Blue Jays: Looking at the first round draft picks under Ross Atkins
2018 – Jordan Groshans
SS out of Magnolia High School
Ross Atkins and co. decided to use their first selection on infielder Jordan Groshans, the first time they have drafted a high school player with their first-round pick since taking office in Toronto.
Starting in the Rookie League, Groshans has advanced to AA this year for the first time in his minor league career. Over 370 plate appearances, Groshans currently sports a .295/.365/.432 with eight home runs, 61 RBI, and a.796 OPS.
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The Texas native missed a majority of the 2019 season with a foot injury, and with the 2020 season canceled due to the COVID-19, Groshans finds himself as one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects and ranked 35th in all of baseball looking to get back into the swing of things. Through 15 games with the Fisher Cats, he’s slashing .233/.313/.317 with one home run and a .630 OPS.
Notable players selected after Groshans: Adam Kloffenstein (88th) and Nick Allgeyer (356th)
2019 – Alek Manoah
RHP out of West Virginia University
The second pitcher selected that year, the Blue Jays decided to use their 11th overall pick on 6’6″ right-hander Alek Manoah.
The Florida native made his professional debut in Low A Vancouver (at the time) and pitched in six games to a 2.35 ERA. Manoah was promoted to AAA to begin the 2021 season, and after a fantastic start to the year, the Jays decided to promote the right-hander to the active roster. Through two starts in the major leagues, Manoah sports a 3.86 ERA with five walks and 12 strikeouts through 9.1 innings.
His first start against the New York Yankees would be nothing short of fantastic, as he only surrendered two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts through 6.0 innings. His most recent start against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday saw him get roughed up, as he only went 3.1 innings while giving up three home runs and four earned runs with three walks and five strikeouts, leaving pitches over the plate. His next start will be against the Chicago White Sox next week.
Notable players selected after Manoah: Dasan Brown (88th)
2020 – Austin Martin
SS out of Vanderbilt University
After a rough season in 2019, the Toronto Blue Jays had the fifth pick in the 2020 draft, the highest selection Atkins and the front office have owned since joining the organization. They wouldn’t waste it, as they selected one of the best pure hitters in the draft in Austin Martin.
The athletic infielder joined the team’s alternate training site as the minor league season was canceled last year, with the 2021 campaign being his first taste of professional baseball. The Vanderbilt alum is currently the Blue Jays #2 prospect and #17 in all of baseball.
Martin is currently with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in AA and is slashing .278/.402/.405 with one home run, eight RBI, 12 walks, and a .807 OPS through 97 plate appearances.