The sixth up in a series of draft reviews is the Toronto Blue Jays and their scouting director Andrew Tinnish.
Follow the jump for a pick-by-pick analysis. The number before a pick is the round in which the player was drafted, and the overall pick number is denoted, as well.1. Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech, #11 Overall, 6'6''/220, Seiler Rating 1B1: McGuire was supposed to be a top ten pick in most scenarios leading up to the draft, but because of his lack of a high ceiling, he fell just a bit and the Blue Jays got a steal. With four above-average pitches, McGuire could be a #2 starter if things all pan out, and he's not too far away from being able to contribute in the Majors. This was an excellent pick, as they took advantage of a good player falling to them, and he shouldn't get too much above slot in order to sign. DOB: 6/23/89.
1s. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Barstow HS (CA), #34 Overall, 6'4''/190, Seiler Rating 1C2: Sanchez could have easily been a first round pick for a team that values projectability. However, he was leapfrogged by players such as Jesse Biddle at the last moment, and he was available here for the Jays. With a potential plus fastball/curveball combo, he could be a #3 starter with time, but he'll need a good bit of development time to reach his ceiling. I see this as a solid pick, especially since he signed quickly for slot money, which could turn out to be a bargain. DOB: 7/1/92. Signing bonus: $775,000.
1s. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Legacy HS (TX), #38 Overall, 6'5''/200, Seiler Rating 1C2: Syndergaard was a late pop-up prospect this spring, and late rumors involved him going somewhere in the supplemental first round. The Jays jumped on him early due to his projectability that could lead to him also throwing a plus fastball/curveball combo for a #3 starter's ceiling. As a newer pop-up prospect with only a few teams on him, the Jays took advantage of that and signed him for under slot, making this an intriguing pick for a big arm. DOB: 8/29/92. Signing bonus: $600,000.
1s. Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel, #41 Overall, 6'4''/235, Seiler Rating 1B1: I valued Wojciechowski more than Sanchez and Syndergaard throughout the spring, and I was very surprised when he fell this far. With a plus fastball and slider, he's essentially what the Jays want Sanchez and Syndergaard to become, though I think Wojciechowski has shown enough to have a #2 starter ceiling. With only an average changeup, some scouts want to see him close, but I see him as a starter that will become one of their better prospects. He signed quickly for more money than either Sanchez or Syndergaard, and I absolutely love this pick. Great for value and talent. DOB: 12/21/88. Signing bonus: $815,400.
2. Griffin Murphy, LHP, Redlands East Valley HS (CA), #61 Overall, 6'3''/200, Seiler Rating 1C2: Murphy came out of the gate firing this spring, showing a small velocity bump and garnering interest as the top high school left-hander in the class. However, he was passed by Jesse Biddle, and it became clear that his solid-average fastball, above-average curveball, and average changeup looked good because he commanded it so well. He has the ceiling of a #3/4 starter, and while he's already 19, there's some room for him to grow and improve, and I think he could be a solid pick for the Jays. He should sign for something at least close to slot money. DOB: 1/16/91. Commitment: San Diego.
2. Kellen Sweeney, 3B, Jefferson HS (IA), #69 Overall, 6'0''/180, Seiler Rating 2C1: I thought this pick was a tad high for Sweeney, but this pick was compensation for not signing Jake Eliopoulos a year ago, meaning it was unprotected, so a little bit of a reach was likely needed if they wanted signable talent. With an above-average hit tool and solid-average power projection, along with above-average speed and good defense at third, he looks like a potential starter, but he's still recovering from Tommy John surgery late last summer. He played first base and designated hitter all spring, so his arm strength is yet to be seen. I expect him to sign, but he has a good amount of leverage here, so I expect him to get more than slot money. DOB: 9/14/91. Commitment: San Diego.
2. Justin Nicolino, LHP, University HS (FL), #80 Overall, 6'3''/160, Seiler Rating 2C2: Nicolino came out with improved stuff this spring, and like Murphy, he really benefited from a hole in the prep class for left-handed pitching. With projection for an above-average fastball, average curveball, and plus changeup, he looks like a potential #3 starter, as he's extremely skinny and hasn't even begun to tap into his future strength. He's a bit of a late bloomer, so I'm very interested in watching how he does as his adult strength comes. His commitment was considered strong, so he's not going to be signing for slot money, but this is an average, if intriguing, pick. DOB: 11/22/91. Commitment: Virginia.
