Ah, Day 3 of the draft. The day when teams go looking for the guys who could come from out of nowhere. In recent drafts, players like 2015 Midwest League MVP Ryan McBroom, 2015 R. Howard Webster winner Ryan Hissey and hard-throwing lefty Tim Mayza have been drafted in the round 11-15 range. That said, there are only two players whom the Blue Jays have drafted in this range since 2009 who have reached the majors: Drew Hutchison and Andy Burns.
In the 11th round, the Blue Jays selected lefty Travis Hosterman out of Hagerty High School in Florida. Last year, Hosterman was highlighted by Baseball America after having a 0.68 ERA in his junior season with 74 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings. He had a fastball in the high 80s and was able to pitch down in the zone with the fastball and throw a solid curveball to go along with it. Hosterman has a commitment to the University of Central Florida.
In the 12th round, the Blue Jays selected catcher Ridge Smith from Austin Peay State. Smith was a utility man mostly and he could be a very useful player in the Jays’ organization whether it’s behind the plate or elsewhere. Smith started 52 games with 21 at catcher, 23 at third base, five in left field and three in right and hit .294 with some nice power (11 HRs).
In the 13th round, the Blue Jays went back to the pitching well, selecting 6-foot-4 righty Chris Lincoln from Rancho Verde High School in California. From the little bit of video I saw of Lincoln, he had trouble corralling his mechanics and struggled with command, showing a fastball and what looks like a curveball. That said, I’ve read reports that he hits 90 mph and he doesn’t look like he’s straining to throw hard. His coaches praise his intelligence and heart and the Blue Jays may very well be looking to get him into the system to start cleaning up his mechanics to show what he can do. Lincoln has committed to UC Santa Barbara.
Christopher Hall, a 6-foot-2 right-handed senior out of Elon University was the Jays’ 14th-round pick. Hall was originally recruited to college as a catcher but he ended up as Elon’s closer in his senior year. Baseball America notes that he’s hit 97 mph but sits more around 90-92 mph with a “work in progress” slider. Hall is a guy who could have a lot of upside for the Blue Jays despite his relatively low pick.
In the 15th round, the Blue Jays selected Josh Winckowski, another high-school righty who stands 6-foot-3. In the only video I saw, Winckowski has a slow wind up but a high-effort delivery, coming over the top with his arm angle. Winckowski committed to Florida Southwestern.
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