MLB Mock Draft Roundup: Who do the experts have the Blue Jays taking first in July?

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The 2023 MLB Draft is set to have one of the deeper classes in recent memory. Dylan Crews, an outfielder from LSU and Chase Dollander, a right-handed pitcher from Tennessee are far and away the top two talents in the class.

In past years, the draft order was set based off of the previous year's standings. This is now no more, as the league put a draft lottery into place to shake things up a bit. No longer can a team purposefully put a bad lineup out there in hopes of securing the top draft selection the following year.

This year's Toronto Blue Jays were not affected by such a lottery, as they were one of the few teams to make the 2022 playoffs. The first six picks were determined by the lottery, followed by non-playoff teams going in reverse order of their winning percentages. From there, all playoff teams are next up based on their postseason results.

Instead, the Blue Jays are set to pick 20th. At this point, most of the absolute top-talent players will be off the board, but there are sure to be some diamonds in the rough, as there is in every other draft class.

The 2023 MLB Draft will be held in Seattle, Washington, beginning Sunday, July 9th.

Who do the experts have the Blue Jays drafting first in 2023 MLB Mock Drafts? - pitcher Charlee Soto

Starting things off, prospect guru Jonathan Mayo believes the Blue Jays will land right-handed pitcher Charlee Soto. He is a high school-level arm, much like the first-round pick of last year's Blue Jays, Brandon Barriera. Soto is still young and very much still developing, but he's got a lean 6-foot-5 frame that looks nice along side his 98mph fastball. Scouting reports have him pegged as a future starting pitcher who has strong command and above-average secondary pitches.

Baseball America - shortstop Matt Shaw

Carlos Collazo of Baseball America thinks the Blue Jays will go a position player route off the bat instead of aiming for a pitcher. He is a product of the University of Maryland and, unlike Soto, is an older and more experienced player, suggesting he may be closer to big league ready. Shaw swings the bat from the right side of the plate and seems to be a Bo Bichette clone. He hits for power, he steals bases, his batting average will hover around .290-.300 if not higher, and his defense at shortstop is highly suspect. Scouts absolutely adore his bat, but his glove has already shown signs of a future second baseman rather than a long-term shortstop.

Baseball Prospect Journal - shortstop Matt Shaw

Dan Zielinski III of Baseball Prospect Journal also thinks Shaw is the way to go for the Blue Jays. He seems to fit in nicely along side some of the other infield prospects from the past five or six years (Barger, Martinez, Bichette, etc.). Per BPJ, Shaw has been working on his arm strength recently and wants to work on his range so he can stay at shortstop. Even if he doesn't remain there (it seems like he will not), he's been adding second, third and left field to his defensive repertoire in an effort to further his value.