Toronto Blue Jays: MLB Draft Big Board for 2021
The MLB Draft begins tonight. The Blue Jays hold the 19th overall selection and have a great chance to add a quality player to an already deep farm system. With that in mind, I wanted to rank the top 25 prospects that I believe have a chance to be available when the Blue Jays are on the clock.
This is a Blue Jays specific big board, so some of the bigger names in this class such as Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker won’t be on this list as they have a small chance of falling all the way to #19. This board is also solely based on talent, and I am not taking things like how signable a player may be into consideration. With that being said, let’s jump in and take a look at the top 25 prospects that I feel have a chance to fall to pick 19.
Disclaimer: Prospects who are not on this list because I feel they will not be there at the 19th pick are Marcelo Mayer, Jordan Lawlar, Kahlil Watson, Brady House, Jackson Jobe, Henry Davis, Jack Leiter, Ty Madden, and Kumar Rocker.
The MLB Draft is today. Here are the top 25 prospects that I feel have a reasonable chance to fall to the Blue Jays at pick number 19.
25. Ethan Wilson – OF South Alabama
Despite not attending a powerhouse program, Ethan Wilson is creeping up draft boards and is seen by many evaluators as a first-round talent.
Wilson, the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, is definitely a bat-first outfielder as he possesses great raw power, belting 27 long balls in his 127 games with South Alabama. Despite having a unique swing that seems a little rushed at times, Wilson has always found ways to make consistent contact, hitting .344 in his freshman year, .282 in his shortened sophomore year, and .313 this past season. “Almost all of Wilson’s value will have to come from his offensive production”, as his below-average speed and arm strength are going to corner him into being a below-average left fielder, so the Alabama native is going to have to hit if he wants to bring value to a big-league ball club.
Wilson has undoubtedly thrived at the plate in his college career, but this tremendous production came against weaker competition due to playing in a smaller conference. Combining this with his below-average speed and arm is why I have Wilson ranked as my 8th outfielder in this class, and not closer to the top of my board.
24. Jay Allen OF – John Carroll Catholic (FL)
John Carroll Catholic’s Jay Allen is one of the more physically gifted prospects in this year’s class. Allen has tremendous speed, receiving home-to-first-run grades as high as 70 from some evaluators. The Florida commit uses his high-end speed on both the base paths and in the field where scouts believe he has the tools to turn into a premier defensive center fielder once he fully develops.
Allen’s hit tool is a lot less refined than his speed and glove. The Florida native struggled to make consistent contact against high-caliber pitching on the summer circuit due to inconsistent swing mechanics, which really hampered him from showing any kind of power. Allen is listed at 6’2”, and weighs in at 190 pounds, with plenty of room to add onto his frame. Because of his plus-size and quick-twitch ability, scouts believe that there is more power to be untapped once Allen fills out and finishes developing.
There have been plenty of Blue Jays’ scouts at some of the speedy outfielder’s more recent games, and he was reportedly brought in for a workout recently, showing the interest that GM Ross Atkins and company have in the Florida native. Teams are going to love Allen’s raw athletic ability, but the mechanical issues and below-average hit tool concern me, which would make me uncomfortable if the Jays used a top 20 selection on the Florida native.
23. Joe Mack C – Williamsville East (NY)
Buffalo’s Joe Mack is one of the more refined prep players in this year’s class.
The Clemson commit has a short, compact swing, with an excellent bat path that allows him to make a lot of contact and “pick up base hits with two strikes”. Mack is viewed as a prospect with good gap power but lacks the ability to hit the long ball constantly at this point in his development. The New York native does have a good build, standing at 6’1” and 205 pounds, so evaluators do believe that he will add more pop as he finishes developing.
Behind the plate, Mack has a strong arm that is viewed as one of the best in the class, receiving a 60 grade from MLB Pipeline on their 20/80 scale. The New York native is also viewed as a plus framer and is said to have a high baseball IQ, which are both traits that point towards Mack sticking behind the dish once he turns pro. While I don’t believe that Mack has the highest ceiling in this class, he does possess the tools to stick behind the plate and has the potential to develop into a plus offensive catcher, due to his bat-to-ball skills and power potential.
22. Izaac Pacheco 3B – Friendswood (TX)
“Izaac Pacheco offers more raw pop from the left side of the plate than any other prospect in this class”. The Texas native has received plus power grades from almost every scout that has witnessed him play, and is believed to have 30+ home runs upside at the next level. Despite possessing so much raw power, Pacheco does have a tendency to chase home runs and will often get long in his swing, which has caused him to struggle against off-speed pitches out of the zone.
If the Texas product was able to make more consistent contact, then I believe he would be a consensus top 10 pick in the scouting community, and wouldn’t sniff the Jays at pick 19. With the strikeout issues, Pacheco will more than likely fall to the back half of the first round. The Blue Jays were able to fix a similar problem in former first-round pick Jordan Groshans’ game, which gives me confidence that they can do the same if Pacheco is the pick, allowing him to fully tap into his offensive potential which is as high as any prep player in this class.
21. Anthony Solometo – LHP Bishop Eustace (NJ)
Anthony Solometo is another prep player that has been heavily linked to the Blue Jays.
The left-hander has been the Jays’ pick in MLB Pipeline’s last three mock drafts and there is reported interest from the club, making him one of the more likely candidates to be the clubs choice heading into the draft. I’m personally not as high on Solometo as other evaluators are.
The Bishop Eustace product is really only a two-pitch pitcher at this point in his development, with a heater that resides in the low 90’s and a slider that at best is seen as a slightly above-average offering. There’s nothing that really jumps off the page when evaluating Solometo (other than his funky delivery), and while he does have plus command, the New Jersey native does not possess an elite trait, which is something teams like to see when taking a player in the top 20 picks of the draft.
To me, Solometo appears to be a low ceiling pick. He has the tools to turn into a quality MLB starter, but when watching him pitch, I don’t see top of the rotation stuff from the left-hander which is why I would be skeptical if he is the pick tonight.