Touki Toussaint- Blue Jays “Taking” Righty on Thursday Night

Last week, as you may have read, I was informed that Trea Turner was likely to be the Jays selection at #9, assuming he would be available at that point. Now, a few days later I’ve been told by a reliable source that their other pick will be Florida prep right-handed pitcher Touki Toussaint. He is another player who has been pinned to the Blue Jays in a number of mock drafts, but perhaps not quite as universally as Trea Turner has been.

Kiley Mcdaniel at Scout.com has him taking Toussaint at the No. 11 pick. Kiley noted that…

…the long-rumored Toussaint pick is a well-known rumor here, though a late rumor I heard last night has Virginia closer Nick Howard in play here well under slot, as many teams think he can start, but could also rush to the big leagues as a reliever. This is believed to be Jeff Hoffman’s floor if he gets this far.

Similarly, Keith Law of ESPN ($) also has the Blue Jays grabbing Toussaint, but with the No. 9 pick, and then with Jeff Hoffman at No. 11.

Meanwhile, the other major mock drafts don’t have the Jays taking Toussaint with either pick, instead suggesting they will take East Carolina righty, and recent Tommy John surgery victim, Jeff Hoffman. However, they all list Toussaint as one of the most likely alternatives.

Much like I did with Trea Turner, lets dive deeper into just exactly who Touki Toussaint is.

Name Pos. State Age Height Weight
Touki Toussaint RHP Florida 18.0 6’2 185 lbs
Source Kiley McDaniel Keith Law Chris Crawford MLB.com Baseball America Perfect Game
Rank 20 13 10 16 13 18

Scouting Video

Video 1 – October 2012

Video 2 – March 2014

Mr. Toussaint first broke onto the scene with a standout performance at the annual Perfect Game wood bat showcase in Jupiter, Florida in 2012. At the time Perfect Game wrote that

[Toussaint’s] deceptively smooth arm stroke doesn’t tip off hitters to the heat that he is about to unleash. But with a long wingspan and fast whippy arm action, Toussaint showed off an explosive fastball. While he has some work to do cleaning up his delivery, Toussaint showed the most electric arsenal of the entire tournament. He opened the tourney with a 95 mph fastball on the first pitch of the first game en route to knocking off the defending champions Marucci Elite while pitching in tropical storm conditions. He would go on to touch 97 during the playoffs, and his fastball showed explosive late riding life that resembles that of Gerrit Cole’s heater. He aggressively mixed in a mid 70s curveball that featured very tight spin and big depth. His curveball was so deep that he got squeezed on some strike calls with it during his first outing, as one scout remarked “it’s going to be tough to get a called third strike with that yakker if he keeps buckling the ump’s knees.

When you’re fastball is being compared to Gerrit Cole’s and your curveball is making the umpire look silly, it’s no surprise that at that early stage he looked like a contender to be the first player selected in the 2014 draft. However, since that coming out party, he’s been plagued by inconsistent command and mechanics, which has pushed him down into more of a mid-first round profile.

Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus saw him in last August, and reported ($) as seeing

Electric raw stuff; three-quarters slot; easy and lighting-fast arm; throws the ball downhill better than any pitcher at the event; lost his release early but showed the ability to make quick adjustments; fastball worked 92-94; touched 95; appears much faster; ball really jumps; impossible to touch when he spots it down; command was off in this showing; slow to the plate (1.65 seconds) with runners on; showed slide-step and held velocity; curve was poor early and then started to flash its promise; 72-75 mph with lots of bite; showed a cut-change offering in the mid-80s; more deliberate than curveball; arm speed and present fastball make me think a really, really good change-up is going to develop out of this arm; could end up as complete starter package; very inconsistent but power arm with very high upside.

Essentially if you are familiar with the Blue Jays drafting history, those scouting reports could describe the ideal player the Jays seem to look for in the draft. A high upside prep pitcher who struggles with consistency. It seems that since the Jays have two high draft picks, they are looking to take one safer pick (Trea Turner) and then an upside flyer (Toussaint).  Personally, I’d much rather see them use both picks on upside plays, but that runs quite contrary to the various picks that each of the major mock drafts are predicting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

 

Trea Turner – Shortstop – North Carolina State

Age on Draft Day – 20.9

Height - 6’2”

Weight – 160 lbs

Rankings

Kiley McDaniel - #8

Keith Law - #22

Chris Crawford - #22

MLB.com - #13

Baseball America - #12

Perfect Game - #9

– See more at: http://www.bluejaysplus.com/trea-turner-jays-locked-in/#more-3248

Trea Turner – Shortstop – North Carolina State

Age on Draft Day – 20.9

Height - 6’2”

