Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rays 3rd Round Pick - 119th Overall - CF Andrew Toles

Junior College OF

BaseballAmerica (rated #102 overall):
Toles was part of the deep Georgia prep class of 2010 and was a fourth-round pick of the Marlins that June. He didn't sign and went to Tennessee, where his father Alvin and uncle Johnnie Jones played football. Alvin Toles, a linebacker, was a first-round pick in the NFL draft in 1985, and his son could go that high in the baseball draft thanks to his unique tools. A 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, he has tremendous speed and earns comparisons to Braves center fielder Michael Bourn for his overall tools. He's a well above-average runner who knows how to use his speed defensively and on the bases, where he can be an aggressive basestealer. He also has a solid-average arm. Toles lacks power yet has enough strength to fight off good fastballs. Scouts say he plays with energy and has shown a good work ethic, but he was dismissed last fall from the program at Tennessee, where talent like his is in short supply, and has had been benched and suspended at Chipola JC this spring. Signability will determine whether Toles goes out in the first four rounds as expected, but the weak class of college hitters should allow him to go out higher than he did out of high school.
5/23/12: Toles was a fourth-round pick of the Florida Marlins in the 2010 draft, but was very much lost in the shuffle that year as part of the richest high-school crop in Georgia history. That draft yielded five first-rounders alone from the Georgia prep ranks, and Toles was the 11th player taken. He ended up becoming the highest draft from Georgia that year not to sign a pro contract, and ended up enrolling at Tennessee, where his father Alvin played football and was taken in the first round of the 1985 National Football League draft by the New Orleans Saints, and went on to play four years in the NFL. Toles hit .275-1-25 with 21 stolen bases as a freshman for the Volunteers, but with a new coaching staff in place at Tennessee to begin his sophomore season, he quickly fell out of favor and was dismissed from the team last fall for skipping classes and missing team meetings.  
He elected at that point to enroll at Chipola, a national junior-college power, and his arrival there both automatically made him eligible for the 2012 draft and instantly shot him to the top of the JC prospect rankings as the current season began. Much like established big-league center fielders Michael Bourn (Braves) and Nyger Morgan (Brewers), Toles’ game centers around his superior speed, and it enables him to excel on the bases and in center field. After an initial period of adjustment this season at Chipola getting comfortable with his swing, he also learned to maximize his speed more efficiently at the plate by putting the ball on the ground more consistently. Toles is far from just a burner, however, as he began to drive balls more consistently this spring. He finished the 2012 season by leading Chipola with a .367 average and 29 stolen bases, and also tied for second on the team with five home runs as his power began to evolve. In many ways, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Toles compares favorably to LeVon Washington, an unsigned first-round pick in 2009 out of a Florida high school who attended Chipola as a freshman and became a second-round pick that year.  
Washington and Toles have similar tool sets, but Washington may have had a slightly higher overall ceiling coming out of Chipola because of his more powerful, explosive frame. Scouts believe Toles may have a better shot of reaching his ceiling, however, as he is more athletic and more aggressive in his approach to the game, and his bat will play a little better. Toles is an excellent defensive center fielder, capable of running down balls in all directions with his impressive speed and making highlight-reel catches. He also has a strong accurate arm. His speed is a significant asset on the bases, as well, and combined with his aggressiveness and instincts, projects to be an impact base stealer. With the constant shuffling and juggling of talent that typically occurs in the junior-college ranks each spring, Toles may no longer be the first JC player taken in this year’s draft, but he is still the favorite to be the first junior-college position player taken.

MLB.com video from 2010: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=8701795

*** SIGNED JUNE 21ST. ***


  1. More on Toles from the U. of Tenn on 10/5/11 - http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/100511aab.html

    Tennessee head baseball coach Dave Serrano announced Wednesday that sophomore outfielder Andrew Toles has been dismissed from the Volunteer baseball team.

    "Within all successful programs, there is a certain standard of accountability to which every member of the team must be held," Serrano said. "Andrew and I have come to an agreement that this decision is in both of our best interests as we continue to move forward. Andrew is a talented young man, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

    A 2010 SEC All-Freshman Team selection, Toles hit .270 with 25 RBIs and 21 stolen bases last season. The Fayetteville, Ga., native played in 51 games, starting 50.

  2. 3 (119) TOLES, Andrew – OF
    School: Chipola College (JC)
    Born: 5/24/1992
    B/T: L/R
    HT/WT: 5-9/180
     Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 102 overall prospect in the draft and the No. 16 prospect out of the state of Florida.
     Hit .387 (72-for-186) with 5 home runs, 38 RBI and 32 stolen bases with Chipola College in 2012.
     Was previously drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fourth round (137th overall) of the 2010 June Draft, becoming just one of five NCAA Div. I freshman to be drafted in the first four rounds, but chose to attend the University of Tennessee.
     Played 51 games for the Volunteers in 2011, batting .270 (55-for-204) with 25 RBI, 30 runs and 11 doubles, and then transferred to Chipola after the season.
     His father, Alvin, played linebacker at the University of Tennessee (1981-84) and was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft.
     His mother, Vicky, played basketball at the University of New Orleans.
     His uncle, Johnnie Jones, is the fourth-leading rusher in University of Tennessee history and spent time in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.
     Was the recipient of the Ed & Marsha Hooper Athletic Scholarship at the University of Tennessee.
     Other notable players drafted out of Chipola College include: Jose Bautista (Pirates, 20th round in 2000), Russell Martin (Dodgers, 17th round in 2002) and Mat Gamel (Brewers, fourth round in 2005).