I have just updated the Draft Order for the 2011 MLB amateur draft in order to get a feel (as close as we can get for now) for what the Jays may be looking at in terms of picks. Before I list the Jays picks we can expect to see, I have to add that there are still 5 Type A FAs remaining and 14 Type B FAs remaining. This means that the Jays picks that take place after the sandwich pick will all be pushed down approximately 10 positions for the Type A FAs, and 14 positions for the Type B FAs for a total of 24 positions. To clarify this fact, I will place the actual expected draft position in brackets by the pick, beginning with the pick just inherited from the Angels for the loss of Scott Downs.
The Jays Draft Picks in 2011:
1 – 21st overall, based on 2010 standings.
3 – 39th overall (47th) – 1st rd sandwich pick, in return for the loss of C John Buck. This pick will become a 47th overall pick when the Type A FAs listed above sign and when Type B FAs Brad Hawpe, Orlando Hudson, and Felipe Lopez sign new contracts.
4 – 59th overall (83rd) – 2nd rd pick, from the Angels in return for the loss of LHP Scott Downs. This will become an 83rd round pick once all of the Type A and B FAs sign. If the Angels sign another higher rated Type A FA, this pick will become the 113th pick overall. If they sign 2 Type A FAs more highly rated than Scott Downs, the pick will become the 144th overall pick.
5 – 63rd overall (87th) – pick based on 2010 standings, 2nd round.
6 – 93rd overall (117th) – pick based on 2010 standings, 3rd round.
We can’t forget about the possibility of Kevin Gregg signing a deal with a team other than the Jays. If he does sign elsewhere, as is expected, the Jays would receive the 48th pick overall after all signings are complete.
Update: As stated by Biz below, the Jays are also receiving compensation for the loss of Miguel Olivo, a Type-B FA. He will bring to the Jays a 54th overall pick when all Type A and B FAs have signed. I’m still not sure how much the Jays paid for that pick, but for close to a top 50 pick, it seems that the payment may very well be worth it.
Just to make a “best scenario” draft pick list below, I’ll include Gregg and Olivo in the picks the Jays will acquire this off season in compensation.
So, to review, the Jays currently hold the following draft positions:
21st, 35th, 39th, 59th, 63rd, and 93rd. (Gregg’s and Olivo’s picks excluded from this list)
Once all of the chips fall and the draft order is complete, we can expect the Jays to have the following draft positions:
21st, 38th, 47th, 48th, 54th, 83rd, 87th, and 117th. (Gregg’s and Olivo’s picks included in this list)
The Jays, Alex Anthopolous, and his trusted scouting staff will enjoy 4 picks in the top 50. Even though the result of all of the Type A and B FAs could have been better than is shown above if other teams would have signed Scott Downs, the Jays have to be happy in knowing that they will once again hold more picks than most other MLB clubs in the top 100 picks of the 2011 draft with 6 to their credit.
Possible Changes to the Draft Order Listed Above
The only way that the list above can change in some way, shape, or form, is if a Type A or B FA re-signs with his original team. In this case, the Jays position in the draft would improve.
Comparison to 2010 Draft
Having said that, the 2011 will not be nearly as good to the Jays as the 2010 draft was. It’s still impressive overall and a lot more than most teams will have, but the 2010 draft was particularly friendly to the Jays. In 2010, the Jays enjoyed the following draft positions within the top 100:
11th, 34th, 38th, 41st, 61st, 69th, 80th and 93rd.
When comparing the 2 lists, the picks in 2010 were closer to the 1st by a margin of –10, -4, -9, -7, +7, -14, -7 and they held 1 more pick in the top 100 than they will in the 2011 draft. That’s a pretty big margin of difference in talent that the Jays will be able to add in the 2011 draft, for a total of -44 spots overall for their top 7 picks, and less 1 top 100 pick.
The good thing is that Alex and his staff will surely adapt their strategy to the situation and load up on players they are willing to pay over-slot money to later on in the draft. As always, we can expect them to be aggressive in the pursuit of top talent on the board.
If you are looking for really early mock drafts, mymlbdraft.com provides fans with such a prediction here. They currently have the Jays selecting RHP Trevor Bauer out of UCLA with the 21st overall pick.
Hopefully this gives Jays fans a good idea of what to expect in the upcoming draft and provides yet another reason to be optimistic about the future of the Toronto Blue Jays.