2017 & 2018 & 2019 – Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladdy was signed as an International Free Agent in 2015 by the Blue Jays. Time will tell but I can’t wait to watch this career play out. No point in mentioning alternatives or if they missed something. The Jays are lucky to have signed Guerrero.
2020 – Nate Pearson
Pearson was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1st round ( 28th overall) in the 2017 amateur entry draft. Even after dealing with some injury issues Pearson has quickly advanced through the Jays minor league ranks. Many expect to watch Pearson’s MLB debut sometime in the 2020 season.
Hindsight Alternates- Can’t really say anybody at this point. Pearson looks poised for a long and hopefully successful career.
Who did they miss in the draft – Nobody. Pearson looks legit. Pearson could be the “Ace” of the Jays staff for years to come and someone that the Jays haven’t had since the days of Doc Halladay.
It’s interesting to look back and actually take a look at how few former #1 Blue Jays prospects have made a significant contribution to the MLB team. I’m a firm believer that championship teams must start from within with a solid farm system that can be used as either player to supplement your team or as trade pieces to fill a hole.
It’s encouraging to see the current front office take a similar approach with an infield that could potentially be completely homegrown and a prospect farm system that is growing and still considered a top program.
I take the view that former Blue Jays front offices haven’t placed the emphasis on scouting, drafting, and development that is necessary to maintain a strong farm system. I believe that this approach has changed under Shapiro and Atkins and we can hopefully benefit from watching strong Jays teams compete for years to come.