With the MLB draft coming up next week and different players surging in mocks, the Blue Jays could still see an unexpected player fall in their laps.
Since we’ve yet to see any professional baseball in North America since early March, baseball fans have been even more focused on the MLB draft than they usually would be. For Blue Jays fans, that’s even more the case since they have the fifth pick in next week’s draft.
I’ve been following a lot of different mock drafts and projections for a few months now, and I’ve felt like the Blue Jays were going to have a choice between 3-4 players, based on what happened ahead of them. However, with the draft coming up pretty soon, it seems like things are changing quite a bit at this late stage, at least according to the rumour mill. And if that trend continues, there’s a chance an unexpected player could fall to the Blue Jays at #5.
On most publications that I’ve been following over the last few months, it’s been almost universally agreed that Spencer Torkelson and Austin Martin would be drafted 1-2, with the vast majority also seeing Asa Lacy as the number three pick. It’s possible that could be changing though, and the latest example came out yesterday from Baseball America (subscription required).
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In their latest mock draft, Torkelson remains as the top selection, but then one of the surging names from this year’s player pool makes a surprising appearance at #2 in Zac Veen. From there, Baseball America still had Asa Lacy going third, and Martin falling to fourth. As has been the case with several drafts lately, the Blue Jays then select Emerson Hancock at number five, which should be a big win for the club. That said, could they have one of the top four fall to them as well, even Martin?
The chances are probably still very slim, but I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question at all. First of all, we don’t know for certain what the Royals want to do with the fourth pick ahead of the Blue Jays, or what the Tigers, Orioles, and Marlins are thinking for 1-3. If Veen can theoretically surge into the top two, that would change a lot of things with the draft, and he’s not the only hot name being talked about at the moment.
Another name being banded about would be Nick Bitsko, a 17-year-old who originally wasn’t even going to be available in this year’s draft. The scouting report is pretty thin on the young man, but the reports coming back on his talent are off the charts, and you just know someone is going to jump on him earlier than originally expected. It’s a long shot for him to break into the top four ahead of the Blue Jays pick, but the Padres now see him as the eighth pick overall, which didn’t seem possible a month ago.
The Royals could be set on taking someone like Nick Gonzales as well, or you never know how player meetings have gone ahead of the draft as well. With all of that in mind, it’s really hard to predict who might be available at number five, and who the Blue Jays will ultimately draft.
What we do know is that they should be getting a fairly premium talent from the first round in this year’s draft. With plenty of variables still in play with a week to go before the draft, the Blue Jays might have names available to them that they didn’t see coming before, and that’s a pretty exciting thing to think about.