Top draft pick Phil Bickford 'fits' Blue Jays template

Phil Bickford, a high-school pitcher for the Oak Christian Lions in California, was the first-round...

Phil Bickford, a high-school pitcher for the Oak Christian Lions in California, was the first-round pick (10th overall) of the Jays last night. (Perfect Game)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:28 AM ET

Phil Bickford looks a little like Los Angeles Angels Jared Weaver with his long, blonde locks.

The abilities of the southern California right-hander compare to Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer, scouts say.

The Blue Jays will take either one.

Or anyone in between.

The Jays selected Bickford with their first pick in the annual draft of high schoolers and collegians, the 10th overall pick in North America on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 Bickford struck out 18 in seven scoreless innings, including 11 consecutive, during the California Interscholastic Federation championship.

Bickford, who has signed a letter of intent to attend Cal State Fullerton, had 159 strikeouts in 991/3 innings with only 10 walks. He has given up 44 hits, with an earned run average below 1.72 and is 7-1 for the mighty Oaks Christian Lions.

Bickford was rated 20th overall by both Baseball America and by the Perfect Game scouting service.


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