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.

Comments are appreciated let me know how I’m doing and what I can improve on. You can follow me on twitter @PaulBerthelot Thanks.        

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BlueJays Draft Preview

The MLB draft is less than a week away so I decided to do a preview for my homer team the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have two picks in the first round (not counting the supplemental round), pick 17 and 22. I don’t claim to be a draft expert. This is the first year I have been really interested in the MLB draft. Because of that I will only preview those two selections that they Jays have because honestly I don’t know a lot about the players past the top 30. These are not players the Jays are going to pick or have been rumored to be picking just my opion of who they may take. The Blue Jays farm system is loaded with pitching prospects, with 8 of their top 15 prospects being pitchers. The rest consist of outfielders (headlined by Anthony Gose) and catchers (headlined by Travis d’Arnaud). In their top 15 they have 1 infield prospect short stop Adeiny Hechavarria. Every teams draft strategy should be to take the best player available and I agree with that 100%. The goal with the draft in my opinion is to draft the best player available and hopefully he fits in with your organizational needs. The Blue Jays could get lucky in that respect with this draft.

                With the17th overall selection I feel the Jays should take RHP Lucas Giolito. Giolito was the best high school pitcher at the beginning of this season and had a chance to be the first HS pitcher ever taken first overall. But as you all know he suffered an elbow injury and was forced to miss the entire season. Giolito would be a gamble pick because teams have no idea about his health and if he will be the same pitcher again. Alex Anthopolous is known for taking risks in the draft. If Giolito can recover from the injury and get back to where he was pre injury the Jays will have an ace pitcher in the making, a steal at 17.

                With the 22nd overall pick I feel the Jays should select 3B Joey Gallo. I know what people are thinking the Blue Jays have a young third baseman already in Brett Lawrie. This is true but these players are so far away you can’t think like that and pick based on position. Gallo has the most power in this draft. He fills a need in the Jays minor league system a big time power bat. As he gets closer to the bigs he may need a positional change may be necessary to fit him on the MLB roster but again this is a few years down the road. He likely will be the best player available to the Jays at 22 and he fills the need of power in the Jays system there is no reason not to take him at 22.

                Both these players are high school guys which makes them perfect Anthopolous picks. He likes to take the riskier player with high upside over the safer pick with lower upside. Both these players are high risk high reward, but if they develop like scouts think they can the Blue Jays may just have their ace and cleanup hitter of the future.

Comments are appreciated let me know how I’m doing and what I can improve on. You can follow me on twitter @PaulBerthelot. Thanks