5 sluggers that might pique the Blue Jays' interest in this year's MLB Draft

Tommy White
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The weather is getting warmer and that means it's almost time for MLB Draft season. This year the Blue Jays have their first selection at pick No. 20 in the first round and the draft class will likely leave them at a crossroads at their pick. Widely considered a weaker draft class due to deficiencies in up the middle hitting talent (particularly on the high school end) and polished starters, the Jays are potentially poised to grab a big bat.

Given the state of the Jays offense, it's easy to suggest that they need to draft a big hitter. However, I never advocate drafting for need in baseball. Always take the best player at the best cost for any given pick. Due to the years of development time in the minors and how quickly MLB rosters turn over, having too many good players at one position is rarely a significant issue. In the event that you have a build-up of talented players at one position, there are 29 teams to find fair value in a trade with. With all that being said, there is a different reason to believe that the Jays should draft a hitter early this year. Young pitchers just can't seem to stay healthy.

To enter the year, we at Jays Journal ranked 5 pitchers in the Blue Jays top 11 prospects. Since then, 4/5 of those pitchers have hit the injured list with significant injuries. And this isn't just the Blue Jays struggling to keep pitchers healthy but all of baseball. With the amount of unpredictability surrounding pitching right now, is it worth investing high draft capital in? Pitching is incredibly important and it always will be but the risk might scare the Blue Jays and other teams away early this draft. It's not hard to vision a strategy of targeting bats early and then going heavy on high upside but risky pitchers in the middle rounds.

Additionally, this isn't a great class to draft pitching, especially where the Blue Jays are picking. There's 3 pitchers that have separated themselves at the top of the class: Chase Burns, Hagen Smith, and Trey Yesavage. It's unlikely that any of the 3 make it to the Blue Jays pick. Beyond that, there's a vast middle tier of options that are talented but imperfect and don't jump out as "must picks" at #20.

Given all this, I'm taking a look at 5 hitters that I think are realistic options for the Jays at pick #20.