Feeling a Draft?

Tuesday, May 20 2003 @ 10:05 AM EDT

Contributed by: Jordan

In honour of the Jays' recent offensive surge, we're happy to announce our latest Batter's Box pinch-hitter: regular BB contributor Pistol, who's done a bang-up job surveying the likeliest top picks in next month's draft and forecasting who'll be available when Toronto's turn comes around. For an excellent summary of who's probably going where, read on:


The Blue Jays pick 13th in the first round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, which begins June 3. Admittedly, I know nothing about these players other than the very little I’ve read online and their statistics. I have no idea how they look in jeans.

The players are listed in order of my own personal preference, heavily influenced by the Jays’ philosophy of plate discipline and favoring college players. I ignore high school (HS) and Junior College (JC) players because one, the Jays are likely to only select college players, and two, HS and JC stats are really hard to find online.

Rankings (in parenthesis) are from Baseball America -- the link will give you a short commentary about each of the players as well. It’s quite possible there are players that the Jays would take at their selection that BA wouldn’t rank in their top 30 players, but these seem like the best bets.

There was also a chat at BA that sheds some light on where some players might go in the draft.


1. Rickie Weeks – Southern, 2B
(#1 overall rank by BA)


It’s hard to complain about a 1.572 OPS with speed. Competition (or lack thereof) is the reason he wouldn’t be selected first overall.

2. Aaron Hill – LSU, SS (#23)


A power-hitting shortstop, with speed and a strong walk rate.

3. Michael Aubrey – Tulane, 1B (#9)


Aubrey appears to have great bat control, as he only struck out 10 times in 214 ABs. Despite an average walk rate of 13%, his BB/K ratio is strong at 2.7:1. Hits for average and power, and shows some speed.

4. Connor Jackson – California, 3B (#28)


Jackson’s ranking from BA is much lower than my ranking. He’s higher on my list because of his incredible walk rate of 31%, resulting in an OBP over .500.

5. Brad Snyder – Ball State, OF (#24)


A nice combination of speed, power and strike-zone judgment.

6. Vince Sinisi – Rice, 1B (#19)


A Scott Boras client, Sinisi is unlikely to be selected by the Jays due to signability issues.

7. Carlos Quentin – Stanford, OF (#27)


Pretty solid across the board, although not to the extent of the players ahead of him.


1. Tim Stauffer – Richmond, RHP (#6 overall rank by BA)


There’s not much to dislike. Strong ratios all around.

2. Brad Sullivan – Houston, RHP (#21)


Sullivan is pretty comparable to Stauffer, except with a higher walk rate.

3. Paul Maholm – Mississippi St, LHP (#18)


The lefty is similar to Sullivan, except with a weaker K rate.

4. Kyle Sleeth - Wake Forest, RHP (#5)


Statistically, a right-handed version of Maholm.

5. Marc Cornell – Ohio University, RHP (#13)


A bit of a wild card in this draft. Cornell is highly regarded, but has had shoulder soreness lately, which might cause him to drop in the draft.

6. Ryan Wagner – Houston, RHP (RP) (#16)


Wagner, at his current rate, will hold the all time college K/9 rate record at 16.8. He’s obviously dominating, but how high do you take a reliever?

Who will the Jays take?

Picking 13th, the Jays should have a pretty good idea of which two or three players will be available when their pick comes up. At this point it looks like the following are “locks” to be selected before the Jays choose:

1. Tampa Bay - Delmon Young, OF (HS) (Dmitri’s brother, BTW)
2. Milwaukee - Adam Loewen, LHP (JC) (assuming the Orioles, who drafted him last year, don’t sign him at the last minute)
3. Detroit - Weeks, 2B
4. San Diego - Stauffer, RHP
5. Kansas City - Ryan Harvey, OF (HS)
6. Chicago (NL) - Sleeth, RHP
7. Baltimore - Jeff Allison, RHP (HS)

Other players likely to go before 13th:

8. Pittsburgh - Aubrey, 1B
9. Texas - Lastings Milledge, OF (HS)
10. Colorado - Chris Lubanski, OF (HS)

Cleveland picks 11th and the NY Mets select 12th. Under the assumptions of the top 10 listed above, the Jays will almost certainly get a crack at 3 of the following players:

· Brad Sullivan – Houston, RHP
· Aaron Hill – LSU, SS
· Connor Jackson – Cal, 3B
· Brad Snyder – Ball State, OF
· Paul Maholm – Mississippi St, LHP

I believe the best-case scenario for the Jays would be if they were able to draft Sullivan. According to Jim Callis in his BA chat:

Sullivan’s stock has fallen a little, mainly because he has been a little inconsistent and he's right-handed and not real tall. I don't see what's not to like and I could see the Jays considering him at No. 13. He has a solid fastball and a plus slider.

After that, I think there’s a drop-off in pitching, and I believe the Jays should look to one of the top remaining hitters -- Hill, Jackson or Snyder -- before considering Maholm.