Q&A with Andrew Tinnish

With the 2011 MLB Draft all over and done with, FutureJays.com checks in with Blue Jays' Scouting Director Andrew Tinnish for a Q&A session to talk about how he felt they did in the draft, how he feels about signing their high-ceiling selections, what they saw in Tyler Beede, and much, much more!

FutureJays.com: Let's start and get your general thoughts on how you felt you guys did overall in the draft this year.

Andrew Tinnish: As we sit here today I'm pretty excited about the players we've selected. I guess I'm optimistic and realistic though. This is my second year in this position and you can't really evaluate a draft, especially in this draft where we were pretty aggressive with young players, it's going to take time to figure out ultimately what these guys are going to be. All in all I'm happy with the picks we've made and I'm excited about the prospects of seeing them in a Blue Jays uniform, but only time will tell.

FutureJays.com: I know the fans and the media constantly want to rush to judgement on grading a draft class, but in your opinion what kind of time frame is needed before you can sit there and pretty accurately evaluate your draft?

Tinnish: I think you really need to let things play out and get to the point where you really feel you know what the players are ultimately going to become. If you have a college heavy draft, I think within three or four years you have a pretty good idea of how successful it was, but even then a college player might take three years to get to the big leagues but another few years to establish himself in what he ultimately is as a big league player. For example, we took [Ricky] Romero in 2005. He kind of struggled through the minors a little bit and he hit some bumps in the road. Then he made a big jump and the last couple of years he has really started establishing himself as a top of the rotation type talent. But that's a college guy and that's five years removed from the draft. You think about all of these high school guys that we selected, I would imagine it's going to take even longer for them to develop. We're patient and I understand that this is a process that takes time, and we want to do it the right way. We'll see how it goes.

FutureJays.com: You mentioned the high school players - 14 of your first 16 players selected were high school guys and you took a lot of high school guys last year as well - did having that youth in place already from last year's draft as well as the new affiliation in Bluefield to give you that third short-season league, did those two factors allow you take even more youth in this year's draft in sort of a 'youth breeding more youth' philosophy? Or did it just work out that way that you found more talent in the high school ranks again?

Tinnish: Our philosophy is one that's aggressive in nature. Look, we like college guys and we like high school guys, but we definitely like guys that we feel we can project on. We certainly realize there's more risk involved in taking high school players. History tells us that, but I think there can be more reward as well. Last year we were able to sign eight high school pitchers and we're pretty excited about what they've done so far. It's a slow process. We kept them back in Extended [Spring Training] and there ready to break with short-season clubs next week. I'm definitely excited about following their careers. Again, I think we were even more aggressive with high school arms this year. Certainly adding that affiliate helps, knowing that these guys are going to get innings and other young players are going to get at-bats. I think with the way we're going we really needed that third affiliate [in the short-season leagues], but more than anything we lined our board up based on ability. When it came our time to pick we selected the player that was there at the top.

FutureJays.com: You mentioned the word "risk". I'm going to get to the first round picks in a minute, but a lot has been made about [second round pick] Daniel Norris with his perceived contract demands and his commitment to Clemson. Was his selection more of a flyer, that risk that you were talking about, or was he selected with the full intention of signing him?

Tinnish: Look we like Daniel. I saw him pitch last summer and I saw him pitch a couple of times this spring. I like his athleticism that he brings to the table as a left-handed pitcher. I don't select a player with the intention of not signing him. The goal is to sign the player. Now two months from now or after August 15th we'll have a better feel for the players we've added to the organization, but certainly the goal is to sign these players.

FutureJays.com: I realize there's the insurance factor in regards to getting your pick back in the case you're not able to sign any of your picks in the first three rounds, but how disappointed would you be if you weren't able to sign all of your picks in the first three rounds this year?

Tinnish: I'd be very disappointed. I understand that we do get these picks back in the top three rounds, but that's not the goal. As an organization you're not getting better if you're deferring picks to the next year. I went through the process, we all did in the organization in 2009 when were unable to reach agreements with [James] Paxton, [Jake] Eliopoulos, and [Jake] Barrett. I was working in the pro side but I remember being in the draft room and I worked in the front office, I remember the frustration as a group. You don't take these players with the intention of not signing them. You want to sign the players. Fortunately we were able to turn those three picks next year into I believe Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino, and Marcus Knecht, three player that we're excited about. That said though, would I be disappointed if we didn't sign these players? Yes I would be disappointed.

FutureJays.com: What are your early impressions of Tyler Beede?

