7. First Round Draft Pick Mistakes
Only three of Atkins’ eight 1st round draft picks are still with the organisation. Alek Manoah and Nate Pearson are both on the 26 man roster, and lefty Brandon Barriera is at Single-A Dunedin, but none of his other top picks - including T.J. Zeuch, Logan Warmoth, Jordan Groshans, Austin Martin and Gunnar Hoglund - remain in the organisation. Second round mistakes include J.B. Woodman and CJ Van Eyk, although drafting high schooler Bo Bichette at #66 in 2016 has been a steal.
The biggest miss under Atkins was likely Austin Martin at #5 in 2020 after a 95-loss season in 2019. The Jays paid him a $7 million signing bonus before trading him along with Simeon Woods Richardson in the 2021 trade deadline deal for starter José Berríos. They picked him over players already in MLB, like Angels starter Reid Detmers, White Sox reliever Garrett Crochet, and Giants catcher Patrick Bailey.
Of course, Atkins isn’t the only Jays GM with a poor record on top draft picks. Alex Anthopoulos also failed badly when it came to top draft picks.