The Toronto Blue Jays selected Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian pitcher Phil Bickford with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.
Bickford has a projectable 6'4 frame. His fastball regularly sits between 92-94 mph, and has been known to touch 97. His second pitch is a slider, which plays flat because he pitches from a low-3/4 arm slot, according to ESPN Scouts Inc. The weird arm slot raises some concern as to whether he will end up a reliever or starter. Bickford also has very good command, which makes scouts think that he has a good chance to stick as a starting pitcher. He will need to develop his secondary offerings, as those will carry him to either a bullpen or rotation role down the road.
Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times notes, "Bickford has been clocked at 97 mph. But it's his ability to throw strikes while throwing so hard that makes him very valuable. Growing up, he used to practice hitting a target low and away 10 consecutive times before he could move on."