3. Christopher Hawkins, 3B, North Gwinnett HS (GA), #93 Overall, 6'2''/195, Seiler Rating 2C2: Hawkins came out of nowhere this spring to become one of Georgia's top high school bats, and that's saying a lot considering the large amount of talent there this spring. A high school shortstop, he's projected to move to third as a pro, and he could even handle center field. He's an above-average hitter with above-average raw power, and he adds in plus speed and a plus arm. His hands are his biggest weakness, so he might not be anything more than average at third, but he could be a special player with a patient development path. This was a solid pick, as he's already signed for something in the neighborhood of slot money. DOB: 8/17/91. Signing bonus: $350,000.
3s. Marcus Knecht, OF, Connors State JC (OK), #113 Overall, 6'1''/200, Seiler Rating 1C2: Knecht is originally Canadian, which is why this seems like a great fit. This pick was compensation for not signing Jake Barrett a year ago, so this was also unprotected. With a solid-average hit tool, plus raw power, and above-average speed, he looks like a potential starting right fielder, though he's very raw defensively and might not ever be an average defender. His arm is above-average, though. I like this pick quite a bit, especially since he signed so quickly for an amount that is actually under slot. DOB: 6/21/90. Signing bonus: $250,000.
4. Sam Dyson, RHP, South Carolina, #126 Overall, 6'1''/175, Seiler Rating 1C2: I've talked about Dyson's injury history before and how much it scares me, as it includes major injuries to his throwing shoulder, non-throwing shoulder, and elbow (twice). Luckily, Tommy John has been averted, but that list is quite lengthy for my taste. However, with an above-average fastball and a range of three pitches that are average, he can dial it up enough for me to think that he could be a #3/4 starter if he stays healthy. He might be better in the bullpen as a setup man, though, as his size and injury history point in that direction. I thought he might go a round or two higher than this, so this is a solid pick, but they need to get him under contract as a 22 year old junior once the College World Series is done. DOB: 5/7/88.
5. Dickie Joe Thon, SS, Academia Perpetio Socorro HS (PR), #156 Overall, 6'1''/185, Seiler Rating 2C1: I expected Thon to go somewhere in this range, but I also "fully expect(ed) him to go to school," as I said in my Draft Notebook. As a toolsy Puerto Rican player with good bloodlines, he has enough tools to project as a starting shortstop, but that's years away, and there's nothing that he does that projects as a true plus, limiting his overall projection. With a very tough Rice commitment and bonus demands that have been rumored at exorbitant, he's going to be a very tough sign, but I think he signs in the end for something in the range of $1.25-1.5 million. I'm not a big fan of this pick, but I can see the logic behind it. DOB: 11/16/91. Commitment: Rice.
6. Sean Nolin, LHP, San Jacinto JC (TX), #186 Overall, 6'5''/235, Seiler Rating 3D6: Nolin was a big-bodied starting pitcher from one of the top junior college programs in the country, and even though he was very successful, I thought he was picked a little bit early in this slot. He features largely average stuff, including an average fastball, fringe-average curveball, but an above-average changeup, so he looks like a potential #5 starter to me. His big, mature body probably attracted them a little bit more than I was attracted to him, but I still think this was a little bit early, especially since he hasn't signed right away. He'll sign, but I don't have a gauge as to how much his bonus might be. DOB: 12/26/89. Commitment: NC State.
7. Mitchell Taylor, LHP, Spring HS (TX), #216 Overall, 6'0''/155, Seiler Rating 2C1: Taylor was much like Nicolino this spring in that he showed a nice little bump in velocity, but since he's still so skinny, there's a lot of projection in seeing his long-term value. With a potential above-average fastball and plus curveball, he definitely fits in with the Jays' early picks, so once they get him signed, he could honestly be just as good as any of their high school arms. He's a potential #3 starter, but with a smaller frame from the left side, he might be eventually demoted to lefty bullpen arm. He's signable, so it's just a matter of time before his over slot bonus will be approved. DOB: 5/11/92. Commitment: Houston.
8. Logan Ehlers, LHP, Nebraska City HS (NE), #246 Overall, 6'1''/190, Seiler Rating 4C2: Ehlers was easily the top prep Nebraska prospect this spring, but he didn't really face much competition. As with Taylor, he's a fairly small left-handed arm, but he's closer to maxed out physically, so his projection is limited to more that of a #4 starter, though his command is better. He has a potential solid-average fastball/curveball mix that could play well, and he adds in an interesting cutter. He might be a little less signable than the earlier arms, but I think it gets done in the end. I'm not a huge fan of this pick. DOB: 10/30/91. Commitment: Nebraska.
