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What's the point of previewing a draft if you don't have a mock draft to go with it?

The draft begins Monday, June 7th. The Blue Jays will pick 16th in each round, with an additional ‘sandwich’ pick (#32 overall), and the Angles 3rd round pick (#85). The 2 extra picks are because of Kelvim Escobar signing with the Angles in the offseason. That gives the Jays 5 of the first 87 picks in the draft.

JP Ricciardi has stated that the team will likely go with pitchers early and often. However, the last two drafts the team has also taken a college hitter in the first round before the flurry of pitchers.

So what should we expect leading up to the Jays pick at #16?

Among college pitchers it appears that Jered Weaver, Jeff Niemann, Philip Humber, and Wade Townsend are locks to be taken before the Jays pick. It’s also very likely that Justin Verlander, Jeremy Sowers and Thomas Diamond will be off the board as well.

Stephen Drew is the only college position player that’s a virtual lock to go before the Jays pick. The latest word is that he's the likely choice of the Padres at #1 overall (although I think it's just a ploy to try to lower the bonus demands of Weaver).

Homer Bailey is a hard-throwing high school RHP out of Texas who I suspect will go higher than most where he’s projected, but will almost certainly not make it out of the top 10.

Among high school position players there’s two shortstops that will likely go prior to pick 16 in Chris Nelson and Matt Bush.

Adding those players up gets us to 11 players. Assuming that the Jays are again going to select a college player we should be able to narrow their pick down to a few players.

The four teams ahead of the Jays are Anaheim, Montreal, KC, and Arizona. Trying to get a good handle on what the Angles and Expos will do isn't easy. It appears that the Angles might go with a high ceiling HS player. With MLB owning the Expos you never know what might happen with their pick. It could be a 'signability' pick, or a player that might contribute quickly like last year when they selected Chad Cordero.

KC and Arizona are likely to be a little more predictable. Last year there was a bit of a ‘Moneyball’ effect on the draft with certain teams who started focusing more on college players and less on HS players. Two of those teams just happened to be the Royals and Diamondbacks who will pick in front of Toronto in each round. Chances are good that they’ll also be looking at the same players the Jays are looking at.

Among position players the Jays would likely be choosing between are Josh Fields (3B), Mike Ferris (1B), Danny Putnam (OF), and BJ Szymanski (OF). Among pitchers, the candidates will likely be David Purcey, Zach Jackson, Justin Orenduff, and Justin Hoyman (all starters). Of those 8 players the Jays will have at least 3 of those players to choose from with their first pick - if not, that means one of the top players dropped.

My sense is that the top 11 I outlined above will go in the first 15 picks. After that I think the rest of the first round is highly unpredictable. But having said that, here’s how I think the first round may unfold, and who I think the Jays could end up with after their first 6 selections (realizing that if I get one player out of 6 correct I'm doing really well).

2004 Mock Draft:
1.	Padres - Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach St
2. Tigers – Jeff Niemann, P, Rice
3. Mets – Homer Bailey, P, LaGrange HS
4. Devil Rays – Stephen Drew, SS, Florida St
5. Brewers – Philip Humber, P, Rice
6. Indians – Jeremy Sowers, P, Vanderbilt
7. Reds – Chris Nelson, SS, Redan HS
8. Orioles – Justin Verlander, P, Old Dominion
9. Rockies – Matt Bush, SS, Mission Bay HS
10. Rangers – Wade Townsend, P, Rice
11. Pirates – Neil Walker, SS, Pine Richland HS
12. Angles – Trevor Plouffe, SS, Crespi HS
13. Expos – Huston Street, P, Texas
14. Royals – Josh Fields, 3B, Oklahoma St
15. Diamondbacks – Thomas Diamond, P, New Orleans
16. Blue Jays – Mike Ferris, 1B, Miami of Ohio
17. Dodgers – Danny Putnam, OF, Stanford
18. White Sox – Justin Orenduff, P, Virginia Commonwealth
19. Cardinals – Zack Jackson, P, Texas A&M
20. Twins – BJ Symanski, OF, Princeton
21. Phillies – David Purcey, P, Oklahoma
22. Twins – Glen Perkins, P, Minnesota
23. Yankees – Scott Elbert, P, Seneca HS
24. Athletics - Jon Zeringue, OF, LSU
25. Twins – Mark Rogers, P, Mt Ararat HS
26. Athletics – Kurt Suzuki, C, Cal St Fullerton
27. Marlins – Eric Hurley, P, Wolfson HS
28. Dodgers – Phillip Hughes, P, Foothill HS
29. Royals – Landon Powell, C, South Carolina
30. Rangers – Greg Golson, OF, John Connally HS
31. Royals – Justin Hoyman, P, Florida
32. Blue Jays – JP Howell, P, Texas

