M’s Nab LHP James Paxton at #132
Paxton was a supplemental rounder for the Jays last year, but failed to come to terms. Because the Jays ended up negotiating with Scott Boras, Paxton was ruled ineligible for the NCAA season with U Kentucky bailed for the Grand Prairie Air Hogs in Texas. Last year, he was 93-4 touching 97, but this year he was down a bit, 88-93 with the fastball generally, and his curve wasn’t biting quite as much as it did in the past.
Other teams were probably scared off from Paxton both because he’s had nagging injuries over the years, elbow issues as a prep, back issues two years ago, knee problems recently, but I see a couple of reasons to be positive about the M’s taking him. For one, our Canadian scouting is pretty good, so you have to believe that they’ve had their eyes on him forever, and for another, we have a pretty solid minor league training and conditioning program now and are more than willing to sit guys with slightest hint of arm trouble. It seems weird to think that the M’s are now and organization that may be more capable than others of keeping a pitcher healthy, but I’d say we have a shot here. It’s a gamble. It could pay off extraordinarily well.