2004 – LHP David Purcey (16th)
Notable players passed over: Huston Street (40th), Hunter Pence (64th), Dustin Pedroia (65th)
With the Jays’ history of rarely selecting a left-handed pitcher in the first round in MLB Drafts, they took that chance with David Purcey back in 2004, along with the following year in Ricky Romero, with hopes that they could become the next best homegrown lefty product since Jimmy Key. Romero certainly turned out alright as he would eventually become the Jays’ ace for a couple of years before the start of his downfall. But for Purcey, his window of fame was even shorter than that of Romero, as he would go on to have some underwhelming years with the Jays, with an ERA constantly over five, with exception to the 2010 season. Eventually, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2011 in exchange for former Jays' farmhand Danny Farquhar.
In doing so, the Jays missed out on prolific closer Huston Street, who was selected 40th overall during the same draft. With the Jays constantly having an interchange of pitchers in the closer role during the 2005-2009 years, rotating between Jason Frasor, Miguel Batista, B.J. Ryan, and Jeremy Accardo, Street would have provided that long-term stability to close out games as he averaged almost 30 saves per season over an 11-year span between 2005-2015. Aside from Street, the Silver Slugger, MVP, and four-time All-Star Dustin Pedroia would have solved the Jays’ question mark at second base for at least a decade, providing the much needed mix of plus offence and defence at the position. But one could only wonder now how much different those Jays’ teams could have been if the right choice was made.