57. Blue Jays - Matt Fox, P, Central Florida
83. Blue Jays - Brad McCann, 3B, Clemson
87. Blue Jays - Matt Durkin, P, San Jose
117. Blue Jays – Josh Baker, P, Rice

Batter's Box Draft Coverage:
* College Pitchers - April 28th
* College Hitters - May 17th
* College Pitchers, Updated - May 21st
* A review of the 2 Ricciardi Drafts - May 26th
* Craig Burley's Top 100 College Pitchers & Hitters for 2004 at Hardball Times - May 28th
* Nowhere Men - June 1st
* Mock Draft - June 2nd
* Batter's Box Draft Day Coverage - June 7th and 8th

Next Monday in Da Box we'll have draft coverage as it happens. Shortly after each Blue Jay pick we'll list all Division I stats from 2002-2004, links to profiles & articles on each player, where the players ranked in Craig's rankings this season and anything else we (or you) find on each draftee.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Craig B - Wednesday, June 02 2004 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#60074) #
If you really want to drown yourself in Draft Mania, the best place (other than Da Box) is Their Draft Tracker is the MUST place for the serious draft aficionado. They have short scouting reports on many of the players (and height/weight info as well) but also have video of many of the prospects. The page I linked to, for example, has a rundown on J.P. Howell as well as a couple of minutes of high-res video where you get to see him throw 30 or so pitches with the gun.

The same page has a report, and video, on Rice star and likely #5 pick Philip Humber. Almost every substantial prospect is listed, so go nuts.
_JohnnyS99 - Wednesday, June 02 2004 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#60075) #
Is Matt Fox just underated? His stats, and stuff seem like first round material.
_Dean - Wednesday, June 02 2004 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#60076) #
Well Pistol, heres hoping the Jays don't follow your advice. There will probably be a lot of people who hope JP doesn't look at "my" picks. I will even stay in theme & keep to the college ranks.
#16. Orenduff RHP - Virginia Commonwealth
#32. Tyler Lumsden LHP - Clemson
#57. Jason Jaramillo C - Oklahoma State
#83. Jason Bixler SS - Eastern Michigan
#87. Bill Layman RHP - Jacksonville U.
_Smack - Wednesday, June 02 2004 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#60077) #
I still like Pediora. I stumbled onto that site Craig mentioned and watching his video, he gives a full effort and has a good arm at ss. He is a quick, hustle player, and has some pop on his bat (he was using a wooden one) and probably the same or slightly higher HR power than Reed Johnson. But I would only take him with a 3rd round pick, maybe the #83, if he lasts that long.
_Emaj - Wednesday, June 02 2004 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#60078) #
Sorry to interrupt your always intelligent and excellent posts but I would just like to say what an amazing site this is and what a great job Pistol has done on his mock draft. I've been a Jays fan forever and found this site and have been a dedicated reader for the past 3 months. Just as a tidbit here's how Pistol's mock compares with the MLB scouts version up to the Jays pick at 16.


1. San Diego - Jered Weaver
2. Detroit - Jeff Niemann
3. New York Mets - Wade Townsend
4. Tampa Bay - Chris Nelson
5. Milwakee - Philip Humber
6. Cleveland - Steven Drew
7. Cincinnati - Jeremy Sowers
8. Baltimore - Justin Verlander
9. Colorado - Matt Bush
10. Texas - Neil Walker
11. Pittsburgh - Trevor Plouffe
12. Anaheim - Homer Bailey
13. Montreal - Thomas Diamond
14. Kansas City - Scott Elbert
15. Arizona - Eric Hurly
16. Toronto - DAVID PURCEY

The announcer for the radio was talking with Spencer Fordin about the choice. Basically the summary was that left-handed power pitchers don't grow on trees, especially one that is the size of Purcey (6'5" and 240 lbs).
_Matt - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 04:54 AM EDT (#60079) #
I was just kinda wondering about this... Has the recent anti-HS drafting buzz created by neyer, lewis, etc. prompted the Jamesean statistical analysis of College v. HS drafting to be tainted?

I mean, now a high ceiling HS type of player's stock has dropped to the point where it clouds what we can make of whether its worth risking a pick on one of these guys in the first round... So, say an old-thinking type of team might find themselves able to draft a HS player 15th where he may have been 4th 10 years ago...

I read this from Neyer's column the other day written by a guest columnist named Keith Schrerer... and it just got me thinking about whether the noted principle of how one cannot make a study upon a phenomenon without affecting it comes into play...

