03/07/12 7:46 PM ET
Blue Jays sign Dominican prospect DeAza
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
The two sides settled on a signing bonus of $150,000, and DeAza is expected to begin his professional career in the Dominican Summer League. The 6-foot-4 outfielder weighs 190 pounds and is from San Luis, Dominican Republic.
DeAza, who took part in the Dominican Prospect League, became eligible on July 2, 2011, but was passed over by Major League clubs during last year's signing period. He has been working out in Santo Domingo with trainer Josue Herrera, who also has spent time with fellow prospect Luis Castillo of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
According to scouting reports, DeAza currently has the ability to play all three spots in the outfield with an above-average arm and plenty of raw power.
DeAza recently traveled to Florida, where he took part in the Team One Futures East showcase in front of Major League scouts, but it was not immediately known whether that was where he piqued Toronto's interest.
In February, DeAza was selected to the Dominican Prospect League All-Star team. He didn't take part in the DPL's Spring Training this year because of Toronto's interest in his services.
Snider responding to challenges with assists
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Opposing catchers seem to have it in their minds this spring that Travis Snider can't throw them out.
Luckily for the Blue Jays that hasn't been the case as Snider's arm keeps getting tested, and he continues to respond in a positive way.
Snider recorded his team-high third outfield assist of the Grapefruit League season when he tossed out Michael McKenry at the plate during the Blue Jays' 8-6 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday afternoon.
"These catchers are on me right now, challenging the arm," said Snider, who previously threw out the notoriously slow Rod Barajas on Sunday. "It was one of those plays where you anticipate it before it happens, and I was able to react.
"Speed of the ball, speed of the runner. It's the easiest way. When it's hit right at you and you know the guy's going to try to score, you can just come up throwing."
Snider also found some more success at the plate against Pittsburgh. He sent a two-run homer over the wall in right-center field and now has three hits and five RBIs in 12 at-bats this spring.
"I got a fastball out over the plate, and the timing was right," Snider said. "I've still been inconsistent, but I've only had 10-12 at-bats, so it's a matter of continuing to progress."
Snider is in a heated competition with Eric Thames for the starting job in left field. The loser is expected to begin the season with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Drabek 'pleased' with outing despite results
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- A pair of young Toronto right-handers were roughed up a little bit during the Blue Jays' 8-6 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon.
Kyle Drabek surrendered three runs on four hits while walking one in two innings of work. Right-hander Drew Hutchison, meanwhile, allowed just two hits, but one of them left the park en route to an earned run in a pair of innings.
Just like with every pitcher this early in camp, though, the overall results take a backseat to achieving some goals while on the mound.
"I really wanted to work on my two-seamer today, and it was good for the first inning with those two ground balls," Drabek said. "I'm pretty pleased with the day. The numbers might not show it, but I did a lot of stuff good. Most of my pitches were where I wanted them to be.
"Especially in Spring Training, it's not all about numbers. For me, repeating my delivery, getting all my pitches in there in different counts, and that's what [the coaches] noticed today. They were happy with it."