Tinnish: He's 6-foot4, 200 [pounds], and he's very athletic for his size. He's a smart pitcher. He understands pitching. I had an opportunity to sit down with him about a month or a month and a half ago, and just ask him some questions about pitching. I was impressed with his maturity for his age. At the time he was just 17 years old. He turned 18 two weeks before the draft. He brings a lot to the table. He has a three-pitch mix; a good fastball, curveball, and changeup. All three of them are very advanced for a high school player. I believe he still has some upside. He's a very interesting young man in the fact that he's advanced for his age, he has a very good feel for pitching, and I believe there's still more in there.

FutureJays.com: What can you tell me about Jacob Anderson?

Tinnish: Gosh, great body. He's 6-foot-4 and about 195 [pounds] with room to grow and get stronger. For a tall lean guy he's got a very compact swing, which is difficult for guys that tall with long limbs, to have that compact type swing. He's very athletic for his size and you watch him run the bases, first to third and whatnot, you wouldn't think this is a guy who is 6-foot-4. He makes a lot of hard contact. I saw him hit some line drives out of the park in high school this year. He's a really good kid. He comes from a good family background, great parents, and another kid with a lot of projection to him.

FutureJays.com: Let's move on to your early impressions of Joe Musgrove.

Tinnish: He's a really impressive kid. He's anywhere from 88-96 [mph] with plus sink and the makings of a plus breaking ball. Again, he's another big guy, about 6-foot-5, 210, and again, pretty athletic for his size. He's got great makeup. This is a great kid. I don't know the full back-story, but something to the effect of there was a point in his life where his father was paralyzed from the waist down, I don't know if it was six months or for a year, and he basically took care of him himself; carried him around and things like that. He's a really, really impressive young man. This is a young man who is really excited about the opportunity of professional baseball and the right type of person, the right type of makeup and competitiveness, passion and desire that we're looking for.

FutureJays.com: Tells about Dwight Smith Jr., he seems pretty talented too.

Tinnish: You know what? He's a very advanced bat. I think what stands out with Dwight is his swing and his ability to hit. I think the tool that really stands out is his ability to hit and to hit the ball to all fields. He's got a good idea at the plate. I think he's got the chance to come into some more strength, a corner outfield type guy, a guy we feel certainly has the chance to hit in the big leagues someday.

FutureJays.com: How about Kevin Comer - initial thoughts?

Tinnish: Again, really athletic body, a 6-foot-4, 205 [pound] kid with good angle to the plate with the makings of a plus breaking ball. I really like the way the ball comes out of his hands. Again, another high school arm that we can really project on and dream on.

FutureJays.com: You mentioned projectable arm - Jeremy Gabryszwski seems to fit the bill, no?

Tinnish: 'Gabs' is as tall as some of the other kids. He's 6-foot-3, but he's as athletic if not more athletic than any of the other high school arms that we've taken. He's another guy [with] really good arm action, really good delivery, and [has] the makings of a plus breaking ball. That was kind of a separator for us, the guys we feel like that can spin the ball who [also] has good arm action and delivery. We place a higher desire on that.

FutureJays.com: I've never seen John Stilson pitch, but if you go by the scouting reports he seems very Daniel Bard-like. Is that a fair comparison?

Tinnish: Stilson pitches like his hair is on fire. He's in attack mode all of the time. It's an extremely aggressive, up-tempo delivery in style. He's got a plus changeup. He'll flash you a plus breaking ball. Obviously the fastball has been up to 97 [mph], pitching in that 94-95 mph range. He's extremely aggressive, one of those types of guys who can't sit still, but like that, that good fiery aggressive makeup with kind of an intense/effort/aggressive delivery with stuff.

FutureJays.com: Obviously you're not on the development side but he sounds like a back-end bullpen guy long-term. Is that where you see him fitting?

Tinnish: I think with any of these guys, there's more value as a starter and you want to try and keep them in that role for as long as possible. There's no doubt in my mind that he could handle it from a makeup perspective and a stuff perspective. He can handle that type of role, a back-end pen type role. But when you've got a player who has shown you he can be stretched out and start, and provide value as a starter, obviously you want to keep that alive as long as possible.

FutureJays.com: I want to ask you about two guys in particular because I thought it was pretty interesting - Andy Burns, the University of Arizona shortstop and left-handed pitcher Andrew Chin - these are two guys who didn't play this year at all and yet you drafted them. What about them, despite not playing this year, led you to believe that they're ready for the professional level?

