Ah, Day 3 of the draft. The day when teams go looking for the guys who could come from out of nowhere. Last year, the Blue Jays selected high-school standout Reggie Pruitt in the 24th round but, again, this part of the draft is usually populated by players who are long shots or higher-ranked high school players who were passed over because of strong college commitments and/or a high bonus demand. Players from earlier drafts who are making their names known in the Jays’ system this year include Jason Leblebijian (25th round, 2012) and Colton Turner (21st ound, 2012) but neither are really close to a big league sniff just yet.
Generally, high school players selected in this segment of the draft will opt to go to college, particularly if they have commitments to NCAA Division I schools.
With their 21st round pick, the Blue Jays selected a second year right-handed pitcher from Seminole State Junior College, Mitch McKown. He didn’t have great stats last year, starting in 10 of his 11 appearances and striking out only 14 in 42 1/3 innings with a 6.59 ERA.
In round 22, the Jays selected Connor Eller, a senior out of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas. Eller, a righty, looks like he’ll sign with the Blue Jays (after posting as much on his Twitter) and threw 95 1/3 innings this year with a 3.40 ERA and 90 strikeouts with 37 walks. Eller was the Great American Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2015 so he comes with some hardware already to his credit.
The round 23 selection was Dom Abbadessa, a high school outfielder out of Huntington Beach, California. Abbadessa earned plaudits in high school for his defensive play and was noted for his speed. He has a commitment to Long Beach State for baseball and it will be seen if the Jays are able to sign him.
Round 24 brought the Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Mike Ellenbest out of Saginaw Valley State. The 6-foot-5, 200 pounder played in two seasons and combined for a solid 3.13 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 40 walks in 118 innings in Division II competition.
In the 25th round, the Blue Jays selected Casey Legumina, a right-handed pitcher out of Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, the same place where Jorge Flores and Mitch Nay played their high school ball. Legumina is 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds and looks like he has some fairly clean arm motion on the mound in a video, with offspeed pitches that show a lot of potential. There is an injury worry as it appears that he has not pitched much this season. Initially, the concern was that he had torn his UCL ligament but a second opinion said there was no tear and he has since begun playing catch after a period of rehab. Before his injury, Legumina was throwing 91-94 mph and held his velocity in the low 90s int he sixth inning of a game watched by a blogger at the Arizona Diamond Report. Of these later picks, Legumina could be among the most interesting later draftees for the Blue Jays, if he’s healthy and elects to sign with the Jays and not attend Gonzaga.
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