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Blue Jays draft UNC's Warmoth at No. 22

Scouting director praises college star's instincts at shortstop
MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- For the first time in five years, the Blue Jays went with a position player instead of a pitcher with their first pick in the MLB Draft.

Toronto selected North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2017 Draft on Monday night. Warmoth finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 91 hits and earned selections as a first-team All-American and first-team All-ACC player.

TORONTO -- For the first time in five years, the Blue Jays went with a position player instead of a pitcher with their first pick in the MLB Draft.

Toronto selected North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2017 Draft on Monday night. Warmoth finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 91 hits and earned selections as a first-team All-American and first-team All-ACC player.

Blue Jays' 28th overall pick: Nate Pearson
Blue Jays' 61st overall: Hagen Danner

The Blue Jays also picked Central Florida right-hander Nate Pearson (No. 28) and high school catcher Hagen Danner (No. 61) on Day 1 of the Draft. Each player comes with unique circumstances, but Warmoth appears to be the more known quantity -- and perhaps safer pick -- while the others offer more risk/reward.

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

The Draft continues Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

"We took three players from three demographics," Blue Jays director of amateur scouting Steve Sanders said at the end of Day 1. "Not really by design or what we set out to do. Our goal going in was to take the best player available, and that's what we did. Three very different players from different backgrounds. Logan, obviously being a college shortstop in a big conference in the ACC."

"Shortstop" might be the key to all of this. Some Draft reports suggested that Warmoth would have to move to second base in the big leagues, but the Blue Jays see it differently. They're confident he will stick at shortstop, and if he does, the bat plays even better.

Warmoth led the Tar Heels with a .336 batting average, .554 slugging percentage, 60 runs, 19 doubles and 10 home runs. During the Draft, MLB Network's Peter Gammons compared Warmoth to Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy while his college broadcaster suggested Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier.

"We feel really good about Logan's chances of staying at shortstop," Sanders said. "He's got great instincts. His hand and feet work well over there, and he's a smart baseball player. He's an instinctual defender, and we feel very good about how his skills will translate at the pro level at shortstop."

Video: Draft 2017: Gammons profiles SS Logan Warmoth

The son of Greg Warmoth, a well-known broadcaster in Orlando, Fla., Warmoth was ranked 27th overall by MLBPipeline.com going into the Draft and was expected to be a first-round pick. The 22nd overall pick comes with a recommended slot value of approximately $2.8 million.

"He really took a step forward in a number of facets," Sanders said of his 2017 season at UNC. "He hit for more power, on-base, made some strides defensively. We've seen a steady progression from when we started scouting him. ... He just continued to grow on us the more we watched him, and he was a guy we were really hoping to have an opportunity for tonight."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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