The Toronto Blue Jays started off their second day of drafting with a bang, selecting and signing right-handed pitcher Adam Kloffenstein.
The Toronto Blue Jays had a solid first day of drafting on Monday, taking infielder Jordan Groshans and outfielder Griffin Conine in the first and second rounds respectively.
With their third-round selection, the Jays went back to Texas and selected Magnolia High School pitcher Adam Kloffenstein.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Kloffenstein and Groshans both played high school ball together this past season.
While Groshans has not inked his deal with Toronto as of now, multiple sources have reported he has every intention of starting his pro career this season.
Kloffenstein, on the other hand, has put pen to paper with the Jays after the team drafted him on Tuesday.
In the lead up to the draft, Kloffenstein — who had a commitment to Texas Christian University — made it very clear he would have to get a very solid offer from an MLB team, to pry him away from the NCAA.
After some back and forth between the two side, they reached an agreement.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the approximate slot value for the 88th overall spot in the draft is just north of $650,000. The Blue Jays agreed to a $2.5 million signing bonus with the right-hander.
In an interview with MLB.com’s Blue Jays’ correspondent Gregor Chisholm, Kloffenstein broke down the process in which he and the team got a deal done.
"“If he hadn’t taken less, they would not have gotten me,” Kloffenstein told MLB.com. “I don’t know if they planned it that way, but that’s the way it happened. [Groshans] came to my house after he got drafted. He was like, ‘Dude, you have to take it, you have to take it, you have to go.’ I was like, ‘I’m not taking less, but if they give me what I want, I’ll go.’ They finally got there. It took a little bit of going back and forth, but they got there.”"
Kloffenstein also admitted he had significant interest from several other teams, but the Blue Jays were a surprise suitor that inevitably landed his services.
The 6 foot 5 hurler throws five pitches: Both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup.
The fastball has topped out in the mid-90’s, with the curveball getting up to 78 MPH, and the changeup landing in the low-80’s.
Kloffenstein is more concerned with being a complete hurler with an arsenal of dangerous weapons, rather than the speed on his fastball.
"“I know that’s what’s going to get me to the next level,” he said. “There’s plenty of people who throw 98 miles per hour. I want to be a guy who can pitch and do all of the above. That’s what I’ve been working towards for a long time, and I really credit my dad for that.” – the3rdmanin.com"
From all initial reports, it looks as though the Jays found themselves a diamond in the rough, as Kloffenstein was ranked as the 43rd-best prospect available in the draft by MLB.com.
With the addition of right-handed pitcher Sean Wymer from TCU, the Blue Jays landed four prospects in the top 100 available in this class.
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This draft has also shown the willingness of the organization to take risks on high-school players who could elect not to sign. The last player the Jays selected outside of college was Phil Bickford, who did not sign with them, back in 2013.
While Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro hadn’t taken a high schooler with their past first-round picks with the Blue Jays, they had a record of success drafting both college and secondary school players with the Cleveland Indians.
This has all the makings to be a class that could help the Jays immensely down the road. It will obviously take some time for these prospects to come up through the system, but when all is said and done, they will fit in very nicely with the crop of players making their way to the big leagues.