Family ties highlight Blue Jays' Day 2 board

June 10th, 2016

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays didn't do this intentionally, but the early rounds of the Draft have turned into a family affair for the franchise and Major League Baseball alumni.
Toronto selected infielder Bo Bichette -- son of four-time All-Star Dante -- on Day 1, and on Friday afternoon, the club followed by picking outfielder Joshua Palacios in the fourth round and second baseman Cavan Biggio in the fifth round.
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Palacios is the nephew of former Major League utility man Rey Palacios, and Biggio needs no introduction as the son of the legendary Craig Biggio, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last year.
"That really wasn't our focus, but it's always nice when it turns out that way," Blue Jays director of amateur scouting Brian Parker said. "Bo Bichette has spent a lot of time with his dad around big league stadiums, big league players, seeing the work ethic.
"Same with Cavan, just getting that experience and seeing what that entails, the work that goes into it, I think, is only valuable. For the other guys as well, relatives who played, just to know what goes into it and the work behind the scenes, I think, is valuable."
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The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at noon ET.
Here's a complete rundown of the players Toronto selected on Day 2, which consisted of Rounds 3-10:
Round 3 (102nd overall), Zach Jackson, RHP, Arkansas
Jackson was projected to become one of the first relievers taken in this year's Draft but the Blue Jays are going to try him out as a starter and see how things go. He is coming off a season in which he posted a 5.09 ERA, but that number was likely elevated because he shifted between roles during the year.
The 21-year-old spent some time as the closer during his junior season for Arkansas and picked up four saves. He hits 93-95 mph with his fastball but can touch 97 as a reliever. He also possesses a hard breaking ball that should lead to a lot of strikeouts.

"We're going to put some innings on him and stretch him out," Parker said. "He kind of bounced back and forth this year in that role. I think command is the big question mark right now. He's an above-average athlete with a good delivery and he's got stuff. ... We want to get him on a consistent program to put some innings on him and see what we can develop as a starter."
Round 4 (132nd overall), Joshua Palacios, CF, Auburn
Palacios was hampered down the stretch this season because of a wrist injury, but prior to that, he hit .408 and was challenging for the Southeastern Conference batting title.

The Blue Jays drafted Palacios as a center fielder, but most projections have him moving to the one of the corner spots, likely left field, at some point in the future. Palacios makes a lot of contact and has the upside to hit for a high average. The question is whether he can hit for enough power to eventually settle into a left-field role.

The 20-year-old spent the early part of his career as a switch-hitter, but he has since abandoned that approach. He now hits exclusively from the left side and is coming off a year in which he recorded 12 stolen bases with a .608 slugging percentage. Palacios was ranked the <a href="

list=draft">No. 169 prospect in the Draft by
Round 5 (162nd overall), Cavan Biggio, 2B, Notre Dame
Biggio was the leadoff hitter for Notre Dame and is coming off a season in which he hit .311 with 18 extra-base hits and 14 stolen bases.
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Biggio will immediately draw comparisons to his father, but those expectations should be tempered. Cavan was one of the most highly touted prospects in the 2013 Draft, but he slipped to the 29th round because of signability concerns, and he ultimately chose to attend Notre Dame. Once there, Biggio struggled with the bat as a freshman before turning things around in his sophomore campaign.
"He gets on base, he battles; it's a good top-of-the-order profile," Parker said. "He's kind of a two-way guy at second. He has great makeup, grinder, all of that stuff, but we like him as a player and a guy that can play both ways -- offense and defense. He can really help us as a top of the order bat."
Round 6 (192nd overall), David Daniels, OF, Ralph L. Fike HS (Wilson, N.C.)
Daniels is a two-sport star out of North Carolina who has committed to play both baseball and football at James Madison University. That might make him a tough sign for a sixth-round pick which comes with an assigned value of $245,600, but if the Blue Jays save money elsewhere, they might be able to go over slot here and get a deal done. Daniels, who also played quarterback in high school, hit .475 with 14 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in 20 games this season. According to's Jim Callis, Daniels is a "very intriguing guy, kind of a deep sleeper out of North Carolina."

Round 7 (222nd overall), Andy Ravel, RHP, Kent State
Ravel is coming off a junior season at Kent State in which he posted a 3.36 ERA while striking out 77 over 91 innings. He was previously drafted by the D-backs in the 21st round of the 2013 Draft, but he decided to honor his commitment to attend school instead of turning pro. Ravel has a four-pitch repertoire with a fastball that hovers around 90 mph, and by most reports, he'll have to succeed as a finesse pitcher with strong command to advance through the Minor League system.
Round 8 (252nd overall), Kyle Weatherly, RHP, Grayson County College
Weatherly is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound hurler coming off his second season at junior college. He has a commitment to attend Louisiana State University but seems likely to join the Blue Jays organization instead of continuing his collegiate career. Weatherly posted a 5.01 ERA in 23 1/3 innings this season and has the ability to hit the mid-90s with his fastball, and his slider has the potential to become a plus pitch. He projects as a reliever in the future but was considered a late bloomer so he may have not quite tapped into all of his potential.
Round 9 (282nd overall), Nick Hartman, RHP, Old Dominion
With this pick, the Blue Jays added another seasoned arm that could potentially move through the system relatively quickly. Hartman led his Old Dominion squad with seven saves, which ranked ninth in Conference USA. He posted a 4.81 ERA in 26 appearances and struck out a total of 52 batters. He should be a relatively easy sign, which possibly would open up additional funds for the high school players Toronto selected earlier in the Draft.
Round 10 (312th overall), Kirby Snead, LHP, University of Florida
Snead gives the Blue Jays another arm that could potentially be used out of the bullpen. According to Callis, Snead is a pitcher who thrives on deception and throws with a low arm slot, likely projecting as a situational lefty at the big league level. Snead went 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 35 2/3 innings for the Gators this season. He appeared in 39 games and struck out 33, walking 11.
"That was the nature of the Draft," Parker said when asked about the run of taking college pitchers. "We had high school guys mixed in throughout. ... It's just kind of the way it worked out. But we have some high school kids that we've targeted for [Saturday] as well.
"Hopefully we can get some of them. We're just going to take what the Draft gives us and go with what we can get. It just turned out today that a lot of the college players were available."