9. Brandon Mims, SS, Smith HS (TX), #276 Overall, 5'11''/180, Not Rated: Though I was aware of Mims throughout the spring, I didn't think he'd be picked early enough for me to have to focus on him. A smaller, speedy middle infielder, he looked more like a utility player to me, and it looks like Toronto picked him this early due to his perceived signability, as he doesn't have a college commitment yet. While this pick wasn't great in my opinion, if he signs soon for a relatively small amount of money, it's at least worth a shot. DOB: 6/18/92. Commitment: None.
10. Tyler Shreve, RHP, Phelps County HS (CA), #306 Overall, 6'4''/215, Seiler Rating 5C1: Shreve ran into trouble when he was kicked off his baseball team at Redlands East Valley HS, and his response to that boot was assaulting his coach. A quarterback recruit, things spiraled down for him more when his football scholarship was pulled a couple weeks before the draft, too, so I had no idea where he might be drafted, if at all. However, the Blue Jays liked his above-average fastball/curveball combo, so they took him as a potential #4 starter or setup man. There's not a lot holding him back from signing, so I'm failing to see why he's holding out. That only reinforces the public perception that he's a bad apple. DOB: 9/15/91. Commitment: None.
11. Shane Opitz, SS, Heritage HS (CO), #336 Overall, 6'1''/180, Not Rated: Opitz struck me as a similar pick to Mims, as this was a little earlier than I thought he might go, though I was aware of a few key teams following him throughout the spring. A good hitter with gap power, I could see him shifting across the second base bag to the second base position, but his ceiling is also more of a utility player than a true Major League starter. I like this pick more than the pick of Mims, but like with Mims, they need to get Opitz under contract and soon. DOB: 1/10/92. Commitment: Nebraska.
12. Omar Cotto, OF, Bonneville School (PR), #366 Overall, 5'11''/180, Seiler Rating 2C1: I really thought Cotto would go earlier as a signable Puerto Rican prospect with a few very good tools. He's a plus-plus runner, an above-average defender with an above-average arm, and there's an idea out there that he could hit enough to hold down a starting center field job in the long run. However, he's a bit smaller than a prototypical hitter, and he was a late sign with USC as a good student, and that likely dropped him to here. I think he'll end up signing, though there's a chance he slips through the cracks. DOB: 2/28/92. Commitment: USC.
13. Tyler Painton, LHP, Centennial HS (CA), #396 Overall, 6'5''/195, Not Rated: Painton came out of nowhere this spring to become a potential top twenty rounds prospect, but I thought he might fall a little due to his rawness. A very tall, projectable pitcher, he lacks plus stuff, so he profiles best as a potential #5 starter than anything else. However, with his projectability and lack of a big college commitment, this is a decent pick in this range, as I expect him to be signable. DOB: 2/20/92. Commitment: Bakersfield JC (CA).
14. Dayton Marze, RHP, UL Lafayette, #426 Overall, 6'2''/185, Seiler Rating 3C2: A draft-eligible sophomore, I thought Marze had the stuff to go in the 7th-10th round range as a nasty sinkerball reliever. With a good sinker and slider, he could be either a middle relief specialist or even a setup man, so I find this pick intriguing, though he's so inexperienced with pitching that he could struggle even against inexperienced bats. He signed right away, and his debut was a little rough as I expected. DOB: 1/1/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
15. Zak Adams, LHP, Flower Mound HS (TX), #456 Overall, 6'2''/190, Seiler Rating 4C1: Adams is yet another projectable left-handed arm in the Jays' draft class, though I think Adams will be the toughest sign. With a potential plus fastball and above-average curveball, he fits right in with what is obviously an organizational trend, and he took a nice little step forward this spring. He's an excellent student and has a desire to go to school, so I think he won't sign, but if one of the earlier picks falls through near the deadline, he could find himself with a very nice offer. DOB: 3/19/92. Commitment: Tulane.
16. Dalton Pompey, OF, Fraser SS (ON), #486 Overall, 6'1''/170, Not Rated: I had absolutely nothing on Pompey entering the spring, but due to his emergence with Canada's Junior National team this spring, I can honestly say that this kid has some hitting ability. He's average or even fringy in almost every other category, but I'd put some odds on him surprising a few people with his hitting ability. The Jays took advantage of him being a local kid for them, as he signed right away, and I kind of like this pick. DOB: 12/11/92. Signing bonus: Unknown.
