With the MLB amateur draft in full swing, I decided to look at some of the former first-round draft picks on the Toronto Blue Jays current roster. Including the skipper, the Blue Jays have nine former first rounders on their current squad.
First baseman Justin Smoak has been all the rage this season resurrecting his career after a dismal 2016 campaign. However, Smoak was a highly touted prospect in 2008 out of the University of South Carolina. Smoak destroyed the Cape Cod Summer League and was a member of Team USA leading into the draft.
So much so that the Texas Rangers selected Smoak with the 11th overall selection in the draft. The Goose Creek, SC native was previously drafted in the 16th round of the 2005 draft by the Oakland Athletics.
The 10 selections before Smoak in 2008 were as follows:
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- Tim Beckham– Tampa
- Pedro Alvarez– Pittsburgh
- Eric Hosmer– Kansas City
- Brian Matusz– Baltimore
- Buster Posey– San Francisco
- Kyle Skipworth– Miami
- Yonder Alonso– Cincinnati
- Gordon Beckham– Chicago
- Aaron Crow– Washington
- Jason Castro– Houston
The Blue Jays struck out with their 17th overall selection in the first round drafting first baseman David Cooper who dealt with injury issues. Cooper would play 72 games for the Jays between 2011/12 before fizzling out and toiling in the minors until 2015 with various organizations.
Smoak held out until the last possible moment apparently signing with the Rangers 15 minutes before the deadline for a $3.5 million signing bonus.
The switch-hitter made his MLB debut in 2010 with the Rangers however only played 70 games in Texas before being shipped to the Seattle Mariners in the Cliff Lee blockbuster.
In his 8th MLB season, Justin Smoak is in the middle of a career year already having swatted 18 round trippers in the first 62 games of the 2017 campaign. Smoak appears ready to finally deliver on that first round promise.