Top 12 Jays Draft Targets, JJ Edition: #4 Grayson Garvin


This message will continue to be posted on each of the top 12 draft targets I will be listing daily until draft day: the players listed are not “the best” players in the draft, they are simply those that I believe could be around when the Jays draft, and that could wind up being selected by the Blue Birds when their turns come up. The list has 12 of the top targets and will be presented in reverse order (from least likely, to most likely). Another College arm is next with…

#4: Grayson Garvin (21)

LH Pitcher / 6’6″ 220 lbs / Suwanee Georgia

Birth Date: October 27th 1989

High School Team: Wesleyan School

College: Vanderbilt

Quick Facts:

  • Previously draft by the Astros in the 45th rd of the 2008 draft.
  • 2011 SEC Pitcher of the Year.
  • 2010 CCBL All-Star, CCBL Pitcher of the Year, CCBL All-League Team.
  • Hit 11 batters this season.
  • Between he (13 wins) and Sonny Gray (11 wins), the duo accounted for 24 of the 47 Vanderbilt wins (51%).
  • Here’s a short Q&A with him.


  • 2010 NCAA: 1-1 / 1.25 ERA / 36 IP / 32 hits / 10 BB / 38 Ks / 1.17 Whip
  • 2010 Cape: 5-0 / 0.74 ERA / 36.2 IP / 18 hits / 12 BB / 37 Ks / 0.82 Whip
  • 2011 NCAA: 13-1 / 2.37 ERA / 102.1 IP / 87 hits / 21 BB / 89 Ks / .228 AA


Pre-Draft Rankings (out of all pitchers in brackets):

  • BA Ranking May 25th: #56 (32)
  • John Sickels June 1st: #41 (25)

Grayson and my previous pick, Sean Gilmartin, are perfect examples of just how deep this draft is in terms of pitching. In normal years, both would be automatic first rounders. This year, they’re both likely to slip to the Sandwich round and to become the targets of teams like the Jays and Rays.

If a team is looking for size in a pitcher with a workhorse type mentality, then Grayson is their guy. He has added some speed this season to what used to be a 89-92 MPH fastball, getting it up to 95 MPH. He doesn’t have a good curve at all, so it’s a good thing that he’s been effective with his change up, a pitch that should become a plus pitch for him as he progresses. So, armed with a fastball he can locate and a change up, most people limit his ceiling to a reliever.

However, as well all know, things change. He pitches on such a great downward angle that a cutter seems like the perfect fit for his arsenal. That would make his fastball even more effective because hitters would be facing more deception from a very similar looking pitch. Whether or not he can learn to throw it effectively, and in any count, remains to be seen, but if he can do so, he could become a very important piece to a team’s rotation.

Still, there’s no reason to believe that an MiLB pitching coach can’t teach him the ropes and get a curve or slider to become an effective pitch for him. As far as I’ve heard, if a pitcher has a good fastball-changeup combination, it doesn’t really matter how good his slider is. Therefore, if Grayson can get a slightly below average slider or curve going, there’s still a chance he could be very effective as a starter.

If you watch the video above (and others), you can see that he works fairly quickly, he has a nice smooth arm action that is short and quick. With the risk involved with his staying a starter or becoming a reliever, I can see him slip a little to the back end of the Sandwich round, or possible the second round.

Since I do believe that the Jays will grab 1 or 2 high risk picks before their last Sandwich round pick comes up, I believe they may look to play it a little more safely with the #57 pick. That’s where I envision them targeting Grayson. Just as they were willing to take a shot on Brett Cecil becoming a starter, I believe they could do the same in Grayson’s case.

Expected Selection (if selected by the Jays): In the Sandwich round, 57th overall.

He’s not my favorite pick of this list, but with limited time as a starter in his career so far I do think that there’s a lot of talent  Grayson has yet to show us. That, combined with his size and strike throwing ability, makes him an intriguing pick. There’s no guarantee for any team that selects him, but if they’re able to get him that coveted 3rd pitch, they could reap the rewards with a #3 caliber pitcher that throws 200 innings a season.

– MG

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