Blue Jays continue run on hurlers in Draft

Blue Jays continue run on hurlers in Draft

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays continued their run on pitching during Day 2 of the Draft by using a third-round selection on high school right-hander Justin Maese from Ysleta, Texas.

Maese is another example of a pitcher who moved up the Draft boards this year after experiencing an increase in velocity. Scouts had him hitting 96 mph with his fastball and 86 mph on his slider, but he often had trouble maintaining that velocity deep into games.

According to his scouting report on MLB.com, Maese typically works in the 88-92 mph range, but at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, there is room to grow, and that could lead to sustained higher velocities over the next few years.

"Justin progressed every year he was with us," Ysleta manager David Aragon recently told the El Paso Times. "He has always possessed a calmness about him, and that has always helped him during his career and that will help him in his pro career.

"Justin has so much ability and so much potential. I know he will continue to work hard in his career, and someday he will be a Major League Baseball player. I don't have any doubt he will achieve that goal."

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com beginning at noon ET.

Maese also was a standout quarterback and he has a commitment to Texas Tech this fall. The 91st overall pick comes with a recommended slot value of $636,400, and Toronto has a total pool of $5,411,000 for the first 10 rounds of the Draft.

The 18-year-old Maese struck out 156 batters as a junior and was named to the Louisville Slugger High School All-America First Team. In his senior year, Maese had 81 strikeouts and recently led his Indians team through a run in the playoffs.

2015 Draft: Carl Wise, 3B

Round 4: 3B Carl Wise, College of Charleston
Wise became the first position player taken by the Blue Jays in this year's Draft when he was selected with the 122nd overall pick. He's a power-hitting third baseman who has reached double figures in home runs during two of his three years at Charleston.

The 20-year-old homered six times in seven games in March, and he tied for second in the Cape Cop League with six home runs last summer. He's listed as a third baseman, but most scouts seem to expect that Wise will have to change positions because of his hands and lack of quickness at the hot corner.

Wise was ranked No. 121 overall in the Draft by MLBPipeline.com, which was one off where the Blue Jays actually took him. The 122nd pick comes with a recommended slot value of $461,200.

The native of Lexington, S.C., was recently named a Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Wise ranked sixth in the NCAA with 68 RBIs this season, and he hit .319 with 11 home runs and 61 runs scored.

"Carl Wise, ever since he's been here, has a consistency in how he prepares himself every single day," Charleston manager Monte Lee recently told The Post and Courier. "His focus, his attention to detail, how he practices, his intensity in practice -- it's a constant. He's 100 percent in at all times. The kid never seems to take a rep off or a pitch off in a baseball game."

Round 5: RHP Jose Espada, Jose Collazo Colon High School (Juncos, Puerto Rico)
The Blue Jays selected Espada with the 152nd overall pick. He projects as a starting pitcher and reportedly hits 92-93 mph on the radar gun with a plus breaking ball.

Toronto went slightly off the board with this pick. MLBPipeline.com didn't have Espada on its Top 200 Prospects list heading into the Draft, and there wasn't a lot of information available about the hard-throwing righty in the immediate aftermath of the selection.

Espada's frame fits perfectly into what the Blue Jays typically want from their pitchers. He's 18 and stands at 6-foot and 170 pounds. Dating back to 2011, the only pitcher the Blue Jays selected in the Top 10 rounds who wasn't at least 6 feet tall was right-hander Marcus Stroman.

The No. 152 pick comes with a recommended slot value of $345,300 and Toronto has a total pool allotment of $5,411,000 for the first 10 rounds of the Draft. If the Blue Jays can save a little bit of money in this round, the funds could be used elsewhere to sign one of the other high school arms who has a commitment to college.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.