Toronto drafts Kloffenstein, Groshans' teammate

Righty picked in 3rd round after Blue Jays take shortstop in 1st round

June 5th, 2018

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays doubled down on Texas' Magnolia High School during Day 2 of the MLB Draft by selecting right-hander Adam Kloffenstein -- teammate of first-rounder Jordan Groshans -- with their third-round pick Tuesday.
Kloffenstein had a 1.20 ERA with 113 strikeouts and 17 walks over 80 innings as a senior. He reportedly sits in the low 90s with heavy sink on his two-seam fastball and can touch 96 mph with his four-seamer. At 6-foot-5, he projects to be durable and already has a plus cutter with the action of a slider.
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The only knock on Kloffenstein entering this Draft was his signability. The 17-year-old had a strong commitment to Texas Christian University and admitted in the days leading up to the Draft that it would take something "pretty extravagant" to convince him to forgo school. In the end, the Blue Jays gave it to him.
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According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kloffenstein reached a deal for approximately $2.5 million, which is well above the approximate slot value of $653,000 for the 88th overall pick. As it turns out, the Blue Jays were able to turn the Magnolia pair into a package deal where Groshans received less than the slot value for the 12th overall pick, which allowed Toronto to accommodate his teammate and close friend.
"If he hadn't taken less, they would not have gotten me," Kloffenstein told "I don't know if they planned it that way, but that's the way it happened. [Groshans] came to my house after he got drafted. He was like, 'Dude, you have to take it, you have to take it, you have to go.' I was like, 'I'm not taking less, but if they give me what I want, I'll go.' They finally got there. It took a little bit of going back and forth, but they got there."
Kloffenstein was a two-way star for his high school team as the club's No. 3 hitter, but he will focus on pitching with the Blue Jays. The 243-pounder has three no-hitters on his resume and he was on the 40-man roster for the Team USA under-18 squad. Per reports, Kloffenstein's stock rose dramatically over the last year thanks in part to a 4-5 mph addition on his fastball.

According to Kloffenstein, the deal came together late Monday night. Several other teams called but could not put together an enticing enough package. The Blue Jays became a surprise entry after taking Groshans in the first round, and following a back and forth on price, the two sides were able to reach an unofficial agreement. That means Kloffenstein will be turning pro and reporting to Dunedin, Fla., in the coming weeks once the ink is dry.
"Honestly, I didn't," Kloffenstein said when asked if he expected the Blue Jays to target him. "I had some teams that I knew liked me a lot. Some teams that I knew were looking at maybe supplemental first, maybe a chance to get into the bottom of the first round. Definitely had a lot of buzz about high in the second round, but my agent was like, 'Hey, I really don't know where we're going to be.'
"We had about 15 teams in the mix and he never really said anything about the Blue Jays. Once they got Jordan as high as they did ... Jordan said within three minutes of the phone call, they were already talking about me and needing to get Jordan over to my house to get me on board."
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at noon ET.
Round 4: RHP Sean Wymer, TCU
Speaking of TCU, that's where the Blue Jays discovered their fourth-round pick. Wymer began his college career as a reliever and led his school to the College World Series by retiring 35 of the 39 batters he faced and picking up a pair of wins in the postseason. The 21-year-old partially transitioned to the rotation this season and went 6-3 with a 3.65 ERA and 69 strikeouts over 15 appearances, including 10 starts.
Per Wymer's MLB Pipeline scouting report, he sits at 89-92 mph with his fastball but has the ability to hit 95-96 mph in shorter stints. He also possesses a curveball, slider and changeup in his four-pitch mix. The Blue Jays likely will give him every opportunity to stick as a starter, but there are some who ultimately believe he will end up in the bullpen. The 116th overall pick comes with an approximate value of $479,000.

Round 5: C Christopher Bec, University of Maine
The Blue Jays went a little off the board with their fifth-round selection. Bec was not ranked in MLB Pipeline's Top 200 Prospects but he plays a prime position and the 22-year-old posted some eye-popping numbers at the University of Maine with 21 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs and a .315/.379/.539 slash line in 45 games. As a fourth-year senior, Bec should be an easy sign for the Blue Jays, and some of the resources likely can be reallocated to accommodate Kloffenstein or another tough sign, such as Toronto's next selection.
Round 6: SS Addison Barger, C. Leon King High School (Fla.)
The Blue Jays opted for another aggressive choice by taking Barger, who was ranked as the No. 143 prospect by MLB Pipeline and has a commitment to the University of Florida. The left-handed-hitting middle infielder posted a .354 batting average and 11 extra-base hits this season with plus bat speed and a line-drive approach.
Per scouting reports, Barger has the arm to play shortstop but there are some questions about his range, which leads some to believe he eventually will transition to second or third base. Similarly to top prospect Bo Bichette and top pick Groshans, if the Blue Jays are able to sign Barger away from Florida, he likely will be given every opportunity to stick at short.

Round 7: 2B Nick Podkul, Notre Dame
For the second time in three years, the Blue Jays have swiped a second baseman from the Fighting Irish. In 2016, it was Cavan Biggio, who has since turned into one of the club's more promising prospects despite not receiving a lot of hype on Draft day. Podkul offers a similar skill set in the sense that he does a little bit of everything well. Podkul led Notre Dame this season with a .525 slugging percentage to go along with 24 extra-base hits and a .312 batting average in 54 games. The approximate slot value for the No. 206 pick is $212,000.

Round 8: RHP Joey Murray, Kent State
Murray doesn't blow anybody away with a fastball that typically sits 87-88 mph and maxes out around 91, but he was able to post some impressive numbers thanks to a deceptive arm angle. Murray went 9-2 with a 2.45 ERA while striking out 141 batters over 95 2/3 innings. The fourth-year junior should be another easy sign for the Blue Jays at the No. 236 pick, which comes with an approximate slot value of $170,000.
Round 9: 1B Jake Brodt, Santa Clara
Brodt made headlines earlier this year when he became the seventh Division 1 player to hit two grand slams in the same inning since the NCAA began keeping records in 1957. He was the first player to accomplish the feat since Louisiana Tech's T.J. Soto. Brodt is a 6-foot-4 senior who slashed .270/.335/.555 across 52 games and was recently named second team All-West Coast Conference after leading the league with 15 home runs. The ninth-round pick comes with an approximate slot value of $150,000.
Round 10: CF Cal Stevenson, University of Arizona
Toronto used its final pick of the day on a 5-foot-10 center fielder who is considered a plus runner with average arm strength. Stevenson is a 21-year-old senior who was plagued by a hand injury late in the season and finished the regular season hitting .293 with an .813 OPS. He struck out just 16 times compared to 35 walks and he recently earned an honorable mention as an All-Pac-12 honoree. The No. 296 pick comes with an approximate slot value of $140,000.