This means War­moth

Jays re­stock through draft af­ter years of go­ing for it

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - SPORTS -

From se­lect­ing Lo­gan War­moth at No. 22 over­all to the Sean Ross pick some 39 rounds later at No. 1,209, the Toronto Blue Jays took an­other step in re­stock­ing their prospect tal­ent pool at this week’s MLB Draft.

“We’re very pleased with how the last three days un­folded,” Blue Jays am­a­teur scout­ing di­rec­tor Steve San­ders said Thurs­day. “Again I’m still sort of tak­ing a deep breath in look­ing back at the 41 se­lec­tions over the last few days. But all in all, we’re happy with how the draft went and the players we were able to get.

“We look for­ward to get­ting them signed and out on the field, watch­ing them play (as they) get their pro­fes­sional ca­reers started.”

The Blue Jays are try­ing to re­store some of their or­ga­ni­za­tional depth af­ter it took a hit in 2015 when then-GM Alex An­thopou­los un­loaded sev­eral prospects at the trade deadline to make a push for the post­sea­son.

The moves paid off as Toronto ended its 22-year play­off drought that year and re­turned to the Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries again last year un­der the guid­ance of GM Ross Atkins and team pres­i­dent Mark Shapiro.

Build­ing from within is a key pri­or­ity for the new front of­fice. The Blue Jays went heavy on col­lege players in this year’s draft with only 10 of the 41 picks com­ing from the high-school ranks.

Af­ter se­lect­ing War­moth, a short­stop from the Univer­sity of North Carolina, Toronto used a com­pen­sa­tion pick from the Cleve­land In­di­ans to grab Cen­tral Florida pitcher Nate Pearson at No. 28. The Blue Jays capped Day 1 by tak­ing Hunt­ing­ton Beach high school catcher Ha­gen Dan­ner at No. 61. Toronto picked 22 pitch­ers, five catch­ers, seven in­field­ers and seven out­field­ers over the three-day draft.

Notable picks a pair of Cana­dian se­lec­tions in Tan­ner Kir­wer of Sher­wood Park, Alta., (20th round, No. 609) and Cooper Davis of Mis­sis­sauga, Ont., (25th round, No. 759).

“We feel we’re very well po­si­tioned with the Cana­dian am­a­teur tal­ent base,” San­ders said on a con­fer­ence call. “Tan­ner and Cooper were two guys that we re­ally liked and hoped to have a chance at. Both guys are out­field­ers with speed and good bats, in­stincts, so again, both players we feel very strongly and be­lieve in their tal­ents and abil­ity.

“We were glad to be able to grab two Cana­di­ans on Day 3.”

The Blue Jays have had mixed re­sults on the draft front. Start­ing Blue Jays am­a­teur scout­ing di­rec­tor steve san­ders pitcher Mar­cus Stro­man (No. 22 in 2012) is the big­gest name to have come up through the sys­tem in re­cent years.

Right-han­der Sean Reid-Fo­ley (No. 49 in 2014, dou­ble-A New Hamp­shire), out­fielder An­thony Al­ford (No. 112 in 2012, re­cent dou­ble-A callup on DL) and first base­man Rowdy Tellez (No. 895 in 2013, triple-A Buf­falo) are some re­cent picks who could make an im­pact at the bigleague level down the road.

With dozens of players in the pipe­line, it’s sim­ply a wait­ing game — and of­ten a rather long one, at that — to see who might pan out.

“I think it’s just an on­go­ing process,” San­ders said. “It’s part of what makes the base­ball draft so unique is that it can take a while to re­ally see where these players end up. But I think it’s some­thing that we con­tinue to look at mov­ing for­ward.

“It’s not some­thing where we sit back and wait three or five years be­fore check­ing back. We’re con­stantly mon­i­tor­ing (their) progress.”

It’s part of what makes the base­ball draft so unique is that it can take a while to re­ally see where these players end up.

Wade Payne/theaCC.Com via the as­so­Ci­ated PRess

North Carolina Tarheels short­stop Lo­gan War­mouth was 22nd over­all, their top pick in this year’s draft.

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