17. Myles Jaye, RHP, Starrs Mill HS (GA), #516 Overall, 6'3''/170, Not Rated: I was at the game where Jaye really emerged as a potential pitching prospect, as he was mainly thought of as a shortstop entering the spring. With an attractive, projectable frame, he throws fairly average stuff, but he could eventually turn into a #4/5 starter with a lot of work. His signability is a little up in the air, but I can't see him not signing when his alternative is attending a smaller Division 1 program. DOB: 12/28/91. Commitment: Kennesaw State.
18. Kris Bryant, 3B, Bonanza HS (NV), #546 Overall, 6'4''/200, Seiler Rating 1B1: It seems the metal bat tag stuck a little too hard to Bryant, as he slipped at least 15 rounds from where his talent indicated he might go. With plus-plus raw power and an above-average arm, he's the prototypical power position player, and I saw him as a potential all star third baseman if the stars lined up just right. His hitting was seen as iffy, as some scouts saw his swing as more geared to metal, and I think this pick means he's headed for school, where he could become a top ten pick in 2013. DOB: 1/4/92. Commitment: San Diego.
19. Travis Garrett, RHP, Cypress JC (CA), #576 Overall, 5'11''/205, Not Rated: I like this pick about as much as I like the Marze pick, as Garrett could become a potential bullpen find for them in a bargain range. His ceiling isn't as high as Marze's, as I see Garrett as more of a middle relief arm, but with an above-average fastball and a usable breaking ball, he's going to be a solid player. He signed right away, and he had a nice debut in short-season ball. DOB: 10/27/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
20. Art Charles, LHP, Bakersfield JC (CA), #606 Overall, 6'6''/221, Not Rated: Charles was in my original Draft Notebook list, but as a first baseman. A late-round draft pick of the Royals a year ago, much of Charles' value is in his huge size, but on the mound, I see him as a potential #5 starter or middle reliever. His stuff isn't great, and he's not the most athletic pitcher. He's headed to Oral Roberts if he doesn't sign, and I see that as pretty likely. DOB: 11/10/90. Commitment: Oral Roberts.
21. Chris Marlowe, RHP, Navarro JC (TX), #636 Overall, 6'0''/175, Seiler Rating 2C3: I thought Marlowe would go much higher than this leading up to the draft, as he featured an above-average fastball and plus curveball out of the bullpen, giving him a very good chance of becoming a setup man at the Major League level. However, he fell for whatever reason, and it looks like there's a good chance he lands at Oklahoma State. It would be a shame to see him get through like that, but it's going to take more than the ceiling here to get him signed. DOB: 10/26/89. Commitment: Oklahoma State.
22. Aaron Westlake, OF, Vanderbilt, #666 Overall, 6'4''/235, Seiler Rating 4D5: Another draft-eligible sophomore, Westlake missed the 2008 season due to a blood clot in his arm, and he was fairly lucky to even be playing baseball. With the ability to catch and play all the corners, he looked like a potential utility player with above-average raw power, though he had a rough spring, dropping his draft stock to the point I thought he was likely to return to school. If they can sign him, this is a decent pick, but I doubt it happens. DOB: 12/27/88.
23. Angel Gomez, OF, Maria Cruz Buitrago HS (PR), #696 Overall, 6'2''/182, Seiler Rating 5D2: When writing up his profile for the Draft Notebook, I made the comment that Gomez is the typical Puerto Rican prospect in that he's too raw for a high draft choice, but he lacks the ability to get a college commitment, which means he'd be drafted in the middle rounds and given a marginal bonus that he'd accept. I was right on with that assessment, as even though Gomez has above-average raw power and hitting tools, he's a marginal prospect at this point. He signed right away for a low bonus amount, making my assumptions very, very correct. DOB: 1/12/92. Signing bonus: Unknown.
