After finishing with a 91-71 record last year, the Toronto Blue Jays will be selecting 23rd overall at the 2022 MLB Draft, currently scheduled to start on Sunday, July 17th. With Robbie Ray and Marcus Semien both rejecting qualifying offers this past offseason, the Jays have four picks before round three rolls around (#23, #60, #77, #78).
This gives the club a good chance to restock the prospect cupboard, especially with the graduation of Alek Manoah and Alejandro Kirk from the prospect list last year and with top prospects, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Austin Martin, Gunnar Hoglund, Kevin Smith, and Riley Adams traded away over the past two seasons.
That being said, with high school and college programs underway, numerous sites and individuals from across the league are starting to create their mock drafts for the first round. Let’s take a look at who some predict the Blue Jays will take with their #23 overall pick. For this article, I will use the writer’s most recent mock draft at the time of this writing.
Chase DeLauter – OF
Predicted via Keith Law at The Athletic
Currently ranked at #12 in regards to top prospects for the upcoming 2022 MLB Draft, Keith Law at The Athletic is predicting Chase DeLauter will be on the board for the Blue Jays and the club will use pick #23 to add the James Madison University outfield product.
In his third year with the Dukes, DeLauter finished the season with a .437/.576/.828 slash line through 24 games. The lefty-batter owned a 1.404 OPS and was on track to take home some personal hardware until a broken foot in early April ended his season early. While his season was cut short, DeLauter also impressed in the Cape Cod League last summer, earning a .986 OPS through 124 at-bats while adding nine home runs and 21 RBI for the Orleans Firebirds. Overall, he finishes his time at JMU with a .402 batting average and 15 home runs through 66 career games.
A power bat who can hit to any area of the field, many see DeLauter transitioning to a corner outfield position due to his size but does boast a 55-run score, so it will be interesting to see if the Blue Jays decide to keep him in center field moving forward if they pick him at #23. He did spend some time in right with Orleans but primarily played centre for the Dukes with a few left-field outings mixed in.
He also took the mound ten times through his three years at James Madison, earning a 5.64 ERA through 22.1 innings. I would imagine he will be drafted as a position player but having a player who can do both isn’t bad to have in the back pocket if needed.