nonetheless, Sanchez projects very high and provides the club with an exciting prospect
Noah Syndergaard: C-
I can't really fail this pick as I don't know anything about the kid. However, Castellanos and pitchers Anthony Ranaudo and Luke Jackson were still on the board. Could Syndergaard not be had in the second round?
Asher Wojciechowsky: B-
Big, durable, power fastball. Probably won't start but if he pitches to his potential he could be closing games for the Jays by 2012.
However, Nick Castellanos was still on the board. I guess the Blue Jays scouts know something I don't as they passed on him four times.