24. Ronnie Melendez, OF, Cowley County CC (KS), #726 Overall, 5'10''/170, Not Rated: A junior college sophomore, Melendez was at a bit of a disadvantage, as he didn't have a four year college commitment that I was aware of at draft time. As a potential 5th outfielder with marginal tools and size, he was targeted as a likely easy sign in this range, and I bet he's treated as an organizational piece in his development. He's on the roster with the Jays' GCL team. DOB: 9/29/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
25. Brando Tessar, RHP, Chaminade HS (CA), #756 Overall, 6'1''/190, Not Rated: Tessar was a two-way player in high school that had fairly average stuff and lacked much projection, as well. However, he was a decent prospect that I thought would go somewhere in this range if a team wanted to follow his progress over the summer. He's going to be draft-eligible again after his sophomore year at Oregon, so I highly doubt he signs. DOB: 5/13/91. Commitment: Oregon.
26. Jay Johnson, LHP, Texas Tech, #786 Overall, 6'2''/210, Seiler Rating 3C1: Johnson went a round earlier to the Orioles last year, when he was pitching in Canada at the Prairie Baseball Academy, which is connected to Lethbridge CC. He was going to sign, but he essentially failed the physical, as he has a history of major elbow problems. With a potential above-average fastball and slider out of the bullpen, the thing holding him back is well below-average command and an awkward delivery. I don't think he'll sign here, but it'd be a nice pick if he does. DOB: 12/21/89.
27. Eric Arce, C, Lakeland HS (FL), #816 Overall, 5'9''/204, Seiler Rating 3C2: Arce, like Shreve, ran into some legal troubles when he was caught in an awkward situation with an underage girl, but all charges were dropped, making his situation very, very different than Shreve's in the end. With a potential plus hit tool and power, he's a great hitting prospect, but he fell due to signability issues and questions about his catching skills. He'll likely get a chance to play right away at Florida State, but maybe not as a catcher. I don't think he'll sign. DOB: 11/29/91. Commitment: Florida State.
28. Adaric Kelly, RHP, Trinity Christian Academy (FL), #846 Overall, 5'10''/180, Not Rated: Kelly fits the mold of small right-handed pitcher, and no matter how hard you try to break that mold, teams typically don't value those type of players. Kelly also has average stuff, so that also limits his value, and his projection is that of a middle reliever. With a smaller college commitment, I think there's actually a chance he'll sign, so this is one to watch. DOB: 12/1/92. Commitment: Bethune-Cookman.
29. Jonathan Jones, OF, Long Beach State, #876 Overall, 6'0''/190, Not Rated: I thought Jones might go in the top 15 rounds entering the spring, as he had a few tools to think he'd be a 4th outfielder, but he didn't have a great spring, and there are major questions about his hitting. As a junior drafted in this range, I actually thought he wouldn't sign here, but he did anyway, though this is in organizational player territory rather than true prospect territory. DOB: 8/2/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
30. Stephen McQuail, 2B, Canisius, #906 Overall, 6'2''/225, Seiler Rating 4D4: I thought McQuail might go about 20 rounds earlier, as he had a very nice spring at the plate. His tools were a little more fringy, though he has above-average power and a plus arm, but he's not a great defender and profiles to be a below-average hitter, which is why he dropped this far. Like Jones, I thought he wouldn't sign as a junior in this range, but he surprised me with a quick sign. This is a decent pick here. DOB: 6/10/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
31. Luis Benitez, RHP, Ashworth HS (PR), #936 Overall, 6'3''/195, Not Rated: Benitez was known for a few years leading up to the draft as a third baseman, but he never developed there, though he never wanted to give it up. With a plus arm at third, he was natural to move to the mound, and he profiled as a potential late-inning reliever there. However, he doesn't want to pitch, and I wonder what alternatives he's seeking out right now. He hasn't signed, and I'd put odds at only 10% that he does, as he's been adament about his desire to hit. DOB: 5/24/92.
32. Andy Fermin, 2B, Chipola JC (FL), #966 Overall, 6'0''/180, Not Rated: Fermin is originally from the Dominican, but Chipola is a good place to get yourself noticed. Though he's a fringy middle infielder with organizational player tools, he's considered a hard worker and should fit in well in the lower minors. He signed right away, and I kind of like this pick, though that doesn't mean I think Fermin will be a Major League player. DOB: 7/27/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
33. Melvin Garcia, OF, Monroe HS (NY), #996 Overall, 6'0''/170, Not Rated: Garcia was a raw player from the Bronx that really didn't land on my radar as a potential impact pick, as he featured 5th outfielder tools with good speed, but not nearly enough bat. He was picked in this range as an actual potential signee, and they just recently signed him a couple days ago. The bonus is apparently more than a few thousand dollars, so it's probably in the range of $75-100K, but that's a decent job of getting an athlete signed this late. I don't think he'll become a Major League player, but it's a small price to pay for the off chance that something happens. DOB: 9/17/91. Signing bonus: Unknown.
