Blue Jays: Draft Targets Final Edition: Position Players
Matheu Nelson C Florida St #40 On MLB Pipeline
Despite leading all of college baseball in long balls this season, Florida State’s Matheu Nelson has flown under the radar and is viewed by many as a second round talent. I quite frankly don’t understand why Nelson isn’t more highly regarded in the scouting community.
The Florida native had a fantastic season at the plate for the Seminoles, where he hit for average and power, posting a slash line of .330, .436 and sensational .773 slugging percentage. Nelson also knocked 23 balls out of the park which led the nation while driving in 66 runs which was good for sixth in the country.
The Florida State product’s 2021 campaign capped off a tremendous college career, where Nelson would total an average of .300, while hitting 30 round trippers in 127 games for the Noles. He is able to hit for average while generating a great deal of power thanks to a short, quick, and compact swing that has little movement outside of his hands, which helps him create a great bat path.
Behind the plate, the Florida native’s best tool is undoubtedly his arm, which received a 60 grade on MLB Pipeline and will be his calling card defensively at the next level. Nelson does have some issues receiving the ball, as he is said to be inconsistent when framing pitches. He will have to clean this up along with his footwork if he is going to stick behind the dish once he turns pro. If he can’t correct these problem areas, a move to third base or a corner outfield spot may be in order down the road for the former Seminole.
If the Jays decided to pull the trigger and select Nelson, it would undoubtedly be for his offensive potential, with the hope that they can refine his game as a catcher. Nelson is my number two college catcher in this draft, behind Louisville’s Henry Davis who is going to be a top five pick. Though many other scouts view Nelson as a fringe first rounder, I would be onboard if the Jays decided to make him the 19th selection, as he was one of the more productive hitters in all of college baseball this season.
It will ultimately come down to the price point, but If Nelson is willing to take a below slot bonus, he could be a fantastic addition to a Blue Jays farm system that is already rich with catching talent, while also saving bonus money for later in the draft.