At one point this season it looked like the Blue Jays could be finishing low enough to secure a top 3 pick in next year’s draft. That may not be the case anymore with the way their young talent is playing right now.
After Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Joe Biagini and several other pitchers were sent packing around the deadline, the rotation and overall pitching depth pointed towards the Jays trending further downhill than their already dismal .391 winning percentage heading into August. But with the Blue Jays’ young core led by Bichette, Guerrero, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Cavan Biggio, what once seemed like a foregone conclusion Toronto would own a top five selection in next year’s draft is no longer such a sure thing.
With a record of 47-70, if the season ended right now the Jays would have the 5th overall selection, but they are just a game behind the Seattle Mariners and three games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. Down the stretch it appears the Blue Jays should play better baseball than the Mariners, which would slot them around the 6th overall pick.
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The difference between picks five to seven may not be drastic, but for a while it looked as though they could even own the third overall pick. For a team looking to build a system for success that can compete for a long time, a top three pick would have been huge.
Considering the incredible homegrown talent they’ve had coming, and continuing to come through their system, the Blue Jays haven’t picked inside the top five since they took Vernon Wells at number five in 1997.
Regardless of where they are choosing next year it will be the earliest since they took Ricky Romero at number six in 2005, and should secure them a potential high impact player. Not all first round draft picks work out of course, but the higher the pick, the better the potential that they’ll add some sort of value down the line.
No matter what way you look at it, it’s better for the team development and future to have the core of young talent gelling like they are right now and proving they can compete at the highest level as opposed to drafting a few spots higher if they were to lose or even “tank” .
Despite a lost season, Blue Jays fans will be able to enjoy a glimpse of the future as the season winds down and with the excitement Alek Manoah has already brought to the organization as the 11th overall selection this year, next June’s draft will have even more Jays followers tuned into the MLB Network.