Tinnish: We've seen Burns. He has worked out for some teams and we were able to see him. And earlier in the year, I guess before the season started, our guys did see him at Arizona prior to their season starting. Burns is just dying to play. He's athletic, he's got a feel to hit, he brings tools, and I'm sure he wishes he was ineligible when he transferred but he's handled it well. He's worked his butt off. Let's put it this way, I saw him and didn't feel this was a guy who hadn't played all year. He looked like he was in mid-season form. That definitely tells me something about the kid's makeup an and desire. When you combine makeup and desire with ability and tools, you have the chance to have something pretty good. [With] Chin, he's a left-hander who needs to develop and get stronger but he's got good arm action, a good delivery, and when he was healthy he showed the ability to throw strikes and spin a good curveball. You know how tough it is to find left-handers. I want to say last year there were six high school left-handers taken in the top ten rounds and we were able to select four of those six, and we signed three of them. They're tough to find. This year we took three of them in Norris, Chin, and Suarez in the top ten rounds, but I think if you're left-handed with a good arm action, delivery, and ability to spin a breaking ball, then you definitely have the chance.

FutureJays.com: I'm going to ask a loaded question here - who among the Day Two group [rounds 2-30] of your players will be the 'sleeper' of the group, or 'sleepers' if there's more than one?

Tinnish: I'm going to be honest with you, from round two to round thirty, obviously [Daniel] Norris was the first guy we took in that group so we like him, but looking a little deeper into the draft, certainly guys like Aaron Garza who we took in the tenth and feel has a real good arm action and delivery and has some upside; we took a guy David Rollins in the 24th round out of junior college in Texas, another left-hander with good arm action and delivery, athletic, he's got the chance to be pretty good. I'm looking at the list and again, it's tempered enthusiasm because none of these guys has done anything yet and we haven't signed a lot of them yet, but I'm excited about a lot of these guys. I really am. My excitement might diminish over the years but I think that's the natural progression of how these guys develop, but as we sit here today I think a lot of these guys will have the chance to help us in the big leagues someday.

FutureJays.com: I ask that question because most fans just look at the top guys and I've been doing this too long to know that it's inevitable that a guy in the later rounds is going to make an impact so I'll ask the same thing about Day Three [rounds 31-50] - which Day Three guy stands out in your mind as a potential 'sleeper'?

Tinnish: I'll tell you, Leslie Williams is a big physical Canadian kid and he's a right-handed pitcher. We worked him out before the draft and he was 90-93 mph with a good slider. I think bullpen role down the road, he's got a chance. The kid we took before him, Andrew Sikula from Marshall, kind of a compact guy but a guy who has a curveball up to 84 [mph] that our guys think has the chance to be plus in a bullpen role. Again, he's got a chance to do some damage and go pretty far. We took Kramer Champlin out of Arizona State in the 33rd round - not a big stuff guy as far as velocity, but a good arm action and delivery, and he's 6-foot-6 and 200 [pounds] and has an idea how to pitch and has had some success at a big program. The Kevin Pillar kid, great makeup. He's more of a senior guy but a guy who is a plus runner who puts the bat on the ball and can play centerfield. I don't know what he's going to be down the road but he has some tools that give him a chance. I look through this whole list and again, it's tempered enthusiasm. Another kid is Nico Taylor in the 38th round. His tool is power. We've seen him drive the ball out of the park with wood. The power is impressive. Certainly other parts of his game need to come around, but I'm looking at the list and even these guys we took later in the draft in our minds bring something to the table. There's a lot of guys from the 25 round on who, it might only be one too, but they have the chance to have one plus tool which gives them the chance to stick around and create some value, and hopefully help us at the big league level someday.

FutureJays.com: One last summation question then - we talked about the Bluefield affiliation and the emphasis on projection guys who happen to mostly be high school players these last two drafts - do you think this will be the draft philosophy going forward?