What a mess!!!!
Thomas - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:14 AM EDT (#60080) #
I had always read the Jays were quite interested in Fields and Putnam, but I haven't heard Ferris's name much before. Seeing that you think the Jays would draft Ferris above Putnam, do you think these rumours around those two are "false interest", like that of Sullivan last year? Otherwise, what makes you think they'd take select Ferris, if given the choice of the two?

I quite like McCann, I'd be happy if he was available in the third round (or supplemental second, I guess).
Craig B - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#60081) #
Has the recent anti-HS drafting buzz created by neyer, lewis, etc. prompted the Jamesean statistical analysis of College v. HS drafting to be tainted?

No. GMs and scouting departments don't listen to Neyer and Lewis and Keith Scherer (nor should they - at least not to the point of changing their draft strategy over it). Teams may back away from high-schoolers due to recent bad experiences, or due to their own study of the data, but they wouldn't do so just because someone (someone outside the structure of professional baseball, no less) told them it was a good idea.
Pistol - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#60082) #
I was just kinda wondering about this... Has the recent anti-HS drafting buzz created by neyer, lewis, etc. prompted the Jamesean statistical analysis of College v. HS drafting to be tainted?

I believe that there were 12 HS players taken in the first round last year, and it sounds like there's going to be plenty of HS players drafted this year.

And if there ever was a point where teams were getting ‘bargains’ in the draft taking overlooked HS players there would be a point where there would be a swing back towards those players.

I had always read the Jays were quite interested in Fields and Putnam, but I haven't heard Ferris's name much before. Seeing that you think the Jays would draft Ferris above Putnam, do you think these rumours around those two are "false interest", like that of Sullivan last year? Otherwise, what makes you think they'd take select Ferris, if given the choice of the two?

The problem with rumors is that you don't know the source. It may be true, it may be a smokescreen, or it may just be the feelings of a scout that the organization as a whole doesn't totally agree with.

Ferris is a big LH power hitter so that's why I went with him. Putnam would have been my next choice though. I think Fields will go before the Jays pick, but I would still have the Jays taking Ferris and Putnam before Fields.

I'm actually pretty indifferent between the 4 pitchers listed above, and Ferris and Putnam with the Jays first pick. I'd be happy with any of them.
Craig B - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#60083) #
Italics begone!

That's better.
_Dean - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#60084) #
Putnam is dependent on his bat, so where do we put him on defense? Shannon Stewart, George Bell etc, get trashed for their lack of defence so is this really the type of player to spend a high pick on?
robertdudek - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#60085) #
I wouldn't spend a first round pick on a defensively challenged player unless I was reasonably confident that he was going to be a very very good hitter - someone like Prince Fielder.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#60086) #
Different people, different philosophies. With a mid-round pick in this draft, I'd be happy to get a quality major leaguer. Shannon Stewart and George Bell provided adequate defence to merit this tag. The criticism of their defence (at least in the case of Bell from 84-87) was overdone.

I liked the Adams pick and I really liked the Hill pick. This year, it doesn't look like there will be a middle infielder who can hit like these guys available by the time #16 rolls around. In these circumstances, I'd go for the best available hitter.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#60087) #
I spent a little time looking at video of hitters courtesy of My completely amateur scouting impressions:
EME- a powerful swing that looks solid.
Fields-very unbalanced swing
Putnam-nice level stroke
Suzuki-only side-angle view available, seems to be up on the plate and pulls off the inside pitch; it might be a lot easier to get away with this hitting approach with aluminum bats.

But then again, I saw Pete Incaviglia when he was maybe 20, and I would've bet that he would never hit in the Show. Anybody else want to weigh in?
_Brent - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#60088) #
Too bad that the Jays are on a road trip, because I would petition NFH to create a "Draft Chip Cannon" sign.

I haven't seen a lot written on him, but the man is a hitting monster:
.353/.513/.674, 221 AB, 19 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 69 BB, 48 K, CraigRanking: 3rd overall

Good power. Great walk rate. Great name. Everything you could want from a prospect.
_R Billie - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#60089) #
College hitters who are projected as good hitters and good fielders aren't likely to last long and Stephen Drew could go first overall. I think the choice at #16 will be a decent but probably not ace quality pitching prospect or one of the better hitters.

The question with Putnam, his defence aside, is whether he'll develop power against pro competition. If he can hit though then he'll find a place to play. Frank Catalanatto did not have a position until he settled into left field for the Jays.

