The Toronto Blue Jays selected right-handed pitcher Phil Bickford with the 10th overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. The Blue Jays were fortunate to land Bickford considering he has one of the strongest arms in the entire draft class.
The 6’4”, 185-pound California native attended Oaks Christian High School. Bickford did commit to Cal State Fullerton, but it should not be hard for Toronto to convince him to sign a contract and begin his professional baseball career in the Minor Leagues. The only thing the Blue Jays must do is show him the money. If they are unable to accomplish this simple task to land one of the top pitchers in the class, then he will continue on his way to college.
Bickford is known to have a 95-96 mile per hour fastball that will take any coach’s breath away if witnessed in person. The fact that he manages to throw it for strikes on a consistent basis just adds to the mystique. With that being said, Toronto’s Minor League coaching staff will certainly have to tinker with his mechanics to improve his fastball. It is too easy to spot in his glove, and there is more the Blue Jays can do to increase the velocity of the pitch. It is certainly by no means ready to see any serious competition at the professional level.
His secondary pitches will need some work as well as he needs to have more confidence in throwing his slider and changeup. The good news is he has outstanding command of everything he tosses. Once he begins to believe in his own arsenal, there is no question he will be a force to be reckoned with in the minors.