Finishing up the draft reviews with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays Draft Review
1) Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech: Polished pitcher with above average stuff, one of the safest selections in the draft, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.
1S) Aaron Sanchez, RHP, California HS: Highly projectable, already throws in the low 90s and should get faster as he matures. I like him a lot.
1S) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Texas HS: Shot up draft boards at the last minute, like Sanchez he is highly projectable and already throws in the low 90s.
1S) Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel: A possible steal at 41st overall, was considered a first round talent by most experts due to his 92-96 MPH fastball and strong slider. Could move quickly if used in relief, if used as a starter he'll need time to improve his changeup.
2) Griffin Murphy, LHP, California HS: Also mentioned as a possible late first round guy pre-draft. Excellent curve, average fastball that might pick up, strong feel for pitching for a high schooler.
2) Kellen Sweeney, 3B, Iowa HS: Ryan Sweeney's younger brother. Polished hitting skills and good strike zone judgment run in the family, and Kellen has a chance to develop more power than Ryan has shown. I like him, but I'm from Iowa.
2) Justin Nicolino, LHP, Florida HS: Projectable southpaw with average current stuff, but expected to gain strength and velocity as he matures. University of Virginia scholarship should not stand in the way as a second round pick.
3) Christopher Hawkins, 3B, Georgia HS: Good speed, strong throwing arm, has power potential but somewhat raw, a bit overshadowed in the robust Georgia HS ranks but a legitmate pick in this slot.
3S) Marcus Knecht, OF, Connors State JC: Canadian power hitter went to JC in Oklahoma, has some problems with strikeouts but runs well and should hit plenty of homers.
4) Sam Dyson, RHP, University of South Carolina: Dyson has always had a great arm, and showed much improved command this year. He also has a disturbing medical history, although he's been durable the last two seasons. He's a nice pick in the fourth round.
5) Dickie Thon, SS, Puerto Rico HS: He's quite similar to his father Dickie Thon, with athleticism, good defensive ability, and a chance to be a very good hitter. Strongly committed to college at Rice, he will be a very tough sign.
6) Sean Nolin, LHP, San Jacinto Junior College: Big pitcher at 6-4, 250, throws upper-80s fastball, changeup is rated very good but breaking ball is mediocre. Seems like a stretch to me in the sixth round, but considering the money it will take to sign the guys above him, this is understandable.
7) Mitchell Taylor, LHP, Texas HS: A bit undersized at 6-1, 160, but works at 88-92 and has a plus curveball. Demonstrates a good feel for pitching, and could be a very nice bargain in this round.
8) Logan Ehlers, LHP, Nebraska HS: Bigger than Taylor at 6-2, 200, but has similar stuff, 88-90 heater with a nasty curve. May have signability issue with University of Nebraska scholarship.
9) Brandon Mims, SS, Texas HS: Lots of speed, and a good defensive middle infielder. Lack of power and strength kept him from earlier rounds.
10) Tyler Shreve, RHP, California HS: Has enough raw talent to go in the second round due to 90-93 MPH fastball and good secondary pitches, but very serious makeup concerns hurt his stock in the draft.
FIVE OTHERS OF NOTE: 11-Shane Opitz, SS, Colorado HS; 12-Omar Cotto, OF, Puerto Rico HS; 16-Dalton Pompey, OF, Ontario SS; 18-Kris Bryant, 3B, Nevada HS; 21-Chris Marlowe, RHP, Navarro JC.
COMMENT: Some Blue Jays fans seem disappointed with this class, but I think that's nuts. They snagged two of the best college pitchers available, and two of the most projectable high school arms. Knecht, Sweeney, and Hawkins all have the tools to become major league regulars. Murphy and Nicolino provide projectable southpaws with a feel for pitching. Dyson could be a bargain. Thon in the fifth round won't sign without a huge bonus, but it was worth drafting him to try. The class after that thins out, although both Taylor and Ehlers are interesting. If they can somehow get Kris Bryant to sign, this would be an amazing class. As it is, I think it is something for Jays fans to be very happy about.