Elliott: Jays lauded Halladay's dedication, instincts in early scouting report
July 19, 2019
By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
Blue Jays scouting director Bob Engle visited Colorado in the spring of 1995.
So, did Jays cross checkers Duane Larson and Tim Wilken.
Also drawn to the local high schools sandlots were pro scout Wilbur (Moose) Johnston, plus area scouts Chris Bourjos and Bus Campbell.
The attraction was teenager Harry Leroy Halladay. The Jays selected Halladay in the first round -- 17th over-all in North America. He was chosen one pick after the Boston Red Sox selected RHP Joe Fontenot and one before the New York Mets chose INF Ryan Jaroncyk.
Halladay was the best draft pick in the history of the franchise. Some may argue Dave Stieb was a better pitcher. Maybe he was. Halladay will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Stieb has not been elected. No other Blue Jays home grown has been selected, although many thought 2B Jeff Kent would be the first.
Now, all these years later if you had a do over knowing what everyone knows now, Halladay would be first, followed by Colorado Rockies 1B Todd Helton chosen eighth over-all from the University of Tennessee, Anaheim Angels OF Darin Erstad selected seventh from the University of Nebraska, Chicago Cubs RHP Kerry Wood chosen fourth from a Grand Prairie, Tex. and Milwaukee Brewers’ Geoff Jenkins a ninth rounder from USC.
Engle and Wilken will be in Cooperstown this weekend. The same goes for Gord Ash, who was the Blue Jays GM in 1995 and Hall of Famer Pat Gillick, who served as an advisor that season. Johnston and Campbell will be watching from on high ... like their prized prospect. Bourjos, who now scouts for the St. Louis Cardinals (“It’s like working for the Blue Jays in the old days”) won’t be attending.
Scouts Engle, Larson, Wilken, Johnston, Bourjos and Campbell all evaulated Halladay.
What follows is a scouting report one Jays scout filed on future Hall of Famer Harry Leroy Halladay on April 27, 1995:
Toronto Blue Jays Scouting Report
Last Name: Halladay First Name: Harry Middle Name: Leroy Position: RHP
Current Address: 772 Noble Street City: Golden State: Colorado Zip Code: 80403
Team Name: Arvada West HS City: Arvada State: Colorado
Date: 04/27/1995 Games: 2 Innings: 10
Baseball Instincts: 4/4 Competitiveness: 4/4
Physical Description: No apparent injuries. Great pitcher’s body. Big tall. Long legs and arms, with some definition. Has slim waist and squared shoulders. Has a lot of room to fill out and get a lot stronger. Has good projectable type body. Built like Jack McDowell.
Abilities: Fairly loose with good extension in back and out in front. This outing well above average with some riding life up. A little running action down, has downer type curve ball. And at times has good quick late and fairly deep break, but lacks command and control of this pitch.
Weaknesses: Knuckle curve shows good potential. Has consistent sharp break, but also needs more command of control. Has long arm action and throws with little effort. Release point is inconsistent and control is below average. Slows at times with his breaking ball. And does not always finish this pitch off. Lacks good feel.
Summation and Signability: Has good chance for two pitches. Has solid above average fastball and still has some projection. May fill out and get bigger and stronger. Much better than first outing. Throwing much more free and easy with much better velocity. May have more velocity in future. Would consider this kid in the late first round.