Blue Jays: Four players left to be signed from the 2021 MLB Draft
With the MLB Draft now behind us, the Toronto Blue Jays have made early headway when it comes to getting their newly drafted players to sign contracts and play professional baseball.
The Blue Jays first made news by signing first-round pick RHP Gunnar Hoglund followed by the news of the signing of Irv Carter, the fifth-round selection in the MLB Draft. As of July 21, the organization has signed every player drafted from the 1-10 rounds with only these four players not committed to turning pro at the moment:
- Round 14: 3B Damiano Palmegiani – College of Southern Nevada
- Round 16: RHP Micah Bucknam – Mennonite Educational Institute
- Round 17: LHP Cooper Benson – Arizona State
- Round 20: RHP Luke Holman – Wilson High School
Four players remain unsigned from the 2021 MLB Draft for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ranked #245 by MLB.com, Damiano Palmegiani already has ties to the Blue Jays franchise (and Canada after growing up in Surrey, BC), as the club selected him in the 35th round for the 2018 MLB Draft but he would forego the opportunity to instead play for Cal State Northridge. Playing last season at Southern Nevada, Palmengiani led the team with his 1.388 OPS and would slash .389/.521/.867 on the season with 26 home runs and 81 RBI, both of which are team highs.
The jury is still out if the third baseman will be able to hold the position, with a potential move to the outfield or first base not out of the question. One also wonders if he will sign with the Jays or try and return to college baseball (his profile says he is committed to Arizona at the moment) and try to improve his stats for a future draft.
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A product from British Columbia, RHP Micah Bucknam impressed quite a few schools and obviously the Blue Jays when he took part in the Prep Baseball Futures Games early this year. With a commitment to the University of Washington and given his draft position, it is unlikely he will sign with the Blue Jays.
Appearing in only two games this year, LHP Cooper Benson was expected to be a major contributor to the Arizona Sun Devils rotation this year. He would be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery back in early May, hurting his draft stock and seeing him slide down the boards to where the Blue Jays selected him in the 17th round. I would doubt that the lefty would sign with the club and would most likely try to improve his stock as a senior with Arizona but if the money is there, maybe he could be persuaded. In the shortened 2020 season, Cooper started four games and pitched to a 3.60 ERA through 20.0 innings with 25 strikeouts as a freshman.
Another high school prospect taken in the later rounds, MLB.com had Luke Holman ranked at #172. At 6’4″, Holman will easily grow into his frame and could very well see an uptick in his fastball that already sits in the low 90s. He also features a strong curveball and a decent changeup to complete the arsenal. With a commitment to Alabama, it is very unlikely Holman will be turning pro with the Blue Jays.