Blue Jays 2012 Draft Picks and AL East Comparison

We may be 6 months or so away from the MLB draft, but the draft pick picture is starting to take shape. Yankees blog site River Avenue Blues has an updated list of the 2012 draft picks a has updated the list of draft picks on their site and it paints a decent picture for the Jays, even if it isn’t as lucrative as in the last few years.

Even if they’re not making off like bandits this year, the Jays are still well ahead of their AL East rivals. The Red Sox are the only other AL East team to get significant compensation in 2012, as they are getting some for losing Jonathan Papelbon (currently slated to be the 31st and 37th overall picks) and Dan Wheeler (yet to be determined, and would obviously be nothing if he re-signs with the Red Sox). The Yankees also get one compensation pick much later in the draft for not signing Sam Stafford, which is slated to be the 89th overall pick.

Meanwhile, here’s a breakdown of the regular and compensation benefits the Jays are set to enjoy in the 2012 MLB draft as compared to the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles:

Baltimore Orioles 2012 Picks

  • 4th Overall (1st rd)
  • 58th Overall (2nd rd) *likely to move back when Type A FAs sign (2 spots or so)
  • 91st Overall (3rd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (10 spots or so)
Boston Red Sox 2012 Picks
  • 24th Overall (1st rd)
  • 31st Overall (Jonathan Papelbon Compensation)
  • 37th Overall (Jonathan Papelbon Compensation)
  • Most likely somewhere in the supplemental rd for losing Dan Wheeler
  • 79th Overall (2nd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (2 spots or so)
  • 110th Overall (3rd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (10 spots or so)
New York Yankees 2012 Picks
  • 30th Overall (1st rd)
  • 85th Overall (2nd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (2 spots or so)
  • 89th Overall (Sam Stafford Compensation) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (10 spots or so)
  • 116th Overall (3rd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (10 spots or so)
Tampa Bay Rays 2012 Picks
  • 25th Overall (1st rd)
  • 80th Overall (2nd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (2 spots or so)
  • 101st Overall (3rd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (10 spots or so)
Toronto Blue Jays 2012 Picks
  • 17th Overall (1st rd)
  • 22nd Overall (Tyler Beede Compensation)
  • 48th Overall (Jose Molina Compensation)
  • 51st Overall (Jon Rauch Compensation)
  • 52nd Overall (Frank Francisco Compensation)
  • 73rd Overall (2nd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (2 spots or so)
  • 104th Overall (3rd rd) *likely to move back when Type A/B FAs sign (10 spots or so)
Summary:
  • The Jays get 2 top 25 picks, while 3 other AL East teams only get 1 and the Yankees get none in the top 25.
  • The Jays and Red Sox get 3 picks in the top 50 while all others only get 1.
  • The Jays get 7 picks in the first 3 rounds, the Red Sox get 6, the Yankees get 4, and the Orioles and Rays get 3 each.
Once again, the Jays will have one of the best hauls in the AL East and will be able to add significant talent to an already talent laden minor league system.
Last March, Baseball America ranked the AL East systems as follows:
  • Rays: 2nd
  • Blue Jays: 4th
  • Yankees: 5th
  • Red Sox: 17th
  • Orioles: 21st

Now, we can’t very well ignore the 2011 draft and the international signings each team completed thereafter, can we. So, here’s a list of who got which picks in the top 100 selections of the 2011 draft (how many total, and how many signed in brackets):

  • Rays: 24, 31, 32, 38, 41, 42, 52, 56, 59, 60, 75, 89 (total of 12, all signed)
  • Blue Jays: 21, 35, 46, 53, 57, 74, 78 (total of 7, 6 signed)
  • Yankees: 51, 88 (total of 2, 1 signed)
  • Red Sox: 19, 26, 36, 40, 81 (total of 5, all signed)
  • Orioles: 4, 64, 94 (total of 3, all signed)

If I read this list right, the strong systems got stronger after the draft (TB/TOR), while the weaker systems got weaker in comparison (NYY, BOS, BAL). And that’s despite the Jays not inking their top pick! TB has a spectacular draft and all but ensured they are going to remain a team to be reckoned with over the long haul, while the Yankees and Orioles really did lack an abundance of picks high up in the draft. One injury or lack luster performance from their top picks, and this draft could be a disaster for both teams.

Carrying on, let’s take a look at what each team did on the international market.

As you can see from the list above, the same teams that were the recipients of many draft picks in the 2011 draft (TB, TOR, BOS) were also the most aggressive on the international market, with the Jays getting what was rated as the best prospects of the bunch according to most in the business. This is where the Jays caught up to the Rays by adding a ton of potentially top-end talent in Gonzalez, Lugo, Osuna, and Beccera. All 4 rank ahead of any international prospect signed by other AL East teams in 2011.

Added up, this tells us that the 2011 draft and international market additions likely made the Rays and Jays stronger than they were when rated 2nd and 4th respectively by Baseball America in March 2011, while the Red Sox could gain some ground and the Yankees and Orioles likely fall back a certain amount.

When looking ahead at the 2012 draft, know this: the Toronto Blue Jays are in great shape already, and are about to take yet another step towards getting more high-end talent on board than their division rivals. Sure, the Red Sox are likely going to keep pace with their numerous top 100 picks, but judging from how aggressive the Jays have been on the international market in comparison to all others in the division, it won’t surprise me to see them dive right in once again and gain a sizable lead in talent influx once again in 2012.

The Rays are not going anywhere but up after getting their haul in the 2011 draft, likely making them the top prospect system in MLB today, but the Jays have to be next or 3rd after adding so much talent in 2011.

It’s January and the Jays can already look forward to another crop of talent to groom into major league caliber talent. They can rest assured in knowing they have more bullets to fire in the draft within the top 100 than their rivals, and with the investments they have made in recent years in scouting and development, that can’t be anything but a great position to be in.

The draft order will be updated as free agent signings are conducted.

-MG

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