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Jays select speedy outfielder, diminutive righty in first round

The SportsXchange

Toronto Blue Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish isn't sure who would win in a race between Anthony Gose or D.J. Davis.

"I would be very close," Tinnish said Monday after the Blue Jays made Davis their first of two first-round picks in the draft and the 17th player taken overall.

Gose, 21, is the center fielder at Class AAA Las Vegas and one of the top prospects in the organization. Davis, 18, is from Stone High School in Wiggins, Miss.

Davis could be the fastest player in the draft, and he will be a center fielder because of his better-than-average range.

"One of the things that stood out when I saw him was that on several occasions on a routine fly ball to the right fielder, routine fly ball to the left fielder, by the time the left fielder or the right fielder caught the ball, he was, and I'm not kidding, standing behind them," Tinnish said. "He's got plus range in the outfield. We definitely think he's a center fielder."

He also has good hand strength that gives him gap power and will make him more than a hitter who slaps the ball and uses his speed, although he can do that.

The Blue Jays' second first-round pick, 22nd overall, was right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman, 21, from Duke. He was a starter this year for the Blue Devils but was used as a closer by Team USA last summer. It is speculated that he could make the majors quickly if moved to the bullpen.

At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Stroman is not as big as many of the pitchers who have been made high draft picks by the Blue Jays in the past. However, Tinnish feels Stroman has other strengths that make up for his lack of size.

"It's a combination of stuff, athleticism, strength and makeup," Tinnish said. "This guy is a great competitor. He works extremely hard. He's very strong for his size, and his stuff is very good. There's more examples of pitchers who are 6-3 and 6-4 pitching in the big leagues, but when we lined him up with the other pitchers that were available, whether they were 5-foot-10 or 6-foot-6, he had the best combination of what we were looking for."
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