Toronto Blue Jays: The 10 worst first-round picks since 2000

Which former Blue Jays' first-round draft picks do they regret taking over the past 23 years?
Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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2017 – SS Jordan Groshans (12th)

Notable players passed over: Logan Gilbert (14th), Nolan Gorman (19th), Shane McClanahan (31st)

For the Jays’ first-round pick of Jordan Groshans back in 2017, the debate is still ongoing because after all, he is still currently just a 23-year-old prospect, so anything is still possible. However, it was the hype that surrounded Groshans after he was picked by the Jays that has unfortunately made him a disappointing pick outcome as a result. Thought to be the heir to the Jays’ third base position the moment he began his development in the Jays’ minor league system, it actually took Groshans quite a few years before he finally progressed up to the Triple-A level in 2022. In addition, along with some inconsistent hitting, he demonstrated some lack of power, with only seven home runs being the most he had hit in one season in 2021. Despite that, he was often ranked in the top five in the Jays’ MLB Top Prospects list, showing that they still believed in his potential, even though he hadn’t been showing it.

However, with the ascension of other future third base prospects in the Jays’ organization in Addison Barger and Orelvis Martinez, Groshans was ultimately deemed expendable and was later traded to the Miami Marlins for relievers Zach Pop and Anthony Bass to help their bullpen. Groshans initially got some big league time when he joined the Marlins after the trade, but he finds himself back in the minors again for more development this year. As for Pop and Bass, both have struggled for the Jays, with Pop still on the IL and Bass out of the organization now, which practically means the Jays haven’t got anything out of the pick as a result.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Jays passed over the likes of second baseman Nolan Gorman, who has been having a breakout year with the Cardinals and would have definitely looked great in the current Jays’ lineup with his strong run production numbers, along with the now anointed Tampa Bay Rays’ ace Shane McClanahan, who appears well on his way to another Cy Young-caliber year. McClanahan is showing that his previous two years were no fluke and in fact, he has actually gotten even better, currently leading the league in wins and winning percentage and with his team comfortably in first place in the AL East division. Any one of them would definitely have given this Jays’ team a different look this year for sure.

So with the 2023 MLB Draft set to take place this Sunday July 9th in Seattle, let’s hope the Jays manage to do the right thing for their first-round pick so that they don’t have to find themselves one day extending this unfortunate list of failures.