"We scouted him as a first-round kind of talent this year and we thought he'd be going in the first round," Brian Parker, Blue Jays Director of Amateur Scouting, said following Day 2 of the Draft. "We were ecstatic that he was still sitting there at 49."
The 6-foot-2 Florida native throws with low-90s velocity and has the ability to top out at 95 mph. His best secondary pitch is a low-80s slider, and he can also throw a curveball and a sinking changeup. He has above-average command and there's belief that he projects as a future mid-rotation starter.
The team also inked Thomas, their fifth-round selection, for $750,000, well above the recommended slot value of $343,000 for the 144th pick. The Blue Jays did not confirm terms.
Thomas, a high schooler from Tennessee, is considered a power-hitting outfielder with a quick bat and an advanced approach at the plate, according to his MLB.com scouting report.
The 18-year-old University of Tennessee commit recently finished up his senior season at Bearden High School, where he hit .376, with 44 doubles, nine triples, 36 home runs, 123 RBIs and 177 runs scored over the course of four seasons.
Because Thomas signed for higher than his allotted slot value, the Blue Jays will have to find savings elsewhere when coming to terms with other members of their 2014 Draft class.
The Blue Jays have a total of $9,458,500 to spend on 11 picks in the top 10 rounds, which ranks fourth among Major League teams. The only teams that have a larger bonus pool to work from this year are Miami ($14,199,300), Houston ($13,362,200) and the White Sox ($9,509,700).