Between July 11th and the 13th, the Toronto Blue Jays made their selections in the 2021 MLB Draft. The new kids on the block always provide a lot of excitement for the future of the club.
A huge three days and 20 rounds marked the completion of the 2021 MLB Draft. The Blue Jays took advantage of a hot board of prospects to replenish their vastly developing and promotion-worthy farm system. We obviously saw the mainstream popular names such as the Vandy-Boys prospects, Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter, get snagged up in the early rounds. Who exactly did the Blue Jays call on?
Let’s analyze some of the picks, starting from the highest ranks, top 2 picks!
2021 Blue Jays Draft Picks; Top 2 Rounds
1. GUNNAR HOGLUND, Mississippi – 1st Round, 19th Overall Pick
The Blue Jays inked first-rounder, right-handed pitcher, Gunnar Hoglund this week with the deal valued at $3,247,500. Hoglund was the 19th overall pick, out of Mississippi. The right-hander was drafted in 2018 by the Pirates, where the journey ended before college. Gunnar joined the Mississippi weekend rotation as the Sunday starter, finishing 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA, striking out 53 bats in 68 innings. His 2020 season was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, his role as the Saturday starter was successful. He held a 1.16 ERA with a team leading 37 strikeouts going 3-0 with only 4 bases-on-balls.
Scouting Grade Scale
Fastball: 55 Curveball: 50 Changeup: 50 Slider: 55 Command: 60 Arm Strength: 60
Towering 6’4”, scaling at 220 lbs, Hoglund stands tall with a display of strength and durability. His physical presence on the mound guides his velocity and structure of delivery. He has a high stride with a darting sling-shot delivery and semi-short arm action. His finish and recovery can use some refining, needing more balance and readiness; his delivery repetition also has room for improvement.
Hoglund works a Fastball, curveball, changeup and slider. His fastball works between 92-95 mph max, showing an increase from the fall, where he averaged between 89-92, 93 mph. He relies heavily on his fastball, while mixing in an average hook. His out pitch seems to be his hard slider which sits 84-86 mph, complimented by a well velo-adjusted changeup. Gunnar can work corners and is able to command his fastball well. There is still a lot of development to work through for the first rounder.
2. RICKY TIEDEMANN, Golden West JC – 3rd Round, 91st Overall
The Blue Jays round 3 selection is a 6’4” 210 lbs southpaw out of Golden West JC, Ricky Tiedemann. He’s ranked 125th on the MLB top prospect list. As a freshman at Golden West, Tiedemann totaled 60 strikeouts, only allowing 15 earned runs over 38 innings pitched. He’s been a developing gem for Golden West, who’s done a solid job, shaping him for his new professional opportunity. Ricky also has an older brother, Tai Tiedemann, who is in the Texas Rangers System.
Scouting Grade Scale
Fastball: 55 Slider: 50 Changeup: 50 Command: 55 Arm: 50
Ricky Tiedemann is fluent, calm and collected with a lot to offer on the bump. His 6’4” 210 lbs structure, along with being a left-hander, shows promising projections for the prospect. He’s tall, athletic and durable. Tiedemann repeats his delivery well with good fast-whipping arm action at an approximate 3/4th release, comparable as the left-handed wind-up of Marcus Stroman. He works at a good tempo, keeping good momentum.
His improvement lays in using his height to his advantage off of the mound. More reach and use of the hips and lower half can result in a slight velocity increase. He’s fastball reliant, which sits around 93-94 max mph, and has shown good increase of velocity. His slider can be great with added on velocity; it breaks left to right and can be thrown for strikes. The changeup is another good option from a velo-switch aspect. If Tiedemann can add a curveball to his repertoire, his pallet could be that more effective.