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Diamondbacks pick Touki Toussaint, RHP in first round

With the 16th overall pick in the first round, the Diamondbacks chose Touki Toussaint, a RHP out of Coral Springs, FL High School.

With the 16th pick in the 2014 #MLBDraft, the #Dbacks select RHP Touki Toussaint from Coral Springs Christian Academy
With the 16th pick in the 2014 #MLBDraft, the #Dbacks select RHP Touki Toussaint from Coral Springs Christian Academy
@dbacks, via Twitter

Here's what Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball had to say about Toussaint:

Toussaint is 6'2", 195 LBS, lean and athletic. He is one of the more projectable arms at the top of the draft. As a native of Haiti, he has only been playing baseball for four or five years and was more of a soccer player growing up. He burst on to the prospect seen in the fall of 2012 at the WWBA World Championship striking out 18 hitters in 6 innings.

His fastball sits 92-95 MPH but can run up to 98. He kicks his front leg high, pushes off the rubber lunging forward causing variation in release points and causing command issues. On the good side, it creates incredible torque, velocity and movement on his fastball. It's something that should improve with repetition or maybe some minor tweaking. The delivery may not even need work, just reps to get his timing down.

The break on his curveball rivals that of nearly any pitcher in the game when on. It's a future 70 pitch. It is usually 76-80 MPH with tight, hard spin with big vertical break as well as some horizontal tilt but I've seen it as low as 73. His command of it is very inconsistent and won't be an elite pitch right away but it will make low level professional hitters look silly. It should allow him to have a high strikeout rate early on in pro ball and let him learn how to command it without getting hit hard.

I also saw an 86-88 MPH cutter.  I guess you could call it a slider but at 88 when his FB was 90-94, it's hard not to just say it was a cutter. It makes me think that a mid 80's slider could also be an impactful offering if he'd try to develop it but it's not needed. The cutter may be just something he has in his back pocket for when he needs to throw off a hitter a bit. It's just another tool in the toolbox.

His change is a solid offering but he uses it very rarely. He hasn't needed it. It has the makings of a solid offering and will really help him if he can polish it into even an average offering, which he should be able to considering he can throw one now.

Toussaint is a raw thrower with impressive arm strength. With his athleticism and arm strength, he could potentially turn into an ace. The stuff is that good. That's his ultimate ceiling but the path may be long and he may never get there. His stuff is good enough that he could make it to the majors fairly quickly as long as the command is there, so barring injury, he should at the very least be a solid back end reliever.

I would bet that he ends up with two pitches that are at least 6 if not 7's, a solid average change and control enough to be a solid #2 starter in the majors. The tools and potential will get him taken near the top of the draft. The drawbacks may keep him from being elite but a sound spring may put him at the top of the draft board. I would be shocked if he doesn't go in the first round but if he slides or decides against signing, he is committed to Vanderbilt.

Ray Montgomery just spoke to the media about the pick. Here are some of his comments:

  • "Really excited to have this type of arm, this type of athlete. You can't have too many good arms."
  • "I'm never surprised with how the draft presents. I am happy, and I know the room is very excited about having him."
  • "Two or three pitches that we think are starter quality. But this is not a guy we would need to rush."
  • "I like his overall athleticism, the fact he plays more than one sport. He's a pretty worldly kid."
  • "Touki is a big part of what we've done, but it's just the beginning."
Ray Montgomery audio:

Kevin Towers audio: