Kris Bryant, 27 years old
Drafted by Blue Jays: 2010 18th-round selection (546th overall)
Second Draft (as Junior): 2013 1st-round selection (2nd overall) by Chicago Cubs
The biggest star on this list, the Jays drafted Kris Bryant in 2010 out of Bonanza High School in Las Vegas. At the time, he stood at 6-foot-5, 205-pounds and didn’t really receive the praise you’d expect from a future MVP.
MLB.com’s report on him heading into the draft said the following:
“A home run streak helped him this spring, but overall he does not receive high grades for his hitting ability. He’s below average defensively, so a move to first could be in his future.”
Bryant already had a strong commitment to the University of San Diego (USD) and the Blue Jays had already spent a club record in bonuses, signing the likes of Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Sam Dyson, Dalton Pompey and other early round choices, leaving no money for Bryant, according to Shi Davidi.
Bryant then went on to become a star at USD hitting 54 homers, 155 RBI, .486 OBP and an OPS of 1.188 over 155 games in his three seasons with the Toreros. He was named a First Team All-American by Baseball America as a sophomore and was named to the US Collegiate National Team. His junior and final year, he broke the record for most home runs in a college season since the league switched to BBCOR composite bats, and took home the two major awards for college player of the year: the Golden Spikes Award, and the Dick Howser Trophy.
The Cubs drafted Bryant second-overall in 2013 and he quickly became one of the most highly regarded prospects in baseball due to his raw power. Once joining the big leagues it didn’t take long for him to establish himself as an elite player, becoming an All-Star and winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2015. He may never be able to top his second season though, as he was an All-Star again, the NL MVP, and ended the Cubs curse winning their first World Series title since 1908, even making the play for the final out.
Seeing him rack up all of these accolades in just his first two seasons may have Jays fans upset for not signing him, but how about this stat. Since entering the league four seasons ago, Bryant’s WAR of 23.1 is fourth best in the majors among position players behind only Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve.