Now that the MLB draft is over, let’s take a look at the young players that the Blue Jays selected, and hopefully, that will join the organization soon.
The Blue Jays closed out their 2019 Draft class yesterday with pick 1197 which means it’s time to unpack the 40 selections made by the club.
The 11th overall pick, Alek Manoah, will eventually sign with the club and forego his final season with the West Virginia Mountaineers barring a big turn of events. The first of two 6-foot-6 right-handers taken by the Jays, Manoah has already tossed 108.1 innings this season and likely won’t log too many more in the farm system this year.
Things get a little trickier with the second and third rounders as they are both departing high school and were headed to America’s most competitive conference, the SEC. The Blue Jays second rounder Kendall Williams is committed to Vanderbilt, a school that is known for developing high-end pitchers such as David Price, Sonny Gray and Walker Buehler.
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Their 88th overall pick and one of the fastest in the draft, Canadian Dasan Brown, is committed to play at Texas A&M, which has been a top 10 team at several points this year in the NCAA. Ross Atkins said today he confident the club will be able to sign both of these high school prospects despite these commitments.
“It takes [two] sides, but we’ve already exchanged some information that gives us a great deal of confidence or we wouldn’t have taken them there,” Atkins said prior to yesterday’s game against the Yankees.
Being the only Canadian team in the major leagues has led the Blue Jays to do a lot of scouting in their own back yard and Brown wasn’t the only Canuck taken by the club.
They selected two more Canadian high schoolers in the 26th and 29th round. Jean-Christophe Masson, an outfielder from Quebec, was the 777th pick while Owen Diodati, a catcher from Ontario, was the 867th. Masson is committed to Missouri while Diodati is committed to Alabama, and both were teammates of Brown on trips this spring with the Canadian Junior National Team.
The final Canadian taken by Toronto came in the 30th round when they drafted Noah Myers, an outfielder from Ontario who was playing at Wabash Valley College in Illinois.
While he was the last Canadian selected by the club, he wasn’t the last one taken with deep ties to Canadian baseball. The Blue Jays nabbed Braden Halladay with their 32nd pick, the son of the late Roy Halladay.
Braden has become a familiar face to Jays fans over the past year or two and pitched against Blue Jays prospects last March at Dunedin Stadium while playing for the Canadian Junior National Team. Despite being taken by the team his Dad made six All-Star appearances for, Braden said he will still be honouring his commitment to play at Penn State.
The Blue Jays have 40 prospects in front of them, some of whom could be a small piece of the puzzle that is being built around Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and his “window” for the next five to six seasons.
The club will begin deciding who those puzzle pieces are before attempting to lure them away from returning to college or beginning their collegiate careers.