Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has said he won't rush to make a trade. His approach to signing draft picks, however, is quite different.

Ricciardi inked left-handed pitcher Ricky Romero on Thursday, just nine days after Toronto made him the sixth overall pick of the annual June draft for high schoolers and collegians.

"We have followed Ricky for some time now and it's clear that he possesses that rare combination of physical ability and mental toughness," Blue Jays scouting director Jon Lalonde said in a release.

"That's what first drew the attention of area scout Demerius Pittman and prompted us to select him with the sixth pick overall."

Romero, who attends Cal State Fullerton University, was Big West Conference pitcher of the year after going 13-5 with a 2.89 earned-run average in 18 starts.

The 20-year-old Los Angeles native struck out 139 batters against 34 walks in 134 innings pitched.

Romero compiled a 30-9 record with a 3.15 ERA in 63 appearances (46 starts) over three seasons at university.

He fashioned a 2-0 record in the 2004 College World Series in which Romero led the Titans to a national championship.

Romero was 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA for the U.S. national men's team last summer.

with files from Canadian Press