Blue Jays sign 3rd-round pick Jackson

With righty's contract announced, Toronto's first 10 Draft picks have agreed to terms

Blue Jays sign 3rd-round pick Jackson

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have now officially signed the first 10 players they selected in this year's MLB Draft.

Third-round pick Zach Jackson became the latest addition when his contract was announced Monday afternoon. According to MLB.com's Jim Callis, Jackson will get $540,000, which is slightly below the $585,100 slot value of pick No. 102.

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Jackson is a 21-year-old who was projected to be one of the first relievers taken in the Draft. He spent some time as the closer at Arkansas, but the Blue Jays are going to at least initially use Jackson as a starter.

"We're actually going to put some innings on him and stretch him out," Blue Jays director of amateur scouting Brian Parker recently said. "He's an above-average athlete with a good delivery, and he's got stuff.

"Command is a question mark. He was in the bullpen, and then they tried him starting and then back in the bullpen. We want to get him on a consistent program to put some innings on him and see what we can develop as a starter."

Jackson hits 93-95 mph with his fastball but can touch 97 as a reliever. He also possesses a hard breaking ball that could lead to a lot of strikeouts at the big league level. Jackson is coming off a season in which he posted a 5.09 ERA, but at least part of that can be explained by the way he shifted between roles.

The Blue Jays had 10 picks in the first nine rounds of this year's Draft. The only player from the top 10 rounds who has not officially signed is left-hander Kirby Snead, who is not eligible until he finishes playing in the College World Series for the Florida Gators.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. 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.