Blue Jays use their first pick on Davis

Gregor Chisholm /

TORONTO — The Blue Jays selected high school outfielder D.J. Davis with the 17th overall selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft on Monday night.

Davis is a speedy center fielder from Stone County High School in Mississippi. The 18-year-old is a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder who is said to have well-above average range in the field while improving his approach at the plate this season.

The native of Wiggins, MS, was considered one of the fastest players in the Draft. His offensive potential has been a bit of a question mark in recent years but he reportedly has shown a better approach and possesses power to the gaps. It’s possible he could remind some people of Anthony Gose, who is currently one of the club’s top prospects.

Last season, Davis played in 25 games and batted .376 with 32 hits, six doubles and 18 RBI. He has a commitment to play at Meridian
Community College next season.

The Blue Jays have a total of 14 picks in the first 10 rounds of the Draft, which is tied with St. Louis and San Diego for most in the Majors. Toronto has a total cap of $8,830,800 for their selections with an average of $630,711, which ranks fifth among teams.

Five of those selections were set to occur on Day 1. The 17th selection was their pick based on last year’s standings while No. 22 overall was given to the club as compensation for failing to sign 2011 first-round pick Tyler Beede.

The last time the Blue Jays had two first-rounders was in 2007 when the club took shortstop Kevin Ahrens (No. 16) and current starting catcher J.P. Arencibia (No. 21).

Toronto also has three compensatory picks between the first and second rounds following the departures of Jose Molina, Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch via free agency during the offseason. It’s the third consecutive year the Blue Jays have possessed at least five picks on Day 1.

In 2011, the club used its six selections on the first day to draft four right-handed pitchers and two outfielders. In total, Toronto used 12 of its top 15 picks last year on pitchers who were at least 6-foot-1.

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