Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Analysis of the Blue Jays First Round

The first round went as expected for me personally. The big highlight for me was Courtny Hawkins doing a back flip after being selected by the White Sox. He then recieved a phone call from Kenny Williams who quickly put a stop to all backflips. 
Most teams picked who they were expected too, with the one major exception in the Houston Astros. Astros were widely expected to take RHP Mark Appel with the first overall pick. However they stunned many people taking SS Carlos Correa, who has drawn comparisons to A-Rod and Tulo. The Astros set the tone for the first round with that pick, as many up the middle players were picked. I was very curious to see to the Blue Jays were going to pick, hoping they were able to draft the players I wanted them to. I wanted the Blue Jays to select Lucas Giolito at 17 and Joey Gallo at 22. That didn’t happen, as the Nationals selected Giolito one spot a head of the Blue Jays, while Gallo was picked by the Rangers in the compensation round. Just because the Blue Jays didn’t get the players I thought they would, that doesn’t mean they didn’t get good players. Here’s a rundown of the two players the Blue Jays did select in the first round.

17th overall – D.J. Davis OF – Stone County HS

He was ranked as the 21st overall prospect by MLB but his stock has been rapidly rising. His best tool is his speed; he is widely considered the fastest player in this draft. That speed makes him a huge asset on the bases and in center field. He is a gap to gap hitter not a lot of power, profiles as lead off type of hitter. I like this pick by the Blue Jays they get another speedy outfielder who if he reaches his potential could form a great outfield with Anthony Gose for the Blue Jays. Davis has been compared to Juan Pierre. As a high school guy he will be a tougher sign but I fully expect the Blue Jays to sign him.

22nd overall – Marcus Stroman RHP – Duke

I love this pick by the Alex Anthopolous and his scouts. Stroman was ranked as the 10th best player entering this draft. To get him at 22 is a huge steal. The knock on Stroman is his size, listed at 5’9” 185lbs. I don’t think size is a huge issue, sure you would want that guy at 6’6” but Stroman can still dial his fastball up to the mid-90’s, with late movement. He has a big power curve. He has been compared to Tom Gordon and profiles as a reliever in the MLB. He is expected to be the first player from this draft class to reach the majors. Scouts have said he could reach the bigs this year and help the Jays out of the bullpen very soon. That would be a huge benefit for the Blue Jays if he could reach the bullpen this season. The bullpen needs some work and Stroman may allow the Blue Jays to look elsewhere at the trade deadline, rather than looking at relievers.  He will take some creativity to sign as he should ask for more money than slot 22 allows (1.8M).

Overall Alex Anthopolous did an excellent job with the players available to him. Davis and Stroman both project to be great player at the MLB level. I hope AA gets them signed so they can start their professional careers and hopefully reach that potential they have.

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