MLB

Blue Jays give 5th overall pick Austin Martin $7 million US signing bonus

The Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday signed two draft picks from this year's amateur draft of collegians and high-school players, including fifth overall draft pick Austin Martin, a shortstop from Vanderbilt University.

NCAA star from Vanderbilt to be added to team's 60-man player pool for 2020

The Blue Jays say Austin Martin will soon be added to this season's 60-man player pool after giving the Vanderbilt star a $7 million US signing bonus. He led all NCAA Division 1 players in runs this season. (Wade Payne/Associated Press/File)

The Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday signed two draft picks from this year's amateur draft of collegians and high-school players, including fifth overall draft pick Austin Martin, a shortstop from Vanderbilt University.

The versatile Martin, who received the largest signing bonus in franchise history at $7 million US, topped all NCAA Division 1 players in runs, and had the highest batting average among all batters in the Southeastern Conference with .392.

He has spent time at various positions including centre-field while at Vanderbilt, with some scouts calling him the best pure hitter at the draft.

Martin, 21, fell to Toronto as he was No. 2 on the MLB Prospect Rankings list.

In 140 career NCAA games over three seasons โ€” with 2020 being cut short by the pandemic โ€” he slashed .368/.474/.532 with 85 walks. In 2019, Martin's last full campaign, he had 105 hits in 65 games with 10 home runs and 46 runs batted in.

Martin was originally taken by the Cleveland Indians as a 37th-round pick in the 2017 draft. But instead of joining the Indians out of Trinity Christian Academy in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., he chose to attend Vanderbilt.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Martin soon would be added to the team's 60-man player pool for this season.

Fourth-round pick Nick Frasso, from Loyola Marymount University, was also signed.

With files from CBC Sports

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