34. Tyler Powell, RHP, Belmont-Abbey (NC), #1026 Overall, 6'4''/210, Not Rated: Powell was a tall, projectable right-hander from a small school in North Carolina. He was on my radar as a potential late-round pick, but I thought he'd actually be better as a senior sign next June. However, he surprisingly signed here as an organizational relief arm, and I'm not sure what to expect when he faces tougher competition. DOB: 2/16/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
35. Dan Barnes, RHP, Princeton, #1056 Overall, 6'1''/195, Seiler Rating 4D5: I thought Barnes would go about 20 rounds higher as a quality arm, but as a shorter right-hander with three average pitches, he fell this far. He profiled as a #5 starter or swing man, but he wasn't always considered signable, as he was only a junior at a great acadeic school, but apparently the Jays did their homework and signed him early. I like this pick. DOB: 10/21/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
36. David Whitehead, RHP, Moeller HS (OH), #1086 Overall, 6'4''/215, Seiler Rating 5D3: Whitehead was a large-framed pitcher that came on strong over the past year, but that was mainly due to his development of an average fastball with good movement. His breaking ball and changeup are far behind, so he profiled best as a #5 starter or middle reliever until he developed better offspeed stuff. He likely won't sign, but he's an interesting follow for the next 3 years. DOB: 4/21/92. Commitment: Elon.
37. Chad Green, RHP, Effingham HS (IL), #1116 Overall, 6'4''/190, Not Rated: Green was a projectable arm that didn't fit with the early Blue Jay picks, as he, like Whitehead, really struggled with offspeed stuff. As a projection arm, though, he was a little higher than Whitehead, and he could become a #4 starter with time. He'll be draft-eligible again in 2012 as a draft-eligible sophomore after two years at Louisville. DOB: 5/24/91. Commitment: Louisville.
38. Pierce Rankin, OF, Washington, #1146 Overall, 6'1''/190, Seiler Rating 4D5: Rankin was actually a catcher at Washington this spring, though it was his first full season behind the plate in his career. He's played third base in the past, so his best attributes are an above-average arm and good instincts, which I guess will serve him well in the outfield, though it's unlikely that he'll sign, as he has a year of eligibility left in school. DOB: 4/26/89.
39. Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, Oakdale HS (CA), #1176 Overall, 6'3''/190, Seiler Rating 4C1: Vander Tuig was a high-level prospect in this class before blowing out his elbow about a year ago as a junior, though he hasn't returned to competitive throwing yet. He's going to be able to throw before the signing deadline, though, and he profiled for a plus fastball and slider before his injury, making him a potential #3 starter. I doubt he signs, but he's a great follow as a potential 1st round pick in 3 years out of UCLA if he comes back healthy and effective. DOB: 12/9/91. Commitment: UCLA.
40. Brandon Berl, RHP, St. Mary's, #1206 Overall, 6'0''/185, Not Rated: Berl looked like a potential late-round pick to me as a small right-handed senior pitcher with fringy stuff. He's an organizational arm, and he signed right away, but there's not a lot of promise here, though watching every player that signs is important to me. DOB: 4/9/88. Signing bonus: Unknown.
41. Seth Conner, 3B, Logan-Rogersville HS (MO), #1236 Overall, 6'2''/205, Not Rated: Conner was a late riser in the spring, but it was only a couple weeks before the draft when I heard his name for the first time. He has above-average raw power, but with his rawness at the plate, college is his best choice anyway, though I like his chances of becoming a top ten rounds prospect in 3 years. DOB: 1/29/92. Commitment: Missouri State.
42. Drew Permison, RHP, Towson, #1266 Overall, 5'10''/170, Not Rated: Permison is another small right-handed college pitcher that profiles as an organizational arm. He was a junior, so I was mildly surprised when he signed, but he still has fringy stuff, so this is just a name to monitor in the low minors. DOB: 2/24/89. Signing bonus: Unknown.
43. Ronald Schreurs, LHP, Freedom HS (FL), #1296 Overall, 6'6''/205, Not Rated: Schreurs was a tall left-handed pitcher with some projection, but his present stuff was below-average, which was why he fell so far. With a pair of decent offspeed pitches, he could become a quality pitcher with time, but he needs to develop strength. DOB: 7/14/92. Commitment: Daytona State CC (FL).
