The Blue Jays had a successful five-round draft this year, but now that it’s over, the work needs to continue to improve the minor league system.
If you have been following the MLB draft over the last couple of days, then you’re probably aware that the Blue Jays did quite well for themselves.
They ended up with a pleasant surprise on Wednesday night when Austin Martin fell to fifth overall, and their strong selections continued into Thursday evening, starting with CJ Van Eyk as their second round pick. However, as good as their draft was overall, the front office likely understands that their work is far from over.
In a typical year, the MLB draft consists of 40 rounds, while it was reduced to just five this year because of the complications with the Coronavirus pandemic. The MLB draft is a lot different than the other major sports, especially in that there can be a lot value found in the later rounds, especially when you’re talking about 35 potential missed opportunities. For example, some of the notable stars currently in the big leagues that were taken after the fifth round include Anthony Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt, Jacob deGrom, J.D. Martinez, and many more.
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It might be a bit of a difficult proposition at the moment, but now that the draft is over, the Blue Jays should be in a race to sign several other talents that missed being selected in the first five rounds. They will be limited to a $20,000 signing bonus to offer to the non-drafted players, but thankfully Ross Atkins and company have something else going for them that could prove to be helpful.
The Blue Jays are one of a handful of teams that treat their minor leaguers a little better than most, which includes the raise that was brought in during the 2019 campaign. While that might not make a significant impact for every prospect, there will be some that could be enticed with the extra money, especially given the circumstances around professional baseball at the moment. It’s far from an ideal scenario, but a minor league baseball player could land in worse spots than with the Blue Jays and their 50% pay bump.
I imagine there will be some limitations to how many players the Blue Jays will pursue, especially given how many minor leaguers lost their jobs across the game. However, if they’re looking to add to the MiLB pipelines in a year where the rules are thrown out the window, there’s a pretty unique opportunity in front of them at the moment.