Welcome to the month of May, Blue Jays nation! Major League Baseball is in full swing, Minor League Baseball is in full swing, college baseball is in full swing, and baseball in the Province of Ontario is about to kick off!
Why is this exciting? We are approximately two and a half months away from the Major League Baseball amateur draft; this year’s draft prospect list is looking very hot, and very healthy for players born north of the border. The collegiate and high school draft market is very diverse, with promising picks at each position. This year’s draft is scheduled for Sunday, July 17th and concludes on Tuesday, July 19th. This event will be formatted at 20 rounds, and as usual, ordered in reverse of the 2021 MLB standings
The Blue Jays are set to have the 23rd pick in the 1st round. At the moment, the Blue Jays employ 12 draft picks on the current 40-man roster; eight pitchers, two catchers, and two infielders.
What might the Blue Jays prioritize in the 2022 MLB Draft?
The Blue Jays have a strong farm system, despite MLB’s ranking of 21 out of 30. The farm system ranked 14 of 30 in the middle of 2021, while some players had not graduated to the Majors, or were not yet involved in deals. 14 of the top 30 current prospects are pitchers. Pitching may be the biggest focus, as it is most years.
PITCHING: The Blue Jays promoted Alek Manoah in 2021; he was the 2019 first round draft pick. The 2021 1st round pick, RHP Gunnar Hoglund was traded in a multi-player deal to the Oakland Athletics for Matt Chapman. In addition, approximately 2-3 farm-system arms can expect to reach the big leagues by the fall. Pitching may very well need replenishing.
CATCHER: The Blue Jays have two primary catchers in the farm system, one of them being the organization’s top prospect, Gabriel Moreno, who also is expected to reach the major league level this year. The other catcher was a top-international prospect, Luis Meza, who will climb the ranks of the minors faster than expected. There are many others, but keep an eye on these two names in particular.
CANADIANS: The Blue Jays are known to consider home-grown talent; there are a ton of draft eligible Canadian prospects, from high school to the college level. These prospects are easy access to scout, with local intelligence available for analytics.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENCY: With 20 rounds, there may be players who don’t hear their name, however, the team can capitalize on talent after the draft has concluded.
There is a ton to look forward to here! Stay tuned for my Canadian prospect list, as well as my top high school prospect list, and top collegiate list.