44. Mott Hyde, 2B, Calhoun HS (GA), #1326 Overall, 5'11''/175, Seiler Rating 4D3: Hyde was a solid prospect entering the spring, and he played on a very successful high school team that lost only a game all year. However, his tools are mostly fringy, and even though he played shortstop in high school, he's a second or third baseman in the future, as he's a little too slow for shortstop. As a potential utility player, he's better off in school anyway, so he'll land at Georgia Tech. DOB: 10/9/91. Commitment: Georgia Tech.
45. Phil Diedrick, OF, Pickering HS (ON), #1356 Overall, 6'0''/205, Not Rated: Diedrick was similar to the earlier Ontario pick Dalton Pompey, but he didn't have the big spring that Pompey did. His hitting is his best attribute, but he doesn't do anything else well, so the lack of a big spring dropped him quite a bit. I expect him to go to school rather than sign with the nearby Blue Jays. DOB: 9/17/92. Commitment: Bossier Parish JC (LA).
46. Connor Smith, RHP, Blessed Trinity SS (ON), #1386 Overall, 6'2''/205, Not Rated: Yet another Canadian prospect, Smith wasn't even the last one the Jays selected. With a decent frame and projection to be a potential #4/5 starter, this was a good late-round follow, but I expect Smith to head to Weatherford JC, where he'll get more exposure and experience against better bats. DOB: 6/12/92. Commitment: Weatherford JC (TX).
47. Gabriel Romero, RHP, Roosevelt HS (CA), #1416 Overall, 5'10''/150, Not Rated: Romero is yet another small right-handed pitcher, but he's a little distinguished due to the fact that he's the brother of Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero. I didn't think he'd get drafted, but nepotism makes things unpredictable. He's expected to sign a college scholarship soon, but he hasn't yet, and he won't be signing. DOB: 11/13/92.
48. Nick Studer, C, St. Michael's College HS (ON), #1446 Overall, 6'3''/225, Not Rated: The next-to-last Canadian prep prospect taken, Studer was a very large catcher with some hitting ability, but like the other hitters here, he lacked secondary tools. I also don't think he'll sign, and he's going with Smith to the state of Texas for some junior college experience. DOB: 10/23/92. Commitment: Western Texas JC.
49. Matt Abraham, 2B, Eckerd (FL), #1476 Overall, 5'8''/165, Not Rated: Abraham was a small college middle infielder that was also small in stature. A scrappy player, he profiles as an organizational piece that will help in the short-season leagues this summer, though he's already 23 and is likely not guaranteed a roster spot next spring. He already signed, so he's going to take advantage of his chance to be a pro player. DOB: 1/27/87. Signing bonus: Unknown.
50. Kelly Norris-Jones, C, Lambrick Park SS (BC), #1506 Overall, 5'11''/175, Not Rated: The Blue Jays spent their final pick on their final Canadian, and this one is a little different from the other hitters, as Norris-Jones is a little more polished defensively than with the bat. He's also committed to the biggest baseball program of all the others, so he won't be eligible again until 2013 for the draft once more. DOB: 3/17/92. Commitment: Illinois.
Now that you've read the 56 profiles on the Blue Jays' draft picks, here's why I gave them a Grade B+ for their draft class and ranked them 5th overall in the entire league. First of all, it's hard not to like the amount of talent that the team added. By my count, they added 11 potential mid-rotation starters in the first 15 rounds, as well as a potential setup man, starters for third base (two of them), shortstop, right field, and center field. That's significant. They didn't skimp on the talent, and I applaud them for that. They also executed a strong draft plan in there, getting Deck McGuire when maybe they shouldn't have, as well as getting Aaron Sanchez, Asher Wojciechowski, Griffin Murphy, and Sam Dyson at potential bargains. Add in the fact that they've already signed Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Wojciechowski, Hawkins, and Knecht very quickly for affordable amounts, and I think they executed their plan very, very well. Lastly, they really did add some balance, even with the large number of arms they added. I'm okay with adding a number of arms compared to bats, as the attrition rate is higher for arms, and they didn't fail to add potential starting bats while adding all the arms. So I give them an A- for talent, a B+ for execution, and a B+ for balance, giving them a high-level B+ total, which is why they were the highest-rated B+ team. I really like this draft class, and I'm glad to see the Blue Jays jumping back into the greater draft pool with balance and talent.
What grade do you give the Blue Jays?