The Toronto Blue Jays have announced that they have signed 16 of their 40 draft picks to contracts, while my reckoning (via several sources, including Bluebird Banter) shows that number to be more like 18. Beyond the names that the Blue Jays have released, University of South Carolina star 1B L.B. Dantzler has signed after the team was eliminated from their playoffs and Canadian pitcher Sean Ratcliffe has signed for $75,000, according to Bob Elliott.
Because the draft has been shortened to 40 rounds (from 50), there are going to be a number of undrafted free agent signings. While most of these guys are destined to become organizational filler, some do go on to become more. One of these undrafted free agents from last season who is garnering a lot of attention is side-winding righty Wil Browning of the Lansing Lugnuts. If you go back to Podcast Episode 5, you can hear my interview with Wil.
This is a roundabout way of getting to today’s news that the Blue Jays have signed 5 (to begin with) undrafted free agents, mostly pitchers.
According to reports, the Blue Jays have signed pitchers Corey Gorman (LHP, University of Scranton), Cale Wine (RHP, University of Louisiana at Monroe), Joey Lovecchio (RHP, University of South Florida), Phil Kish (RHP, Southeastern University) and infielder Koby Kraemer (Indiana State University).
Gorman, a 4th year Junior (he was red-shirted for one year), started 10 games for Scranton and had his best season for the Division III University of Scranton. He threw 63 1/3 innings as their ace, striking out 78 batters and walking 22 while putting up a 3.55 ERA.
Wine, a former teammate of Wil Browning’s at University of Louisiana at Monroe, led the 18-36 Warhawk pitching staff with a 4.05 ERA, throwing 91 innings and striking out 59.
As a senior at University of South Florida, Joey Lovecchio had a 4.40 ERA in 77 2/3 innings pitched where he struck out 48 and walked 17.
Kish, a 5th year senior at Southeastern University, was the closer and picked up 18 saves in 24 games on the season. In 30 innings, he had a 0.30 ERA and struck out 36 while walking only four batters.
Koby Kraemer, a teammate of Sean Manaea at Indiana State, signed with the Blue Jays. He hit .287/.374/.436 with 15 doubles, 2 triples and 3 HRs while stealing 6 bases in 10 attempts. Kraemer had an excellent 22 BB to 24 K ratio.