Tinnish: Every team has ingredients in what they look for in a pitcher and a position player, obviously youth is one of them. But beyond that body and athleticism, arm action and deliveries, ability to spin a breaking ball, these are some elements that we see in a lot of these guys that we took whether it be Tyler Beede in the first round or a guy like Joel Seddon in the 20th round. We feel like a lot of these guys have the ingredients we're looking for. If it's a college guy that has those ingredients we line him up accordingly and if he's the one at the top of our board when it's our turn to pick, then that's who we pick. Do we like youth? I suppose we do, but it's easy to get drunk on 18-year olds with projecting what they could be three years down the road if they went to college. Certainly that's a part of it but more than anything I think we really believe in our ability to develop pitchers. Dane Johnson is our pitching coordinator and he's done a tremendous job in that position. He's been in that position at least eight or nine years and he's got a good track record of being able to develop these guys. Certainly there are more challenges for him now that we've kind of shifted philosophies a little bit because most of the guys he's dealt with in the past have been college guys, but we're very confident in his ability and in our own abilities to evaluate.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nFutureJays.com: Let's start and get your general thoughts on how you felt you guys did overall in the draft this year.
\r\n
\r\nAndrew Tinnish: As we sit here today I'm pretty excited about the players we've selected. I guess I'm optimistic and realistic though. This is my second year in this position and you can't really evaluate a draft, especially in this draft where we were pretty aggressive with young players, it's going to take time to figure out ultimately what these guys are going to be. All in all I'm happy with the picks we've made and I'm excited about the prospects of seeing them in a Blue Jays uniform, but only time will tell.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: I know the fans and the media constantly want to rush to judgement on grading a draft class, but in your opinion what kind of time frame is needed before you can sit there and pretty accurately evaluate your draft?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: I think you really need to let things play out and get to the point where you really feel you know what the players are ultimately going to become. If you have a college heavy draft, I think within three or four years you have a pretty good idea of how successful it was, but even then a college player might take three years to get to the big leagues but another few years to establish himself in what he ultimately is as a big league player. For example, we took [Ricky] Romero in 2005. He kind of struggled through the minors a little bit and he hit some bumps in the road. Then he made a big jump and the last couple of years he has really started establishing himself as a top of the rotation type talent. But that's a college guy and that's five years removed from the draft. You think about all of these high school guys that we selected, I would imagine it's going to take even longer for them to develop. We're patient and I understand that this is a process that takes time, and we want to do it the right way. We'll see how it goes.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: You mentioned the high school players - 14 of your first 16 players selected were high school guys and you took a lot of high school guys last year as well - did having that youth in place already from last year's draft as well as the new affiliation in Bluefield to give you that third short-season league, did those two factors allow you take even more youth in this year's draft in sort of a 'youth breeding more youth' philosophy? Or did it just work out that way that you found more talent in the high school ranks again?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: Our philosophy is one that's aggressive in nature. Look, we like college guys and we like high school guys, but we definitely like guys that we feel we can project on. We certainly realize there's more risk involved in taking high school players. History tells us that, but I think there can be more reward as well. Last year we were able to sign eight high school pitchers and we're pretty excited about what they've done so far. It's a slow process. We kept them back in Extended [Spring Training] and there ready to break with short-season clubs next week. I'm definitely excited about following their careers. Again, I think we were even more aggressive with high school arms this year. Certainly adding that affiliate helps, knowing that these guys are going to get innings and other young players are going to get at-bats. I think with the way we're going we really needed that third affiliate [in the short-season leagues], but more than anything we lined our board up based on ability. When it came our time to pick we selected the player that was there at the top.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: You mentioned the word \"risk\". I'm going to get to the first round picks in a minute, but a lot has been made about [second round pick] Daniel Norris with his perceived contract demands and his commitment to Clemson. Was his selection more of a flyer, that risk that you were talking about, or was he selected with the full intention of signing him?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: Look we like Daniel. I saw him pitch last summer and I saw him pitch a couple of times this spring. I like his athleticism that he brings to the table as a left-handed pitcher. I don't select a player with the intention of not signing him. The goal is to sign the player. Now two months from now or after August 15th we'll have a better feel for the players we've added to the organization, but certainly the goal is to sign these players.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: I realize there's the insurance factor in regards to getting your pick back in the case you're not able to sign any of your picks in the first three rounds, but how disappointed would you be if you weren't able to sign all of your picks in the first three rounds this year?