2010 – RHP Deck McGuire (11th)
Notable players passed over: Yasmani Grandal (12th), Chris Sale (13th), Christian Yelich (23rd)
With one of their highest first-round picks in five years, the Jays selected Deck McGuire out of Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. McGuire was the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year in 2009, as well as making the 2009 All-America Second Team by Baseball America, so he appeared to be a can’t miss pitching prospect. With Jays’ ace Roy Halladay no longer part of their starting rotation after the trade with the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2009-10 offseason, getting a prime starting pitching prospect from the 2010 MLB Draft seemed like a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, despite reaching the Triple-A level in the Jays’ organization by 2014, McGuire never really got a solid foot on the ground after producing unimpressive seasons in the minors, failing to live up to his full potential. Eventually, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2014 for cash considerations. He did eventually make the big leagues in 2017 with the Cincinnati Reds, as well as a return stint with the Jays in 2018, but once again, he wasn’t able to perform effectively as a major league pitcher.
What has hurt even more is the fact that the draft picks just behind McGuire in 2010 were All-Stars Yasmani Grandal and Chris Sale, along with future NL MVP Christian Yelich. Any one of them could have been a huge difference maker for the Jays, especially Sale, since they were hoping to find a successor to Halladay at the time. And for a five-tool player like Yelich, let’s just say the Jays haven’t had the luck to unearth one in ages. Selecting McGuire probably set them back a few more seasons than expected, before their eventual rise to prominence in 2015.