It looks like the Blue Jays have realized they may have lucked out on getting Solon Ohio pitcher Matt Smoral.
According to ESPN’s Keith Law, Toronto signed their first-round pick for around $2 million on Thursday.
The 6-foot-8 lefty was considered to be a top 10 first-round talent, but after suffering a fractured right foot and surgery to repair it in his senior year at Solon High School, he slipped to 50th overall in the supplemental round of this year’s amateur draft.
The Jays went well beyond the recommended slot to keep him from accepting a scholarship to the University of North Carolina, and it will be interesting to see how that affects the way they handle the four other first-round draft picks they’ll try to sign in the coming days, including 17th overall selection D.J. Davis and 22nd overall selection Marcus Stroman.
Despite his young age, Smoral is polished pitcher, and has a fastball that sits in the 91-92 mph range. Still, Toronto will have to be patient if they wish to discover the No. 2 starter they hope they’ve snatched.