Too Early to Talk 2013 Draft?


I was aimlessly surfing around (story of my life lately) yesterday, looking for any Blue Jay content I could get my hands on, and ran across this 2013 mock draft and mlb’s top 50 prospects for 2013.  Now, I’ve been quite focused on on draft stuff lately, with my 2012 draft review pieces and poking around the ’11 draft.  I thought it may be a tad early to start thinking about June and what the draft will mean to the Jays but hell, it’s never too early to talk draft.

March 2, 2012; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher

Deck McGuire

(72) poses for a portrait during photo day at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With the tenth overall pick, the Jays will be looking at their highest selection in years (seven at least, as that’s as far back as I was inclined to check).  The closest being when they had the 11th overall selection in 2010, taking Deck McGuire, whose scouting report had him as a potentially durable, back of the rotation innings eater with a floor of, well, we’re finding that out.  A double A gopher ball giver upper.

So, after a winter when the Jays prospect pool was, if not gutted, lightened somewhat, this is an important draft to help replenish the system.  I’m not smart enough to try and predict where the Jays will go with this pick, nor, like the link above, will I attempt to predict a specific player they may take.  They have organizational holes at first, catcher, and corner outfielder, but they will take the best player available to them and positions with kids so young, are often fluid anyway.

There will be pressure, however, to ensure that whomever is picked, makes his way to the major leagues.  As mentioned, I’ve looked at the last seven drafts and broken down the 10th pick as per below:

I don’t think I need to say much about the bottom two names on this list.  Despite his difficulties last year, and rumours that the Giants will not re-sign him when he becomes a free agent in 2014, Tim Lincecum, and his two Cy Youngs, have brought plenty of value to the pick.  There is no doubt, either, that Madison Bumgarner is on is way to becoming a front of the rotation starter.

Both Jason Castro and Drew Storen are very serviceable major league players as well.  In fact, looking at Castro’s numbers, he had a better year than our very own J.P. Arencibia (not really setting the bar high, I know) even though he is two years younger.

It may be a bit early to comment on the most recent three, but for fun, let’s take a look:

Michael Choice comes in as Oakland’s number two prospect on BA’s pre-2013 rankings and Michael Newman over at Fangraphs saw him as the third best corner outfielder (even though he’s only played center in his minor league career) he witnessed last season.  Choice had a bit of a down year in AA, if you consider a .779 OPS for a center fielder down, but after hitting thirty home runs in the California league in 2011, next year will be important in his development.  As Newman mentions, before going down to injury, Choice was lighting it up in July so there is every reason to expect good things in 2013.

Cory Spangenberg ranks highly in a very deep San Diego system.  He was only moved to second when he turned pro, so still struggles a bit defensively but shows a nice ability to get on base and speed once there with twenty seven stolen bases.  Most scouting reports I’ve read have him as a top of the order hitter in the Padres lineup by 2015.

It is way too early to make any assumptions about David Dahl, but let me just say this.  Throughout my review of the Jays 2012 draft, I could have led off every positional player with the same line, ‘Player xyz’s excellent high-school/college stats unfortunately didn’t translate to their first season in pro ball’.  The same can’t be said about Dahl.  He destroyed the Pioneer league (the Rockies lowest Rookie Ball team) to the tune of .379/.423/.625 leading the league in many statistical categories, both advanced and old-school.  John Sickels has him as the number two Rockies prospect but rightfully reserves judgement until Dahl sees some more advanced pitching.

This piece began simply because I was curious about two things.  Where the Jays had drafted the past seven years and how the teams picking tenth had fared.  After having done the research, I don’t think we can draw any hard and fast conclusions, but when you consider the last seven drafts have produced four major leaguers and three seemingly on their way, this is obviously a very important pick for the Jays.

Another aspect of the Jays 2013 season to look forward to.