Ah, Day 3 of the draft. The day when teams go looking for the guys who could come from out of nowhere. Interesting players who have signed with the Jays after being selected in these rounds include Rowdy Tellez (30th, 2013) and Taylor Cole (29th, 2011) but the reality is that most players selected in these rounds have a tough time sticking in the organization for more than a few years.
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.
In the 26th round, the Jays selected a high-school righty, Ben Anderson from New York State. With a big (6-foot-4) frame and a lanky build (175 pounds), Ben is the twin brother of Ian Anderson, the third overall pick of the 2016 draft (by the Atlanta Braves). Ben was also a catcher but has committed to Binghamton University for the fall and, with a draft position so far down, it’s probably likely that he goes to college. Anderson’s “projectible build” has some potential for the future but his fastball is currently in the mid-to-upper 80s while his brother was throwing 10 mph harder and became the top high school pitcher selected in the draft after committing to Vanderbilt. I don’t expect Ben to sign.
The Blue Jays continued their run on high school players by selecting Ryan Gold with their 27th pick. Gold is a 5-foot-11 catcher from Carolina Forest High School in South Carolina. It’s been reported that Gold has already signed with the Blue Jays despite a commitment to go to Coastal Carolina University. Aside from that, there’s no info on Gold, so we’ll have to see what he does when he gets to Dunedin.
Going in Round 28 to the Jays was another high schooler, outfielder Blake Ebo from Trenton Catholic Academy in New Jersey. Ebo appears to be a physical specimen at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds and the right-handed hitter was named the top outfielder in the Burlington County Scholastic League (according to a fan vote). With a commitment to the University of the Pacific, it appears that Ebo is leaning towards going pro after hitting .508 with 39 RBI this season.
In round 29, the Blue Jays went back to college, selecting righthander Andrew Deramo, a 6-foot-6, 210 pound behemoth from the University of Central Florida. A junior at UCF, Deramo had a 4.72 ERA, 45 strikeouts and 24 walks over 40 innings. He spent a year at Northwest Florida State College and won the JUCO National Championship there in 2015 after pitching to a 3-1 record with a 2.51 ERA. Deramo is the type of guy the Jays like with a big, hopefully durable frame. He’s also a very signable player, one who had to spend a year at a junior college before getting into an NCAA school.
The Blue Jays went for a left-handed pitcher, Jake Fishman, out of Union College in New York State. A junior, Fishman was the first Union College Dutchman ever selected in the draft. Despite pitching against Division III competition, Fishman threw 66 innings with a 0.41 ERA and 85 strikeouts, going 7-0 and earning Liberty League Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year awards, hitting .361 in addition to his pitching exploits. Fishman has a low-three-quarters delivery and Baseball America notes that he has late life on his high-80s fastball, also throwing a changeup and a curveball with an occasional knuckleball.
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