Blue Jays agree to terms with three draft picks

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 14: The batting gloves and bat of Jose Bautista
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 14: The batting gloves and bat of Jose Bautista /

According to an official team release, the Blue Jays have reached a deal with three of their late round picks, rounding out the draft class of 2018.

Less than a month after signing first-round pick Jordan Groshans, the Blue Jays have agreed to terms with three more of their 2018 draft picks. According to a team announcement (and later confirmed by Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith), the Jays have signed right-handed pitcher Josh Hiatt (16th round, 476th overall), catcher Brett Wright (26th round, 776th pick) and right-handed pitcher Andy McGuire (28th round, 836th overall).

July 6th would have been the latest that these draft picks could have signed with the team. Previously, new picks had much longer to decide whether or not to sign.

The highest of the three signed, Josh Hiatt was selected out of the University of North Carolina. A first-team All-American who was ranked 481st overall in the draft by Baseball America, he sports a quick 88-91 mph fastball and an “outstanding changeup”. According to the Canadian Baseball Network, he was suspended by his team last season for “conduct detrimental to the team”.

Overall, he pitched to a 2.94 ERA in 46.0 innings, striking out 14 and walking 17. The CBN scouting report further notes that his slider sticks out as being effective and consistent in its movement and spin rate. He will most likely report to the Gulf Coast League to play with the GCL Blue Jays.

Baseball America noted that he has “the arsenal and command to at least merit a look as a starter at the next level”, adding that his off-speed pitches “complemented each other with movement in nearly opposite directions.”

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Catcher Brett Wright, a product of Auburn University, has already made his mark at the Low-A level. In four games for the Vancouver Canadians, he’s slashed .231/.333/.692 with two home runs and three runs batted in. He’s scored three runs and has walked twice.

Additionally, Wright has appeared in two games for the Gulf Coast Blue Jays, striking out twice in six at-bats, drawing a walk. A right-handed hitter, he stands at six-feet and weighs 210 pounds.

Andy McGuire, drafted out of the University of Texas, was drafted to UT as an infielder but has thrived as a relief pitcher, saving seven games and pitching to a 2.03 ERA in 26 games. According to the Austin American-Statesman, he did not make the roster in 2016 or 2017.

An occasional outfielder in college, he’s logged four plate appearances at Bluefield, walking twice and striking out once, notching a single hit – an RBI single on July 2nd against the Burlington Royals. Per the above article, he hit .293 as an outfielder in 38 at-bats, smashing two home runs.

Although these young men are a long way away from making an impact on the big club, it’s encouraging to see the organization draft such diverse and exciting young talent. With an already exciting young core of prospects, the above picks can only solidify their reputation as one of the top farm systems in the league.

Next: Blue Jays have scouted Milwaukee Brewers farm system