The Toronto Blue Jays selected power-hitting shortstop Arjun Nimmala with their top pick in baseball’s amateur draft on Sunday night in Seattle.
The 17-year-old Nimmala, from Strawberry Crest High School in the Tampa, Fla., region was picked 20th overall.
The six-foot-one, 170-pound athlete bats right, throws right and is regarded one of the top hitters in his age group.
Shane Farrell, the amateur scouting director with the Jays, said Sunday the team was very impressed with Nimmala’s overall “tool package.”
“The power, the arm strength, playing at a premium position, that all makes him a real exciting player and somebody I’m really happy to get into the farm system,” said Farrell.
“My parents just wanted to give their kids an opportunity to achieve everything they want and to be successful in life.”<br><br>Get to know more about Arjun Nimmala and his family. <a href=” <a href=”https://t.co/3KaajnIGRj”>pic.twitter.com/3KaajnIGRj</a>
Farrell added that the team has built a strong relationship with the high school athlete and didn’t expect signing him to be an issue.
Nimmala’s age and offensive upside were on display all summer, including at Major League Baseball’s High School All-American Game.
Pirates take LSU pitcher Paul Skenes with No. 1 pick
LSU’s stars stole the spotlight at the College World Series. It carried over to the top of baseball’s amateur draft.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected hard-throwing LSU right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes with the top pick in the draft, with teammate Dylan Crews going No. 2 to the Washington Nationals.
It’s the first time in the draft’s history teammates went 1-2.
“It’s super humbling. I was in shock when I heard,” Skenes said. “A year ago, two years ago, I never through it was a possibility to be the first overall pick. I don’t know what I was expecting going into today, but it means a lot.”
PAUL SKENES & DYLAN CREWS MAKE HISTORY 🐯<br><br>The first pair of teammates in <a href=” history to go 1-2 🤜🤛 <a href=” | <a href=” <a href=”https://t.co/nkdb5qCHxc”>pic.twitter.com/nkdb5qCHxc</a>
Skenes went 12-3 with 209 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings in helping lead the Tigers to the College World Series championship. The pick was announced by Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., the top pick of the 1987 draft by the Seattle Mariners.
Skenes was the first college pitcher selected No. 1 overall since Casey Mize by Detroit in 2018.
For the second time in three years, the Pirates held the top overall selection thanks to winning the first draft lottery and jumping Washington in the selection order. The Pirates picked catcher Henry Davis at the top in 2021; he made his major league debut last month for Pittsburgh.
Skenes’s signing bonus is expected to be near the slot value of about $9.7 million US. Cherington said the hope is an agreement can come quickly and Skenes could pitch somewhere in the Pirates organization in 2023.
That feeling when the <a href=” make you the first overall pick in the <a href=”. <br><br>Congratulations to Paul Skenes from LSU! <a href=”https://t.co/GJNNR1hTyt”>pic.twitter.com/GJNNR1hTyt</a>
It seemed to be a debate between Skenes and Crews for the top pick. It didn’t take long for Crews to come off the board after hitting .426 with 18 home runs while playing centre field for the Tigers. Crews had a 26-game hitting streak as part of his standout season for the Tigers and finished his career at LSU by reaching base in each of his final 75 college games.
Crews is the first college position player taken by Washington with its first pick since Anthony Rendon in 2011.
Four LSU players total were selected on the first day, with right-handed pitchers Ty Floyd (No. 38 by Cincinnati) and Grant Taylor (No. 51 by the Chicago White Sox) also picked.
Detroit selected high school outfielder Max Clark from Franklin, Indiana, at No. 3. Clark was the Gatorade national player of the year after hitting .646 with six homers and 33 RBIs during his high school season.
Taking it to the Max.<br><br>With the third pick in the 2023 <a href=”, the Detroit Tigers select OF Max Clark. <a href=”https://t.co/DcNQVGvtTe”>pic.twitter.com/DcNQVGvtTe</a>
But the first round was tilted to college players, with 17 of the 28 selections.
Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford went No. 4 to Texas, and high school outfielder Walker Jenkins, from Oak Island, N.C., went fifth to Minnesota.
Oakland took college shortstop Jacob Wilson, the son of former major league shortstop Jack Wilson, from Grand Canyon at No. 6.
Wake Forest right-hander Rhett Lowder went No. 7 to Cincinnati, Kansas City selected high school catcher Blake Mitchell, from Sinton, Texas, at No. 8, and Colorado picked Tennessee right-hander Chase Dollander.
The top 10 concluded with Miami selecting high school righty Noble Meyer from Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore.
The first round ended with Houston taking Nebraska shortstop Bryce Matthews at No. 28, but only after Commissioner Rob Manfred had to pause due to boos about the mention of the Astros.
Picks 11-20 of the <a href=” were dominated by infielders. <a href=”https://t.co/49qMdlzZud”>pic.twitter.com/49qMdlzZud</a>
Seattle was the only team with three picks in the first 39 selections after becoming the first team to be awarded an extra promotion incentive pick under the new collective bargaining agreement. That pick was the result of Julio Rodriguez winning AL Rookie of the Year last season and getting a full year of major league service.
Seattle used that incentive pick to take high school outfielder Jonny Farmelo, from Chantilly, Virginia. Seattle also selected high school shortstops Colt Emerson, from New Concord, Ohio, at No. 22 and Tai Peete, of Sharpsburg, Georgia, at No. 30.
The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers each had their first picks dropped by 10 spots for going more than $40 million over the luxury tax threshold last year. The Mets picked 32nd and Dodgers 36th.
The Mets took high school shortstop Colin Houck from Lilburn, Georgia, at No. 32 overall and the Dodgers picked high school outfielder Kendall George from Humble, Texas, at No. 36.