Yesterday we looked at five potential players the Toronto Blue Jays could be looking to draft with their two first round picks in the 2014 MLB Draft. These are two very important picks for the Jays and they’ll need to hit on at least one of the two picks for this year’s draft to be considered a success.
The Blue Jays’ next selection is in the second round at 49th overall. It’s somewhat more difficult to determine who the club could be targeting with that pick but I figure why not take a guess before the draft begins tonight at 6PM EST.
However one name who could fit the bill as a “Blue Jays” draft pick (read: high upside/high risk) is Mississippi shortstop Ti’quan Forbes. Forbes, one of the youngest players in this year’s draft, hails from Mississippi where baseball players are generally known to be quite “raw”. According to Baseball America, Forbes fits that mould to a tee.
"“His split as far as present grades to future projection might be as big as any player in the draft,” a National League area scout said. “He could have some 30 present grades but 60 future grades. Everything about his game is projection-based because he flashes you things that you want to see. He is going to get a lot of people excited thinking about what this kid could be in a few years.” –Baseball America"
The Blue Jays have gone the projection route before when the selected another high schooler from Mississippi, outfielder D.J. Davis, with their first overall selection in 2012. Davis, who turns 20 next month, is experiencing growing pains during his first season of full season ball at Low-A but does flash brilliance at times. He’s proving to be every bit the project the Blue Jays expected and maybe even more so as I’m sure the club is a bit discouraged by his lack of progress. The jury is still out on Davis and we won’t know for at least a few years whether he pans out or not but, to get back to the topic at hand, the Blue Jays are experiencing first-hand the risk and frustrations of drafting a projectable player.
However these days, over a large enough sample size, usually it’s the players with highest upside that have the best chance of someday having an impact at the major league level. And Perfect Game had plenty of good things to say about the toolbox of Forbes including his plus speed, arm strength and raw power.
On top of showing plus speed (6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash) and arm strength, Forbes’ 6-foot-4, 177-pound frame makes him a fascinating projection case. He already flashes raw power potential, and has an advanced opposite field approach in game action. –Perfect Game
According to Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun, the Blue Jays sent scouts to watch Forbes along with NC State shortstop Trea Turner. I think if the Jays don’t land Turner at nine or eleven there’s a good chance they turn to Forbes with their second round selection.
All of this is just speculation on my part of course. There’s a plethora of other players the Blue Jays could consider with the pick but as much as anyone Ti’quan Forbes feels like a Blue Jays draft pick to me. He’s an athletic kid who was a three-sport start in high school and has a projectable frame to dream about. Even if he doesn’t stick at short he could grow into enough raw power and should have good enough bat speed to become an everyday third baseman, if he meets his potential offensively.