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: I'd be very disappointed. I understand that we do get these picks back in the top three rounds, but that's not the goal. As an organization you're not getting better if you're deferring picks to the next year. I went through the process, we all did in the organization in 2009 when were unable to reach agreements with [James] Paxton, [Jake] Eliopoulos, and [Jake] Barrett. I was working in the pro side but I remember being in the draft room and I worked in the front office, I remember the frustration as a group. You don't take these players with the intention of not signing them. You want to sign the players. Fortunately we were able to turn those three picks next year into I believe Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino, and Marcus Knecht, three player that we're excited about. That said though, would I be disappointed if we didn't sign these players? Yes I would be disappointed.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: What are your early impressions of Tyler Beede?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: He's 6-foot4, 200 [pounds], and he's very athletic for his size. He's a smart pitcher. He understands pitching. I had an opportunity to sit down with him about a month or a month and a half ago, and just ask him some questions about pitching. I was impressed with his maturity for his age. At the time he was just 17 years old. He turned 18 two weeks before the draft. He brings a lot to the table. He has a three-pitch mix; a good fastball, curveball, and changeup. All three of them are very advanced for a high school player. I believe he still has some upside. He's a very interesting young man in the fact that he's advanced for his age, he has a very good feel for pitching, and I believe there's still more in there.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: What can you tell me about Jacob Anderson?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: Gosh, great body. He's 6-foot-4 and about 195 [pounds] with room to grow and get stronger. For a tall lean guy he's got a very compact swing, which is difficult for guys that tall with long limbs, to have that compact type swing. He's very athletic for his size and you watch him run the bases, first to third and whatnot, you wouldn't think this is a guy who is 6-foot-4. He makes a lot of hard contact. I saw him hit some line drives out of the park in high school this year. He's a really good kid. He comes from a good family background, great parents, and another kid with a lot of projection to him.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Let's move on to your early impressions of Joe Musgrove.
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: He's a really impressive kid. He's anywhere from 88-96 [mph] with plus sink and the makings of a plus breaking ball. Again, he's another big guy, about 6-foot-5, 210, and again, pretty athletic for his size. He's got great makeup. This is a great kid. I don't know the full back-story, but something to the effect of there was a point in his life where his father was paralyzed from the waist down, I don't know if it was six months or for a year, and he basically took care of him himself; carried him around and things like that. He's a really, really impressive young man. This is a young man who is really excited about the opportunity of professional baseball and the right type of person, the right type of makeup and competitiveness, passion and desire that we're looking for.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Tells about Dwight Smith Jr., he seems pretty talented too.
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: You know what? He's a very advanced bat. I think what stands out with Dwight is his swing and his ability to hit. I think the tool that really stands out is his ability to hit and to hit the ball to all fields. He's got a good idea at the plate. I think he's got the chance to come into some more strength, a corner outfield type guy, a guy we feel certainly has the chance to hit in the big leagues someday.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: How about Kevin Comer - initial thoughts?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: Again, really athletic body, a 6-foot-4, 205 [pound] kid with good angle to the plate with the makings of a plus breaking ball. I really like the way the ball comes out of his hands. Again, another high school arm that we can really project on and dream on.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: You mentioned projectable arm - Jeremy Gabryszwski seems to fit the bill, no?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: 'Gabs' is as tall as some of the other kids. He's 6-foot-3, but he's as athletic if not more athletic than any of the other high school arms that we've taken. He's another guy [with] really good arm action, really good delivery, and [has] the makings of a plus breaking ball. That was kind of a separator for us, the guys we feel like that can spin the ball who [also] has good arm action and delivery. We place a higher desire on that.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: I've never seen John Stilson pitch, but if you go by the scouting reports he seems very Daniel Bard-like. Is that a fair comparison?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: Stilson pitches like his hair is on fire. He's in attack mode all of the time. It's an extremely aggressive, up-tempo delivery in style. He's got a plus changeup. He'll flash you a plus breaking ball. Obviously the fastball has been up to 97 [mph], pitching in that 94-95 mph range. He's extremely aggressive, one of those types of guys who can't sit still, but like that, that good fiery aggressive makeup with kind of an intense/effort/aggressive delivery with stuff.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Obviously you're not on the development side but he sounds like a back-end bullpen guy long-term. Is that where you see him fitting?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: I think with any of these guys, there's more value as a starter and you want to try and keep them in that role for as long as possible. There's no doubt in my mind that he could handle it from a makeup perspective and a stuff perspective. He can handle that type of role, a back-end pen type role. But when you've got a player who has shown you he can be stretched out and start, and provide value as a starter, obviously you want to keep that alive as long as possible.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: I want to ask you about two guys in particular because I thought it was pretty interesting - Andy Burns, the University of Arizona shortstop and left-handed pitcher Andrew Chin - these are two guys who didn't play this year at all and yet you drafted them. What about them, despite not playing this year, led you to believe that they're ready for the professional level?