Round 31: 1B Brison Celek (22) – 6’2″, 225 lb. Brison Celek is coming off a season in which he was only a part time player as a junior. He’s a teammate of L.B. Dantzler and may very well benefit from staying in school for another year to pick up more playing time as a senior. Despite only 88 at bats, he still hit .307 with 12 walks and 18 strikeouts despite not showing much power (.396 SLG). I don’t expect Celek to come out of school for the type of bonus he’d get in the 31st round, particularly if a starting role is waiting for him next season at University of South Carolina.
Round 32: LHP Josh Sawyer (18) – Sawyer is a 6’3″ lefty who probably has some projectability and has been throwing in the mid-to-high 80s. He threw a 1-hitter in March of this year for San Angelo Central High School in Texas. Sawyer is committed to Villanova so we’ll see by July whether the Blue Jays can convince him to sign.
Round 33: C Edgar Cabral (18) – Cabral is a high school catcher in California who hit .317/.406/.467 this season. Unfortunately, high school numbers don’t tell you much about a player. At 5’11” and 190 lbs, Cabral has been scouted as having a strong build and good gap power from good batting mechanics. He seems to be a high school player who has a lot of toughness, hitting his 1 home run of the season on a gimpy ankle. I wasn’t able to find whether he has a college commitment or not, giving him a better chance that he could sign with the Jays rather than go to college.
Round 34: RHP Dane Dunning (18) – Dunning is a 6’3″ righty who has committed to Florida for next year. His fastball was clocked in the high-80s, touching 90 mph with a curveball that comes in at about 74 mph back in October of 2012, so that might have increased with a winter’s worth of work in the weight room. High school baseball player website Maxpreps.com says that he’s “commited to Toronto Blue Jays” under the college section, but I can’t be sure that that’s just a reflection of his being drafted. He looks like a decent arm, and if he signs, could be a nice piece in the system.
Round 35: RHP Akoni Arriaga (18) – Arriaga is a native of Hawaii who has committed to the Yavapai Junior College in Arizona. Arriaga is listed as a pitcher but also played shortstop for his high school team. In fact, browsing the internet, I see more references to him as an infielder than a pitcher, however, he does throw in the high-80s/low-90s and sees his future on the mound. The Maui News quoted him as saying, “Right now, it’s kind of an in-between thing,” regarding whether he would go to college or sign a pro contract.
Round 36: SS David Harris (21) – A senior from the Division II school University of Southern Arkansas, Harris had a fantastic season in 2013, winning the GAC (Great American Conference) Player of the Year award unanimously and was named Natural State Baseball’s Collegiate Player of the Year (Natural State Baseball is a blog about baseball in Arkansas). Harris shows a great mix of speed, power and contact ability, hitting .358 with 22 doubles, 6 triples and 12 home runs, leading NCAA Division II in total bases while walking 21 times and striking out 29 in 218 at bats. Harris could be an intriguing late round pick for the Jays and I would guess that he’d start his pro career in Vancouver. UPDATE: Harris is reported to have signed.
Round 37: RHP Brett Barber (22) – A 22-year-old, 6’1″ righty from Ohio University, Barber was the team’s closer and put up decent, if not outstanding, numbers this year. He threw just over 40 innings this season, putting up a 3.57 ERA and striking out 37 (but walking 18) (note: these stats come directly from Ohio’s website. There are other reports with different numbers for Barber, usually with different numbers of appearances and innings.) Athletics seem to be in Barber’s blood: his father, Mike, played football at Marshall University and in the NFL. UPDATE: Barber is reported to have signed.
Round 38: OF Jon Nunnally, Jr. (17) – The son of former major leaguer Jon Nunnally (who played parts of 6 seasons with KC, Cincinnati, Boston, and the Mets and is the current hitting coach in Buffalo) Nunnally Jr. (or Jonathan as he’s sometimes known) played for a strong high school team in Arizona.
Round 39: SS Zachary Levinson (17) – A small (5’8″, 160 lb) infielder from Staten Island, Levinson is committed to play for Division II Adelphi University next year. Already being slotting into a position at second base, Levinson is likely to be an organizational player if he signs. Apparently, his scholarship at Adelphi is only a “partial academic-athletic” scholarship, which could give him more incentive to go pro.
Round 40: 1B Antonio Ruiz (18) – Ruiz is a 6’4″ high schooler from San Gabriel HS in California. He hit .431/.500/.631 this season and also pitched a bit to some success. I wasn’t able to find out much more about him.