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Blue Jays use seventh-round pick on outfielder Zehner


The Blue Jays selected college senior Zack Zehner with their seventh-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday afternoon.

Zehner has yet to hit for a lot of power, but there's a possibility that could change in the coming years. He stands at 6-foot-4, weighs 215 pounds and has the body type that a lot of scouts are fond of even if the power production hasn't materialized quite yet.

The 21-year-old outfielder hit .319 with a .376 on-base percentage and an .809 OPS in 47 games for the Cal Poly Mustangs this season. Last year, he had a team-leading .358 average for Santa Barbara City College, which ranked third in the Western State Conference's North Division.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

"Cal Poly was one of the best teams in the country, they go to the Top 10 almost every year, and we actually scouted him last summer pretty hard," Blue Jays director of amateur scouting Brian Parker said.

"He was in the Northwoods League, and he was coming out of a [junior college] last year. We tried to sign him last summer as an undrafted kid and he didn't sign. He wanted to go back to school, and we were able to follow him this spring and were able to get him in the seventh round this year."

Zehner was named to the All-Western State team for the second consecutive year in 2013 after posting a .455 on-base percentage. The native of San Diego has a chance to develop into a corner outfielder, but there appear to be some question marks about his overall upside.

The recommended slot value for the No. 204 pick is $192,400. He would appear to be a relatively easy sign, and the Blue Jays could look to use some of the savings on pitcher Sean Reid-Foley (No. 49) or left-hander Nick Wells (No. 83), who are both considered tough signs.

That's likely a similar strategy to the one Toronto also took in the sixth round when the club selected junior college left-hander Grayson Huffman. The Blue Jays have a total bonus pool of $9,458,500 to spend in the first 10 rounds, and there are severe penalties if a club surpasses its cap.

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

{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
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