Weight – 160 lbs

Rankings

Kiley McDaniel - #8

Keith Law - #22

Chris Crawford - #22

MLB.com - #13

Baseball America - #12

Perfect Game - #9

– See more at: http://www.bluejaysplus.com/trea-turner-jays-locked-in/#more-3248

Trea Turner – Shortstop – North Carolina State

Age on Draft Day – 20.9

Height - 6’2”

Weight – 160 lbs

Rankings

Kiley McDaniel - #8

Keith Law - #22

Chris Crawford - #22

MLB.com - #13

Baseball America - #12

Perfect Game - #9

– See more at: http://www.bluejaysplus.com/trea-turner-jays-locked-in/#more-3248

About Ewan Ross

Ewan Ross, a TV and Blue Jays addict, currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He joined the original BlueJaysPlus team in 2012, and he is a co-host of the BJP Podcast alongside Chris Sherwin

17 comments

  1. I doubt we take a shortstop we are loaded at shortstop in the low minors, many were high international signings with very good upside. I think it will be Hoffman and Touki.

    1. totally agree with you. reyes is only 30 and under contract through 2017 with an option year in 2018. unless they plan on moving one of the young guys to 2nd base. but still why a college ss who is probably not far away from the majors with reyes already there?

      1. You don’t draft based on the current team. You draft based on who you think is the best player available. Thinking the Jays won’t pick a SS because they have a SS is ridiculous. This isn’t the NBA or NFL. Players don’t start in the majors.

          1. if you read the sub title of that very article it says that Toronto will draft best available rather than need. so I guess some teams do draft based on need. go figure.

          2. I disagree with drafting for need, but for a second lets look if they are actually too deep at short to ignore someone they think is the answer.

            The top guy they have is Franklin Barretto who no one I’ve talked to thinks is a shortstop, he’ll be moved off to likely 2nd or Center before he hits the bigs.

            Next is Dawel Lugo who draws comparisons to big bodied shortstops like Uribe and Peralta defensively, and so even if he makes it to the majors still at short it’ll be the kind you’d rather play at 3rd.

            Emilio Guerrero’s ceiling is a utility man, and the only one who seems like a no doubt shortstop is Richard Urena who is 18 and hasn’t played above rookie ball yet.

            I don’t like the Turner pick because there are questions he can hit not because the jays don’t need more shortstops.

            Also needs to be noted there’s no guarantee Turner gets to the majors as a shortstop. I’ve seen reports saying he might be a 2nd baseman or more likely if he moved it would he to centre cause he’s super fast.

          3. good points, ewen. not to dwell on the drafting for need, but why would the jays select 11 pitchers with their first 12 picks last year if they did not feel they lacked pitching? or does the argument for best available player only apply to first round. ?

          4. There comes a point very late in the draft (say post round 20) where teams do draft for need, but not at the major league level. The will see that their short season team has no 3rd baseman, so they will make sure they grab a college guy who can stand there for the year.

            I wouldn’t say that the jays taking so many pitchers has as much to do with need as it does their organizational philosophy. They generally value raw power arms, and thus will push those guys up their draft board ahead of where other teams have those guys ranked.

            Infact when the jays took so many pitchers last year they were a system that was already incredibly lopsided towards pitchers to begin with. I’d say that supports the other side more.

      2. Reyes may be “only 30″ (he’s actually 31 in a few days), but he is also injury prone and declining. You are talking about a player who’s game is built on athleticism who is wearing down his legs with multiple leg injuries already sustained. He’s got a few years left at SS, thats it…his defense is already declining. He’s not a long-term piece at all…in a few years he’s going to be half the player he was i his prime with a huge price tag.

    2. The kids in the low minors wont be MLB ready for years…if at all. You are talking about 16-18 year olds…that is 4-6 years away realistically. Franklin Barreto has the bat to move faster, but virtually no one believes he can stick at SS. The reality is that none of those kids have proven anything yet playing as teenagers in the absolute lowest depths of the minors. You can not pass up what you thing is the BPA because you’ve got a few 17 year olds who look promising. If you remember the 2005 draft; we passed up Troy Tulowitzki because we thought we were “set” at SS with Russ Adams and Aaron Hill both of whom were drafted just years prior. Instead we took a lesser talent in Ricky Romero because we “needed pitching”. You never let current needs or organizational depth dictate your draft in baseball. “Needs” can change in an instant.

  2. another point … turner is not an elite talent. He has a poor bat … great speed … good defensively but not elite … so lets put aside BPA …He is not. Draft Gatewood, or Gettis, etc if your looking for elite talent that could blow the roof off or end up being replacement. Turner has Deck McGuire and replacement level player written all over him. His ceiing is way to low for this draft pick.

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