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: We've seen Burns. He has worked out for some teams and we were able to see him. And earlier in the year, I guess before the season started, our guys did see him at Arizona prior to their season starting. Burns is just dying to play. He's athletic, he's got a feel to hit, he brings tools, and I'm sure he wishes he was ineligible when he transferred but he's handled it well. He's worked his butt off. Let's put it this way, I saw him and didn't feel this was a guy who hadn't played all year. He looked like he was in mid-season form. That definitely tells me something about the kid's makeup an and desire. When you combine makeup and desire with ability and tools, you have the chance to have something pretty good. [With] Chin, he's a left-hander who needs to develop and get stronger but he's got good arm action, a good delivery, and when he was healthy he showed the ability to throw strikes and spin a good curveball. You know how tough it is to find left-handers. I want to say last year there were six high school left-handers taken in the top ten rounds and we were able to select four of those six, and we signed three of them. They're tough to find. This year we took three of them in Norris, Chin, and Suarez in the top ten rounds, but I think if you're left-handed with a good arm action, delivery, and ability to spin a breaking ball, then you definitely have the chance.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: I'm going to ask a loaded question here - who among the Day Two group [rounds 2-30] of your players will be the 'sleeper' of the group, or 'sleepers' if there's more than one?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: I'm going to be honest with you, from round two to round thirty, obviously [Daniel] Norris was the first guy we took in that group so we like him, but looking a little deeper into the draft, certainly guys like Aaron Garza who we took in the tenth and feel has a real good arm action and delivery and has some upside; we took a guy David Rollins in the 24th round out of junior college in Texas, another left-hander with good arm action and delivery, athletic, he's got the chance to be pretty good. I'm looking at the list and again, it's tempered enthusiasm because none of these guys has done anything yet and we haven't signed a lot of them yet, but I'm excited about a lot of these guys. I really am. My excitement might diminish over the years but I think that's the natural progression of how these guys develop, but as we sit here today I think a lot of these guys will have the chance to help us in the big leagues someday.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: I ask that question because most fans just look at the top guys and I've been doing this too long to know that it's inevitable that a guy in the later rounds is going to make an impact so I'll ask the same thing about Day Three [rounds 31-50] - which Day Three guy stands out in your mind as a potential 'sleeper'?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: I'll tell you, Leslie Williams is a big physical Canadian kid and he's a right-handed pitcher. We worked him out before the draft and he was 90-93 mph with a good slider. I think bullpen role down the road, he's got a chance. The kid we took before him, Andrew Sikula from Marshall, kind of a compact guy but a guy who has a curveball up to 84 [mph] that our guys think has the chance to be plus in a bullpen role. Again, he's got a chance to do some damage and go pretty far. We took Kramer Champlin out of Arizona State in the 33rd round - not a big stuff guy as far as velocity, but a good arm action and delivery, and he's 6-foot-6 and 200 [pounds] and has an idea how to pitch and has had some success at a big program. The Kevin Pillar kid, great makeup. He's more of a senior guy but a guy who is a plus runner who puts the bat on the ball and can play centerfield. I don't know what he's going to be down the road but he has some tools that give him a chance. I look through this whole list and again, it's tempered enthusiasm. Another kid is Nico Taylor in the 38th round. His tool is power. We've seen him drive the ball out of the park with wood. The power is impressive. Certainly other parts of his game need to come around, but I'm looking at the list and even these guys we took later in the draft in our minds bring something to the table. There's a lot of guys from the 25 round on who, it might only be one too, but they have the chance to have one plus tool which gives them the chance to stick around and create some value, and hopefully help us at the big league level someday.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: One last summation question then - we talked about the Bluefield affiliation and the emphasis on projection guys who happen to mostly be high school players these last two drafts - do you think this will be the draft philosophy going forward?
\r\n
\r\nTinnish: Every team has ingredients in what they look for in a pitcher and a position player, obviously youth is one of them. But beyond that body and athleticism, arm action and deliveries, ability to spin a breaking ball, these are some elements that we see in a lot of these guys that we took whether it be Tyler Beede in the first round or a guy like Joel Seddon in the 20th round. We feel like a lot of these guys have the ingredients we're looking for. If it's a college guy that has those ingredients we line him up accordingly and if he's the one at the top of our board when it's our turn to pick, then that's who we pick. Do we like youth? I suppose we do, but it's easy to get drunk on 18-year olds with projecting what they could be three years down the road if they went to college. Certainly that's a part of it but more than anything I think we really believe in our ability to develop pitchers. Dane Johnson is our pitching coordinator and he's done a tremendous job in that position. He's been in that position at least eight or nine years and he's got a good track record of being able to develop these guys. Certainly there are more challenges for him now that we've kind of shifted philosophies a little bit because most of the guys he's dealt with in the past have been college guys, but we're very confident in his ability and in our own abilities to evaluate.
\r\n
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