My question is, if your choice is between a decent college player and a high risk high school player who could end up doing more, which do you choose? A guy like Orenduff or Purcey is good but probably not a #1 in the making. One of those gas throwing high school arms could be if the Jays can keep them healthy. Or one of those young but polished high school hitters who could grow into something bigger like Rios. Is it better to have a 60% chance of scoring a B prospect or a 20% chance of scoring an A prospect? Those figures are arbitrary, I'm just wondering what people think.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#60090) #
Brent, I really wanted to have a look at Chip Cannon, but unfortunately, there was no video on

R. Billie, if I were to guess, I'd say Putnam's limit would be medium range power. He looks to me more like a Lou Piniella, Pete Rose, maybe George Brett at the very, very high end, type. He did have the nicest pure swing of the guys I looked at, and I've always been a sucker for that. But, I highly recommend a tour of the Draft Tracker, so you can form your own impressions.
_Dean - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#60091) #
I think you roll the dice and take a high school player in a year like this where you have additional early picks. Brandon League was drafted after taking a college hitter 1st, Gross. If according to JP there isn't a huge drop off between the pitching in the early rounds lets take a potential impact prep player @ #16 or with #32. There is a lack of 5 tool position players in the Jays system and for the most part the pitchers @ present don't project as a #1 guy in a quality major league rotation. There are a number of guys with average fastballs and command who may be major leaguers but other than Mcgowan & Banks I don't see any who I would want to follow Roy in a playoff series.
Craig B - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#60092) #
Maybe a HS position player, Dean, but who? There's not a lot out there that has me interested. There are a number of quality college position players out there to look at with the 32 pick, on a par with what's usually available there. Not a lot of top-shelf defensive talent, but some guys who can hit and still cover a position.

But I just don't know who's out there.
_JohnnyS99 - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#60093) #
I think we will see more high school players taken next year, JP said the organization just cant afford to wait for prospects, as they need to rebuuild and stack the organization quickly.
_Dean - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#60094) #
How about Trevor Plouffe with #32 or Josh Horton @ #57. Wells & Halladay and especially Rios were considered as reaches by many when they were drafted early by the Jays. I like the Hughes kid but have also read that his fastball lacks movement at this time. Can that be taught without sacrificing his command and velocity. It doesn't look like he will be there @ 32.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#60095) #
Craig B, the only guy I saw that might interest me is Chuck Lofgren (as a RF), maybe, maybe at #32. I'd feel a lot more comfortable about choosing someone like him later on. The name brand high schoolers are (a) not that great this year, and (b) likely to be gone by 16.
_Dean - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#60096) # has Plouffe listed as a SS but then gives a pitchers's scouting report. BA says his range and arm is a notch below Matt Bush but say he may be a better hitter due to a flatter swing path & the wrist action to drive the ball. The Hughes kid I mentioned earlier is Phillip Hughes from California. It was mentioned that the Jays won't take prep players because it takes too long to reach the majors but there are several high school guys drafted last year who are in Low A already this year.
Craig B - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#60097) #
there are several high school guys drafted last year who are in Low A already this year

That's true, but there are several collegians drafted last year who were already in the majors - last year. And more this year. I don't think the outliers change the dynamic of the equation; prep players are three more years away from the majors (at least) on average than collegians. That means that you have two fewer years on which to make Rule 5 decisions, and three fewer years to let themselves play out of the organziation.

But I agree that in the right circumstances, the right high school position player can make sense. I think that's all you're saying, and it's right.
Pistol - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#60098) #
Given the success rate of HS pitchers and the bonuses needed to sign them I would be shocked if the Jays ever took a HS pitcher in the first round.

And even with their success with college pitchers in round 2 so far it'd be tough to take a pitcher there too.
Pistol - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#60099) #
The Jays signed one of their draft and follow players from the 2003 draft: Adrian Martin, rhp, Indian River (Fla.) CC. COMN for a listing of all D&Fs.
Pistol - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#60100) #
BA has another draft chat at 1 pm today.
Pistol - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#60101) #
Hey, Craig's rankings got mentioned in the BA chat!

That the rankings were misinterpreted as prospect ratings is a different story....
_Mylegacy - Saturday, June 05 2004 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#60102) #
Pistol, you are RIGHT ON Mike Ferris is da man, with apologies to da box.

With only Vito as the only POSSIBLE power bat in the minors, I think we need one. Mike a left handed bat and first baseman is 6'2" 225 Lbs. He hitting .379 with 21 homers. I don't have his OBP unfortunately.

There are lots of pitchers to pick after him.
_Jim - Saturday, June 05 2004 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#60103) #
I was following along on Purcey's start today, because I'm a bit of a Central Connecticut fan. The Blue Devils put two on in the first with noone out and he then proceeded to blow away the next 3 hitters.

Of course a start against CCSU means nothing, but he 'sounded' pretty good today.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.