JJ’s 2013 Blue Jays MLB Draft Preview


Dec 6, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos answers questions during the MLB winter meetings at Hilton Anatole. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsThe 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft gets underway on June 6th at 7:00pm Eastern Standard Time and with the tenth pick in the first round, it has become extremely important for the Toronto Blue Jays.

After a winter of splurging on veteran talent and trading away many of their top prospect chips, the Blue Jays face a need to replenish the system. As discussed by Gregor Chisholm at MLB.com, Toronto has a fairly extensive shopping list, with every position likely demanding some new blood outside of pitching. In particular, the Blue Jays are exceptionally thin when it comes to Minor League depth in the infield

That said, Toronto will try to do its best in what is considered a rather weak draft, especially in the later rounds. They will also have to work with the 17th ranked draft pool, having a total of $6,398,200 to work with during this year’s selections. Here is the break-down of that pool and the Blue Jays selection order (H/T to Chisholm once again).

PickOverallSuggested Value

So that all said, the Blue Jays have a number of targets that they are looking at for that all-important first round pick. As in the past, the team will likely use the pick on a high-ceiling, high school player who have athleticism and project to evolve into high-end baseball talent. Think Carl Crawford before the injuries.

With that in mind, there does not seem to be a clear consensus as to who Toronto is likely to select. A lot of that has to do with the uncertainty of the teams selecting in front of Toronto, while some of it must be attributed to the team’s unpredictability when it comes to drafting for needs or talent.

Let’s look at the candidates:

Clint Frazier – Outfielder – Loganville High School

Jim Callis at Baseball America projects the Blue Jays to use their first selection on Frazier, but there is some disagreement that he will fall that far in the draft. That said, Frazier projects as a five-tool outfielder with plus-plus bat speed and solid speed on the base-paths and in the field. If there is one knock in his game, it is an awkward timing mechanism, but that’s what the Minor Leagues are for.

– Video Credit: Baseball Prospectus

Austin Meadows – Outfielder – Grayson High School

Like his fellow Georgia native Frazier, Meadows is considered a five-tool outfielder. However, he is more of a natural outfielder than Frazier, but is considered to have less upside. At 6’4″ and 200lbs, Meadows has more of a prototypical frame of a corner outfielder and could see his future in right rather than center field. His plus-plus power projects him as a home run hitter, but with solid contact ability. Both Jonathan Mayo (MLB.com) and Matt Garrioch (minorleagueball.com) see Meadows being the pick for Toronto at number 10, with Garrioch comparing him to Colby Rasmus with more power and better contact rates.

Video Credit: BaseballFactoryTV

J.P. Crawford – Shortstop – Lakewood High School

Now here’s a bit of a shift, with Scout.com’s Kiley McDaniel predicting the Blue Jays to take a risk and nab Lakewood shortstop J.P. Crawford with the 10th pick. Of course, it’s kind of a jump, but they also predict both Frazier and Meadows to be off the board at this stage. Crawford, a cousin of the aforementioned Carl Crawford is the best of a weak middle-infield draft class. Defensively, Crawford is a solid shortstop who projects to stay at the position at the Major League level. However, he doesn’t excel anywhere else with a decent bat with line drive tendency and fringe power. The Blue Jays could use a solid shortstop in their system, but I imagine he’d be a fallback option this high in the draft.

Video Credit: Steve Fiorindo

Trey Ball – LH Pitcher/Outfielder – New Castle High School

If Toronto still wants to put their eggs in the pitching basket, Trey Ball may be the man they pick. At 6’6″ and 190lbs, Ball profiles as the type of pitching prospect the Blue Jays covet. He throws in the low to mid 90’s with his fastball and is a work in progress with both curve-ball and change-up, both of which profile as 50/60 pitches. He would be a work in progress as a pitcher, but could also have a fallback as an outfielder if scouts project his bat to grow. However, for now, his future is on the mound.

Video Credit: Steve Fiorindo

Reese McGuire – Catcher – Kentwood High School

Our final profile is on prep catcher Reese McGuire, who the Blue Jays would snap up in a second if he’s still on the board at number 10. A solid receiver who projects to stay at the position, McGuire has plus defensive skills for a young catcher and a plus-plus arm. He also swings a smooth, fast left-handed bat with projectable power once developed. For an organization that has struggled to churn out a good catcher, Toronto would not pass up the chance to get McGuire.

Video Credit: Steve Fiorindo

Alright, that’s it for now. Stay tuned tonight and this weekend as the draft unfolds and we provide further profiles on the Blue Jays selections.