He wasn’t supposed to be available, but the Blue Jays were handed a gift being able to draft Austin Martin with the fifth overall pick of the MLB Draft.
I’ve read a lot of mock drafts lately, and I’ve spent a lot of time writing about the MLB draft this year, but I didn’t envision what was going to happen.
I did write an article about how it was possible that Austin Martin could fall to the Blue Jays with the fifth overall pick, but I didn’t actually expect it to happen. He and Spencer Torkelson were widely viewed as the top two picks on the board, with some writers even seeing Martin as the better player. There are always variables that come into play with any draft, but it was hard to see how arguably the best player could fall to fifth overall.
And yet, that’s exactly the gift the Blue Jays received on Wednesday evening.
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It all started when the Orioles threw a major wrench into 99% of mock drafts by selecting Heston Kjerstad, a power hitting outfielder. There was always the possibility that the Orioles could be a Wild Card, especially because they have an extra pick at the end of the first round, and could spread their bonus money out a bit, much like the Blue Jays did when they drafted and signed Jordan Groshans and Adam Kloffenstein.
After that, the Marlins really surprised everyone by drafting Max Meyer. Meyer’s talent is obvious and he’s been rising on draft boards lately, so much so that I thought the Blue Jays would likely take him fifth overall. However, he was gone early, and much sooner than anyone anticipated. From there things got really exciting, as the Blue Jays were going to have a shot at a few players they didn’t think would be available, including Martin, Zac Veen, Nick Gonzales, and Emerson Hancock.
Martin won’t be an easy sign as a Scott Boras client, but he’s already expressed his excitement about how things went down on Wednesday, and he should fit extremely well with the Blue Jays going forward. He’s classified as a shortstop for the moment, but don’t be surprised if he starts focusing on the outfield in short order, and it’s a position that he should have the tools to succeed at.
I’m not always a fan of the “draft the best player available” philosophy, but when it’s someone with the potential of Austin Martin, I’m 100% on board. Now all we need is baseball to get back on the diamond so we can start following this kid. He’s going to be a good one.