Toronto Blue Jays: MLB Draft Big Board for 2021
10. Jaden Hill – RHP Louisiana State University
Like Gunnar Hoglund, Jaden Hill is another college arm whose draft stock has plummeted after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this year.
Hill has everything teams look for in an ace, starting with his repertoire that features a mid 90’s heater, a change-up that is considered to be one of the best in the class, and a slider that has sharp breaking action that Hill has a good feel for. The Arkansas native combines his three-pitch mix with plus size, standing at 6’4” and weighing in at 234 pounds, which bodes well for his ability to stick as a starter down the road.
Hill was a consensus top 10 pick heading into the year, with the chance to compete for the number 1 selection if he was able to stay healthy and put out a good showing. After having his season cut short due to injury and struggling when he was on the field, Hill is now viewed as a fringe first-round prospect, but one that I would still love to see the Jays select with the 19th pick due to the raw talent he possesses.
9. Michael McGreevy – RHP UC Santa Barbara
Throughout the first two seasons at the University of California Santa Barbara, Michael McGreevy was a pitcher that relied solely on command. McGreevy’s heater sat in the upper 80’s which forced the California native to learn how to command his fastball which has now become his best trait, receiving a 60 grade from MLB Pipeline.
This past season, McGreevy saw an uptick in fastball velocity, watching his heater jump nearly five miles an hour to the low to mid 90’s, touching 96 mph on occasion and may have the best fastball command in the entire draft. Despite seeing a rise in velocity, McGreevy was still able to maintain his pinpoint accuracy, and put together a fantastic year for the Gauchos, going 9-2 while posting a 2.92 ERA and a ridiculous 10.45 strikeout to walk ratio.
The UC Santa Barbara product is far from a polished pitcher. While his changeup is considered to be an above-average pitch, that’s the only plus secondary offering McGreevy possesses. The California native will have to refine either his slider or curveball if he wants to continue to start at the next level.
8. Chase Petty – RHP Mainland (NJ)
Chase Petty may have the best fastball in this draft class, rivaled only by Sam Bachman and Gavin Williams, who will be discussed later on. Petty’s heater is electric, as it resides in the mid to upper 90’s and has reportedly touched 102 MPH, which is insane considering that the New Jersey native just turned 18 in April.
Along with his power fastball, Petty features a wicked, sharp breaking slider that plays “really well off of his fastball” and is already seen as a plus secondary pitch.
The high schooler also features a changeup but it can be flat at times and will have to be improved upon if he wants to remain a starter down the road. The biggest knock on Petty is undoubtedly his small stature, as he is listed at 6’2, 190 pounds and throws with quite a bit of effort in his delivery, which many evaluators believe will lead to arm problems in the future. The velocity that Petty possesses is rare and is the reason why he is such a tantalizing prospect. His size is an issue, but considering the fact that Petty is only 18, I believe that he can add onto his frame once he gets into a pro facility, which could keep him healthy enough to utilize his elite arm talent.
7. Andrew Painter – RHP Calvary Christian (FL)
Andrew Painter may be one of the more polished prep pitching prospects in this year’s class.
The right-hander features a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90’s that the Florida commit can throw with either a four-seam or two-seam grip. To go along with his plus fastball, Painter possesses an above-average change-up and a curveball that has the ability to generate swings and misses from both left-handed and right-handed batters. The Florida product also features a slider that sits in the mid 80’s and has shown flashes of being another plus pitch for the righty. Painter has the potential to have a four-pitch mix.
Combining this with his excellent 6’7”, 225-pound build leaves me with no doubt that he will be a starter at the next level, and one with top of the rotation upside as well.
6. Benny Montgomery – OF Red Land (PA)
Five tool prospects are highly sought after in the baseball community, and Benny Montgomery has the potential to turn into that kind of player.
Of the five, Montgomery’s best tool is undoubtedly his speed as he may even be the fastest player in this year’s class. The Pennsylvania native has been clocked at 6.32 during the 60-yard dash and has received run grades as high as 80 from some evaluators. Along with his elite speed, Montgomery possesses a fantastic arm that constantly registers speeds in the upper 90s from the outfield, which will make it an effective weapon at the next level.
At the plate, the Virginia commit has elite power, registering a max exit velocity of 103 MPH and consistently registered barrel speeds in the upper 80’s. Montgomery is also 6’4″ with plenty of room to add to his frame, leaving me to believe that he is just scratching the surface of his power potential. The sole below-average tool that the Virginia commit possesses is his hitting. Montgomery has a swing that “lacks fluidity” and because of this, struggles to make consistent contact against high-level pitching. The inconstant contact results are concerning and is the reason why he’s not considered a consensus top 10 pick in the scouting community. I have a hard time believing that Montgomery will fall to the Blue Jays at pick 19 due to having 4 plus tools with the potential to add the fifth one down the road. However, I’ve seen the Pennsylvania native drop to the late teens in multiple mock drafts, which is why I included him on my Blue Jays big board.
I would be thrilled if the Blue Jays get the opportunity to add Montgomery during the draft and would be ecstatic to see if he can reach his ceiling that may be the highest in the class.